Last year we featured a critique on White Night, Melbourne’s all-night arts and cultural festival, which borrowed heavily on overseas concepts. While I gave White Night a miss this year, it still appears that the festival does not have an overriding sense of purpose.
White Night should be more than 24 hours of projections and special effects, it should explore how we can strengthen engagement with the arts. The quantum of people converging on the CBD should be secondary to measuring how many of these attendees have participated in other art based activities throughout the year.
White Night should aim to foster engagement, ensuring that participants recognise and value the arts and its importance in Melbourne. It is little wonder that its direction is questioned, when it appears the primary metric is the quantum of people exploring Melbourne’s CBD over one night rather than strengthening engagement with the arts.