The first White Night event for Shepparton attracted significant crowds to the city with estimates putting the crowd at 32,000 people across the evening.
White Night was held from 6pm to midnight on Saturday 25 June and was located from the Shepparton Art Museum around Victoria Park Lake and along Welsford Street to High Street.
White Night Shepparton began with a smoking ceremony with local Yorta Yorta elders at Shepparton Art Museum, followed by live music in the skate bowl as families and art enthusiasts explored the nearby all-encompassing artworks.
Twenty-eight large-scale illuminations and projections lit up Shepparton’s cultural precinct and surrounding Victoria Lake celebrating the city’s vibrant and diverse creative scene and providing an invitation of discovery for families, local community and visitors from across the state to experience the region.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Shane Sali said “There was a great buzz and energy around town. It was amazing to see so many people out and about enjoying themselves,” said Cr Sali.
“White Night was incredible; the program was amazing and tapped into the region’s history, culture and environment while proudly showcasing many of our local creative talents. Some of our greatest attractions were the backdrops for a lighting sensation including SAM and Kaiela Arts, Victoria Park Lake, Aquamoves, the Goulburn River and our city landscape,” Cr Sali said.
“We saw an amazing turn out with 32,000 visitors travelling from across the state and interstate and staying all weekend and generating important economic stimulation to our visitor economy. The evening proves that Greater Shepparton does events better than anyone and that we are perfectly placed to host Commonwealth Games events.
“Well done to our many accommodation providers who were booked out this weekend, as well to the many hospitality businesses, retail, attractions and event services who were busy all weekend catering to our visitors.
“The economic impact data will be available in a couple of months and we look forward to receiving this information,” said Cr Sali.
“White Night has been one of the largest events to be held in the region for the past 20 years and is a massive coup for the area. The investment we have made into our facilities across the region, such as the SAM building, is being capitalised upon. Shining a spotlight on Shepparton as an emerging and attractive cultural and regional destination has most definitely been achieved.
“Council has enjoyed working with the Victorian Government to deliver this incredible opportunity not only for our region, but the state of Victoria and we are looking forward to future partnerships to showcase Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley,” Cr Sali said.
White Night Artistic Director Andrew Walsh AM said this event was made for Shepparton with a quarter of artworks on display created by Yorta Yorta artists and local designers.
“We commissioned local and Victorian artists to create original artworks for Shepparton White Night and we brought back works from previous White Nights including the stellar work by European artist Michael Blazy.
“We promised the people of Shepparton to expect the unexpected and the community embraced the incredible diversity of Victorian, national and international works on display.
“As regional Victorians, this has been a fantastic adventure and shows Victoria and the world that there is an incredible depth and capacity in the regions,” said Mr Walsh.
White Night employed over 1,000 contractors for the one-night-only event in Shepparton. It is estimated that 32,000 attended the free outdoor event on Saturday night with local accommodation at capacity. White Night Shepparton was a great success for entertaining visitors and the regional community and supporting local business, hospitality and tourism operators.
Since the first White Night in Melbourne in 2013, the major event has built a strong reputation as a vibrant and inclusive celebration of immersive art and community participation.