Five Things To Do At White Night

11 February 2016 | 3:20 pm | Xavier Fennell

The resplendent CBD takeover that is Melbourne's White Night is almost upon us, the dusk 'til dawn event set to once again prove itself the epitome of the city's cultural celebration.

So it goes, the inner workings of the world's most liveable city hit standby and make way for the illumination of iconic architecture, larger than life musical performances and all manner of artistic and cultural exhibitions and installations. It'd be physically impossible to check out everything in this year's program, so we've picked out five recommendations.

Dance Into The Night

Check out the super solid line-up of musical acts, all of which are beautifully free and evenly scattered around the city. Birrarung Marr, Bourke St Mall, Lonsdale St and the Star Lawn at The Alexandra Gardens boast the majority of the night's musical performances including acclaimed artists such as Harpoons, Sampa The Great, Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, Chris Russell's Chicken Walk and Harvey Sutherland. This portion of the night is hefty, and carefully considered to perfectly represent the live music Melbourne is so well known for.

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Watch Everything Light Up

Without doubt, White Night is defined by the illumination of the city throughout the night. Familiar structures to any become glowing installations filling the streets with curious onlookers taking in the reinvigorated architecture. This year the Yarra River becomes a living tribute to its own life force as Melbourne Water produces a laser, light and water show to celebrate the vital resource. The State Library, a staple in White Night's projection locations, will once again be morphing, contorting and shining thanks to a select few visual artists — always a highlight. And don't miss The Dresses at Queen Victoria Gardens.

Be Part Of The Art

While it's all well and good to wander around in a daze, blinded by the pretty colours and performances, interaction is key to a memorable night. Revellers are encouraged to participate, make the night their own, create and appreciate. Painting With Light will see Birrarung Marr filled with trails of happy snappers as pixel sticks and light brushes are handed out to encourage camera owners to create their own piece of White Night. Seven Spires at the Queen Victoria Gardens beckons with bony white appendages curving toward the sky, creating an interactive light game for all.

Take The Dreamtime Trail

Melbourne's story stems back to the Kulin Nation, and now, it acts as our very foundation. The Dreamtime Trail allows punters to immerse themselves in the work of contemporary Indigenous artists. Begin at the Melbourne Museum with The First People's exhibition at the centre of the Womenjika: Blak Night program. Across the plaza will be the Pitcha Makin' Fellas x OCUBO collab, re-interpreting traditional storytelling. Fed Square will be lit up by Reko Ronnie, and ACMI will be screening Tracey Moffatt's short film Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy and the satirical mockumentary on race relations, Babakiueria. The Ian Potter Centre hosts Alice Spring's Hermannsburg Potters, and NGV International showcases Josh Muir's Still Here. And musicians Thelma Plum, Briggs and more will be providing tunes.

Have Guilt-Free Midnight Snacks

In terms of food, a bunch of your favourite restaurants will be extending their hours, while a sizable fleet of food trucks including Smokin' Barry's, Beatbox Kitchen and Mr Burger will be rolling into the city to sling their wares to the masses.