A cloud of doubt has been cast over whether White Night will go ahead next year in Melbourne’s CBD.
John Eren, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, said yesterday that events such as the F1 Grand Prix and Melbourne Winter Masterpieces would run, but gave no indication if White Night would receive funding.
“Tourism is crucial to growth, and we are building the infrastructure we need to keep Victoria number one,” Mr Eren said in a statement. “We’ve set an ambitious target of growing overnight expenditure to $24.7 billion by 2020.”
White Night also has no mention in the creative industries budget released by the Victorian government.
In February this year, the State Library of Victoria hosted a spectacular Alice in Wonderland-themed light show as part of the white night celebrations however they are still unclear on the future of White Night.
“We’ve been involved in it all the way along,” a spokesperson for the State Library of Victoria told The Newsroom. “We’re asked to be a part of it like most other city buildings around. It’s a community engagement activity and we’re an iconic building in the city – we love to be involved. It would be disappointing if White Night doesn’t go ahead next year.”
White Night, first hosted in 2013, is a major dusk-to-dawn event that takes place in Melbourne City every year. It includes stunning light shows, interactive shows and live performances.
In 2013, White Night attracted 300,000 people from all different suburbs on its opening night.
In 2014-15, White Night drew in more than half a million people who congested Flinders, Swanston, and Collins Street to enjoy the nights entertainment.
“Like other buildings involved, we don’t know at this stage about whether or not White Night will go ahead,” a spokeswoman for Museum Victoria told The Newsroom. “We mainly opened Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre and invited people to come along and experience the exhibition First Peoples.
It is not yet known when an official announcement will be made regarding the future of White Night. – Photo and report by Sarah Batt