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White Night Returns To Shine A New Light On Regional Victoria

The respective programs are set to take place in Bendigo on Saturday 3 September and Geelong on Saturday 8 October.

White Night Returns To Shine A New Light On Regional Victoria

From the light-beaming balconies of Bendigo to the glowing gardens of Geelong, the globally recognised late-night spectacle of culture, art and music, White Night, has today revealed two creative programs that will bring every corner of each city's past, present and future to life.

This much-loved event returns to beguile local and visiting audiences to Bendigo and Geelong for the first time since 2018. Both events are set to take over the streets with immersive projections, interactive installations, live music and street food. This year, the respective programs set to take place in Bendigo on Saturday 3 September and Geelong on Saturday 8 October are bigger, bolder, and bursting with creativity and colour in what will be a transformative celebration of these regional Victorian cities.

With each city program taking its own spin on this year's theme 'Everything on the land is reflected in the sky', private and public spaces will be invigorated with a surge of free and family-friendly programming. The nights start with a ceremony by the Traditional Owners of the country on which the events take place providing a Welcome onto Country. These one-night-only, all-ages events will reflect each city's distinct passions and characteristics through inclusive celebrations of art, culture and community, for tens of thousands of locals and visitors alike.

Across Bendigo and Geelong, White Night will feature over 50 large-scale works comprising live music, projections, installations, video and more featuring over 300 local and International Artists, 70% of which are based in regional Victoria.

Internationally acclaimed artist and Creative Director of White Night, Joseph O'Farrell (JOF), said of the events:

"We are thrilled to transform the heart of both Bendigo and Geelong for two very special nights through the cultural celebration that is White Night. Audiences can expect to be wowed by a world-class lineup of stunning light displays, celestial oddities, street eats and powerful, diverse voices."

A Victorian Government initiative, this year's White Night events have been conceived and curated to shine a light on the many and varied cultural gems burgeoning beyond Melbourne. A night-time event like no other, this experience will inspire friends and families from near and far to embrace the wonders of regional Victoria like never before, with thousands expected to enjoy a weekend of discovery exploring the restaurants, tours and experiences on offer alongside these one-off city spectacles.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos said:

"White Night is one of the great spectacles that celebrates Victoria's creativity, communities, and culture. Each event is set to bring thousands of visitors to Bendigo and Geelong, delivering a night of artistic celebration and supporting businesses across regions."

Colouring in Competition by Video Architecture The 2022 program highlights across both cities include:

Highlighting Bendigo's unique gold rush era streetscapes, heritage trams, Chinese legacy and rich local music scene, White Night will enrich the UNESCO City of Gastronomy's vibrant cultural constitution. From backstreets to balconies and trams to trucks, the whole city will be a stage for this year's festivities.

Bringing the wow factor, The Electric Canvas scales Bendigo's buildings, splashing them with brilliant colours to bring them to life with stunning projections from First Nations artists Troy Firebrace and Natasha Carter.

A magical, golden, lion-like creature shimmering in crystal shards, The Guardian from Melbourne-based A Blanck Canvas will roam the streets mesmerising audiences, as the giant ten-metre-long puppet safeguards its kingdom.

The Cabaret Tram returns with a celebration of LGBTQI+ culture as Art Simone and other leading drag artists dance the night away atop one of Bendigo's iconic heritage trams. Meanwhile, the Heritage Sounds Tram will bring the big brass for toe-tapping performances. In a tribute to Pop Asia, the cult celebrity host Andy Trieu hits the decks at the Golden Dragon DJ Stage, to mix sets in front of Derek Ho's White Rabbit Candy Buffet, a mashup of highly saturated eye candy and classic Asian imagery.

In true White Night style, neon floods the city, as Carla O'Brien's glittering Neon Archway draws crowds into Rosalind Park, stepping through the multi-coloured portal where a Neon Dog Park awaits, complete with glowing dogs playing fetch and wagging their tails. Meanwhile, the more tranquil Yi Yuan Gardens are opened to the public and transformed into an oasis of contemporary and traditional music performed in an intimate setting by Zheng Ting Wang.

Giving young people the opportunity to draw on the city they live in, Castlemaine based Video Architecture uses vibrant digital colours in Colouring in Competition to project local kids' art onto their biggest canvas yet. Whilst an artist well acquainted with large-scale installations, Turner Prize winning Martin Creed's screenings of YOU RETURN. Work No.1701 depict people of all stripes crossing a street in New York.

Unplugged, a White Night commission for 2022 created by Airena, is a giant mind that pulsates with electric neurons, asking audiences to examine what it means to be connected. Unuscornu, sees a nine-metre-high unicorn head pulse with light. Created by Airena in solidarity with LGBTQI+ communities during the plebiscite on marriage equality, Unuscornu shines as a spectacular beacon of hope to all who see it.

