White Night Ballarat program launched for 2018

Bright: More than 40,000 patrons attended the inaugural Ballarat White Night in March this year. The event will host 28 art installations, and performers across two stages, when it returns in 2018.  Picture: Lachlan Bence
Bright: More than 40,000 patrons attended the inaugural Ballarat White Night in March this year. The event will host 28 art installations, and performers across two stages, when it returns in 2018. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Expect glowing murals, mutant insectoids, and illuminated skeletal birds roaming the streets at the Ballarat edition of White Night on March 17.

The event has launched its program today, with 28 artworks including exhibitions, projections and performances arriving next year.

Local street artist Stuart Walsh will create Ghosts of Eureka during the evening, a fluorescent mural about the Eureka Stockade. 

Five works will be brought from Melbourne’s White Night, including a Dutch piece called Birdmen, which will see skeletal pterodactyls from another world reacting with their surroundings.

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White Night artistic director David Atkins said the Ballarat program was an “embarrassment of riches”. 

“It’s a popularist festival, it has very accessible pieces as well as ones which are more esoteric,” he said.

“For Post Colonial Women in the Landscape, Esther Konings-Oakes’ has taken photos and added a theatrical bent.

“She’s inserting women from various times in history into these landscapes and it’s quite spectacular.

“Ballarat has really set the model for the regional white night events.”

White Night will run 7pm to 2am in 2018, following complaints the event this year closed three hours earlier than expected.

Mr Atkins said that while patrons were “justified in being upset” about the early closure before the scheduled 7am, 90 per cent of patrons had already left by 2am.

“It’s a live event, it’s not like a movie that you can plan, those decisions were made for the safety of the patrons,” he said. 

“We decided to reduce the hours for the event, before the licensed venues in the city close.

“It means a safer and better environment, and we can be more robust in what we program across the seven hours.” 

White Night’s two performance stages on Lydiard Street and Armstrong Street will primarily host artists and musicians from Ballarat and other regional areas. 

Full program is available here.