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Everything you need to know about Melbourne’s

The Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens, which will again be a focus of White Night 2019.Courtesy: Getty Images, Kelly Defina, Getty Images

One of the state’s most iconic after-dark events, White Night Melbourne, is getting a facelift ahead of its return this August.

This year’s event — White Night Melbourne Reimagined — moves from a 24-hour festival in February to three nights of arts, performances and food in three areas around Melbourne’s CBD.

This year’s festival takes a new direction, expanding into a three-day event that will run from Thursday, August 22, until Saturday, August 24.

Celebrated choreographer and producer David Atkins returns for his third and final stint as the artistic director of White Night.

“I’m really excited; there’s been a lot of significant changes made to White Night this year, including new sites, precincts and events,” said Atkins.

“It’s also the first time we’ve held it in winter, which is a game changer since it gets darker earlier, so the light displays are more visible and for an extended period of time.”

Next year White Night will be merged with the Melbourne International Arts Festival to create a new major winter festival that aims to be a tourist drawcard.

Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about White Night Melbourne 2019:


Since launching six years ago, White Night has taken place over a single night in February.

This year’s festival takes a new direction, expanding into a three-day event that will run from Thursday, August 22, until Saturday, August 24.

Unlike previous years, the event won’t run for 24 hours straight, but rather a specific time block.

On Thursday and Friday, White Night will run from 7pm until midnight and on the Saturday, it will run from 7pm until 2am.


White Night Reimagined will take place in three precincts:

Treasury Gardens, Spring St, Melbourne
Birrarung Marr, next to Federation Square
Carlton Gardens, around the Royal Exhibition Building

“The location changes for this year means minimal street closures and disruptions in the CBD and it also gives us more time to set up the light displays,” said Atkins.


As well as the location changes and date extension, there will be more of a focus on food offerings at White Night 2019.

This year, Food & Wine Victoria have partnered with the festival to showcase the state’s best in dining, beverages and coffee.

Since the festival is now being held in the thick of winter, there’ll be more seasonally aligned events and performances, with exact details yet to be announced.

One highlight at the Carlton Gardens precinct is expected to be a new creation by renowned puppeteer Joe Blenck.

“Joe’s creating something incredible for us. A few years ago his team built the ‘Messenger’, which is a giant futuristic archangel that became an unofficial mascot for White Night,” said Atkins.


There are numerous options for public transport or driving to White Night 2019, depending on which of the three precincts you want to travel to:


By train: To get there, the closest train stop is Parliament Station, which is a two-minute walk from Treasury Gardens.

By tram or bus: The number 11 tram has a stop near Treasury Gardens, as do the 220, 906 and 905 bus lines.

By car: If you’re planning to drive, there’s also a number of secure street parking and car parks in the area.
Flinders Street was transformed to a vibrant display of projections at the White Night festival in 2017.


Buy train: Nestled on the Yarra River’s north bank, the easiest way to get to Birrarung Marr by public transport is to take any train that stops at Flinders Street Station and take a short walk past Federation Square.

By tram or bus: You can also take any tram line that stops at Flinders Street or Elizabeth Street or, alternatively, you can take the 216, 605, 906 and 907 bus lines.

By car: For those driving, there’s a Wilson car park behind Federation Square or several others nearby around Flinders St and Russell St.
Huge crowds are anticipated for this year’s event. Crowds along Swanston Street at the 2018 White Night Melbourne event.


By train: Get on the city loop and get off at Parliament Station before walking towards the Royal Exhibition Building for three minutes.

By tram: There’s also a number of tram lines in the area that you can take, such as the number 64, 67, 75 and 96.

By bus: Take the 200-207 combined or the 250, 302 and 906.

By car: For those driving, there’s various street parking and secure parking garages available nearby