The Indirect Object's inflatable gum nut flowers in Bloom create a still space in Rosalind Park to tune out of the city and into the meditative soundscape of native bush; and Susie Losch's Waves sees giant tetrapods undulate like waves breaking on the coastline.

Also in Rosalind Park, audiences can view Faces of Djarra - projected into the park's trees. Faces of Djarra is a celebration of determination, resilience and presence that reflects the faces of local Traditional Owners.

An installation from Chunxiao Qu will transcribe her short poems from intimate observations into illuminated public art on the façade of La Trobe Art Institute. An artist doesn't need a label explores the words and phrases written in English and Mandarin, that examine the world around her.

Far more than a festival of light, White Night's flurry of fluro is set to the sounds of Bendigo's best live music. Local bands perform on the back of a vintage Dodge for Homegrown Stage, whilst Capital Music sees the steps of the Capitol Theatre taken over by blues and roots and View Street Carnival's program of music transports audiences to New Orleans.

For those looking to follow their feet and dance in the street, the Dance, Dance, Dance! Stage will see local dance and community groups teach crowds a diverse range of moves from hip hop to Bollywood to Salsa and more at a bespoke stage in Pall Mall.

Harnessing the industrial legacy of this unique city, White Night celebrates its automotive culture and celebrated design - Australia's first city to be awarded UNESCO City of Design -with bold and bright artworks and music from across the Bellarine.

The Electric Canvas again brings Johnstone Park to life with awe-inspiring projections from First Nations artists Kait James, Billy-Jay O'Toole and Jenna Oldaker, whilst Elements of Culture in partnership with Cultura Pako Festa celebrates the diversity of Geelong by projecting 40 portraits of community members, and Matt Bonner's projection Alignment at City Hall explores First People's connection to the land and night sky.

Heavy Metal by JOFMAKESART, is a high-octane, thrilling performance piece where across the night, a car is flattened by an industrial car crusher into a cube of twisted metal, accompanied by the guitar riffs of two heavy metal, head-banging rock musicians.

Carla O'Brien brings two of her distinct neon creations to Geelong with Neon Play the Music, a set of glowing playable musical instruments, and Under the Neon Sea a magical marine experience with neon sharks, dolphins, crabs and octopi on the Geelong Foreshore. More underwater creatures can be found at the waterfront, including the Elvers - baby eels created by the UK's Lantern Company - will glow brilliantly in the water.

Steampacket Gardens transforms into an escape from the hustle and bustle in Imaginary Botanicals by The Indirect Object and locals from Rosewall and Coverdale community centres, where visitors can sit amongst the handcrafted flowers and listen to them sigh, yawn and buzz. Elsewhere, it's three of Geelong's beloved icons that are doing the talking; a carousel pony; a twin lion at City Hall; and the grand bandstand in Johnstone Park all have a story to tell in The Object Monologues from Barking Spider Visual Theatre.

Steampacket Soundz Stage Geelong Gallery will open its doors after hours as it comes alive with Barbara Brash's Holding Form, Brook Andrew's Hope, Peace, and Paradise, Rose Nolan's It's Hard To See What All This Means and the National Gallery Touring Exhibition Spowers and Syme. Meanwhile, The Project Space will host a diverse exhibition of local and interstate artists for On Screen featuring Some Days it Rains an animation by Leigh Hobba and artists from James Street Gallery.

Also at Deakin University's Waterfront façade The Project Space, will be two performances and an exhibition by Deakin alumni; the bodies of land-bound dancers are reflected in an imagined sky world in Virtual Now; lost, borrowed, stolen and copied texts are sung, pitch-shifted, blended and performed in Fugue State; and an exhibition of 20 works by artists and designers who have gone through Deakin University's Geelong-based creative arts and design programs in Sky's the Limit.

The thriving local music scene is celebrated with Homegrown Stage and Steampacket Soundz where emerging and established artists from the Bellarine perform under the stars. Meanwhile, Pop up Performers will perform along Western Beach Road, with Funky Bunny, Darth Vader and DJ Dangerboots playing all night, and Drag City will feature some of Australia's best drag artists in an unforgettable medley of entertainment and fun for everyone.

Making a dazzling return to the White Night program, the magical golden creatures from The Guardian and Unuscornu will inhabit Geelong. The inflatable gum nut flowers in Bloom will transform Johnstone Park, whilst the giant tetrapods in Waves inflate and deflate, the giant pulsating brain of Unplugged will enthrall audiences and the local kids' drawings in Colouring in Competition transform buildings with their brilliance.

White Night (Nuit Blanche) was originally conceived in Paris in 2002 and celebrates its twentieth year this October. In 2013 White Night Melbourne was staged for the first time for Australian audiences, with 300,000 people enjoying the event. White Night Melbourne took place in 2019 for the last time and since then, it has been held in regional Victoria in Shepparton (2022,) Ballarat (2017 - 2019), Bendigo (2018), and Geelong (2018).

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