A White Night in Melbourne

The fabulous White Night festival (La Nuit Blanche in its native Parisian) has come to Melbourne! This is rather exciting because I've always felt it suits Melbourne's arty, hipster, late-night glowy atmostphere perfectly. 

Yes! I know what I said last time, but really it went quite a bit more smoothly than in Toronto, sans violent drunk people, and everything was quite literally shiny.

But what wasn't so smooth was the ride in, nor the people.

Ugh, people. 
We all know how I feel about those.

So. Tried to get on the train.

Friend had squeezed on the same train a couple stations before, called us and said, "It's not going to happen."

Turns out the poor sardined people who looked at us in panic when we opened the train door when it came agreed. 

But we did not give up! There was squeezing room futher down squished up against several French boys who themselves were calesthenicked into the back wall of the train carriage.

That was an interesting trip. 

Fun fact: the sight hundreds of people stumbling off a train, gasping for air, is somewhat amusing. 

A ridiculous platform. 

Welcome to Flinders Street station, centre of Melbourne.

Here's what five hundred thousand people looks like.

On the upside, the struggle to get out of the station resulted in a chance to look at my city's lovely architecture.


Basically a conga line is required in order to get through and stay together at the same time. 

Not that there's any space to, but there's dancing!

The state gallery and Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) had their doors open and their exhibitions open for free. 

More lights.

More dancing.

There was a chance to create your own actual moving images! Take a couple of neon poles, mix with a wacky friend, lots of arm waving and a long-exposure camera, and you get some lovely creations - 

The next one we RAN AROUND EACH OTHER - 

Ooooh, shiny.

ACMI's main exhibition outlined the history of the music video - which was an odd experience for me because for some reason I just never watch them - so I found all these great, ingenious videos for all these songs I know and love. 

Fantastic OK Go memorabilia from that video that even I know about.

Gale intrigue. 

Back outside - Flinders Street was covered in colour. 

This is all just projected light, lovely lovely. 

White Night is basically just a festival of light. These building facades changed over every 10 minutes or so, and when they did there was a good 20 seconds of the buildings being horribly bare (how could we even look at them during normal times?!) and everyone just kind of stood there like, what, then it's suddenly appear again in some different colourful glory and the entire crowd would go, ooooh, like so many trained monkeys. Which is kinda all anyone is really, anyway. #deep

Inside the Forum Theatre, the pretty one above, was a Cabinet of Curiosities...

It was dark, and the entire hall reverberated with the thump and bass of a real human heart.

Complete with screens showing a real heart being operated on and an animated artistic one that beat in time with the sounds.


Grab a drink and relax!

No really, though it was creepy at first, the atmosphere was oddly soothing. My mother said later that it was because it was probably a lot like the sounds you heard while in the womb.... #alsodeep 

Upstairs...curiouser and curiouser. 

So you needed to show your ID to get in......this would be why. Some of us noped out of this room, but for those with the stomach, there was a film from Norway that featured a nice bit of human suspension, and a lot of penis.

Why does my body suddenly feel prickly all over....

But wait! The Cabinet of Curiosities still had one last creepy gift - 


We went up the back end of the CBD to try to bypass some of the, y'know, half a million people. 

Got to Scott's Church (I just types out "God" hurrrr) - where inside was promised SKULLS. 

Fun fact: this is where I came with school every year to sing in choirs of angels! Hurrah! Or rather, Hallelujah!

Twist - cheated out of grizzly gore by a GIANT BLOODY PAINTING. Literally nowhere in the guide or the poster out the front did it say it was a painting. Very nice, and again, lots of darkness and creepy ass music along with disturbing mutterings but do not want. 

Holla China Town -  (look at you foreign folk getting a nice walking tour of Melbourne)

China Town really doesn't need extra lights.

Also found: street performers -



Neon cube gets real. 

Rude, Gale.

Which brings us to - the State Library. And a couple more friends. 

Which is also done up all pattened and science-themed apparently.

This isn't really too far off what the lawns in front of the library normally look like tbh. 



Double surprise!

Regular chaos.

Into Melbourne Central, big shopping centre type place, which I've always liked for the giant cone built over this lovely old building -

And the clock...Melburnians are always meeting under clocks...

Off to see the wizard...

There was an exhibition at the old gaol called purple rain...reign..?

Rain. Purple Rain.

Hahahaha but the line was too long so I took photos through the fence oops.

Maybe they're singing? 

Foodtruck holla. 

Back around through RMIT - fun fact: Josh is drunk. 

Here we lost a few friends but the good old team of Lizzie, Ellie and I onward ho'd.

The always lovely Myer building.

I had no idea this clock was blue. Vairy naice. 

Down to the river - 

Just realised I totally should've mirrored this image but...oh well. Not like you can't read it. #art

My favourite bridge all jazzed up. 

Had a few drinks (finally) at the bar under the bridge that I still hadn't been to...had a few more several other places with several other new people and....anyway, skip to 6am and you get to that time of day when a large circle of complete strangers sit in a circle and play duck duck goose. 

Would've played but ability to do the whole standing/sitting thing in serious question.

You also get spontaneous conga lines - 

Grab a partner and dance!

At least there's some room to breathe now on the streets.

Write a note to the city.


Another spontaneous rave party.
Flinders St still all dressed up and beautiful.

Oh gosh you can start to see the mess...

An ode to you, lovely lady.

Aaaaaand then we flop into bed.

That was good.

I know drunk and disorderly is starting to be a national past time, but really, everyone was so well behaved - interacting with strangers just like what events like White Night encourages is exactly the kind of thing I like, and I also noticed people from so many walks of life in attendance and having fun. That's the main difference between this and La Nuit Blanche à Toronto, I think - and a little birdy told me even those who'd been to the Paris one said similar things.

Melbourne, you clean up nice. 

Very nice.


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