Announcing the 2015 program on Wednesday, artistic director Andrew Walsh said the precincts to the event’s north, near Melbourne Museum and the south, around the Yarra River, would be bigger again next year, from 7pm to 7am event on Saturday, February 21.
Highlights of the the program include Sita’s Garden, curated by Walsh and starring Melburnian and Bollywood actor and dancer Pallavi Sharda, with Indian dancers a floating stage and pontoons on the Yarra River. The precinct, including Birrarung Marr will be turned into a Little India (on the night before India takes on South Africa in the Cricket World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground).
More than 700 of the 745 artists taking part in White Night are locals, including Melbourne street artist Sofles, whose videos have more than nine million views on YouTube. Sofleswill create an interactive, 3D street art mural at a yet-to-be-disclosed location.
International artists in the 2015 line-up include Portuguese outfit Ocubo, featuring projections on the Royal Exhibition Building as well as performances by aerial artists, dancers from the Portuguese National Ballet and a synchronised swimmer.
The number of music stages has increased, with an indie music staged at the Alexandra Gardens and a world music stage between Melbourne Museum and the Royal Exhibition Building.
Walsh has urged those thinking of attending to come later in the evening, or early on the Sunday morning, to avoid congestion at “pinch points”.
He said projections had been moved away from the corner of Flinders and Swanston streets to minimise congestion.
Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley said Daniel Andrews’ new Labor government was committed to White Night continuing beyond its initial three-year funding from the former Baillieu Government, and paid tribute for former premier Ted Baillieu for initiating the event.
All-night public transport is expected to run for White Night although it is not yet clear whether it will only be trams or expanded to trains.