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Ballarat’s all-night arts party White Night will return following the success of the inaugural regional event last March.
The state government will today announce that Ballarat’s streets, laneways and gardens will become an all-night gallery for White Night Ballarat 2018, which will run from 7pm on March 17 to 7am on March 18.
The city beat out a slew of other regional councils to host the event, which is part of a world-wide all-night arts festival movement and will follow a month after the sixth White Night Melbourne event.
“The first ever regional White Night was a big success. It had Ballarat buzzing like never before, with hotels booked out and restaurants full. We plan to take things up another level next year,” said state tourism and major events minister John Eren.
The first White Night Ballarat, held in March, drew about 40,000 people in to the city as 45 art installations illuminated and activated the streets and iconic buildings throughout the night.
Acclaimed big-event producer David Atkins will take the helm for the second year, working with cultural institutions, local artists and other groups to curate a spectacular program.
WATCH SOME OF LAST YEAR’S WHITE NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS HERE
Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said council began lobbying for a second White Night even before the first event had finished.
“We lobbied long and hard and we are over the moon to be able to announce the success ... and the opportunities there will be more broadly for Ballarat and beyond,” Cr McIntosh said.
“This year Ballarat proved it has what it takes to host an event of such high calibre as White Night, and we are thrilled to see it return for another year.”
Analysis of this year’s event revealed about 8500 people travelled from outside of Ballarat for the first regional White Night, and the event generated about $3 million for the local economy.
A spokesman for Mr Eren said at least five or six other regional councils had put their hand up to host the second regional White Night, but Ballarat’s bid won out.
“We know that there was other interest and I guess that makes it even more exciting for Ballarat,” Cr McIntosh said.
“To add White Night back to Ballarat’s agenda a second year in a row is an absolute pleasure. We discovered a new way of looking at our city.”