Media releases

Lighting up Melbourne streets after dark 

17 April 2023

Disco laneways, late-night salsa parties and a moon lantern festival are set to take over city streets this year, thanks to the City of Melbourne and Victorian Government’s Dusk till Dawn Activation Grants program.  

The first tranche of the program will support ten activations with up to $100,000 each – enticing more visitors to support the city’s twilight and night-time traders.  

Highlights of the first tranche of recipients include:  

  • Mambomania by The MBassy Dance – a weekly night-time salsa party where dancers weave through a digital art installation. 
  • Melbourne Shimmer Lane by Vee Agency – an immersive disco lane experience in Meyers Place. 
  • Moon Lantern Festival by Museum of Chinese Australian History – a rich and colourful traditional night-time celebration of Asian culture, dining and entertainment. 
  • Glow Comic Trails by Laneway Learning – a series of walking tours and workshops championing comic art by Melbourne artists. 
  • Maho Magic Bar in Chinatown by Broad Encounters Productions – an immersive magic show transporting audiences to neon-lit Tokyo, filled with mischief, laughter and cocktails. 
  • Community Capsule by Committee for Melbourne – a visual storytelling experience showcasing what it means to be Melburnian. 

The Dusk till Dawn activations will invite residents and visitors to explore the city streets after dark, building on the city’s momentum.  

Throughout March, general night-time activity was 107 per cent of pre-pandemic levels – up almost 20 per cent during the same period last year.  

The City of Melbourne has hosted the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Moomba, the Melbourne Fashion Festival and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – bringing an influx of visitors from near and far, while injecting millions of dollars into the local economy. 

The Dusk till Dawn Activation Grants program is a part of the $200 million Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund – a partnership between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government.  

For more information on the Dusk till Dawn Activation Grants program, visit City of Melbourne

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp 

“The Dusk till Dawn program will back our twilight traders, support local jobs and help cement Melbourne’s status as Australia’s cultural and night-time capital.” 

“We’re grateful to the Night-time Economy Advisory Committee for its guidance in helping form this exciting new initiative, and we can’t wait to see these activations come to life.” 

“With pedestrian activity exceeding pre-pandemic levels, and a record $1.1 billion injected into our economy in December – almost half of which was spent outside of standard business hours – we’re well on track to becoming a 24-hour city.” 

“Whether it’s a dance down a disco alley, a stroll through a light-filled laneway, or a groove at a late-night salsa party – there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the city after dark.” 

Quotes attributable to City Activation portfolio lead Councillor Roshena Campbell 

“The Dusk till Dawn grants will boost Melbourne’s strength in the night-time economy and support our late-night traders.” 

“We want to provide new reasons to visit our vibrant city and to link out late-night traders with the culture and creativity Melbourne is renowned for.” 

Quotes attributable to Night-time Economy Advisory Committee chair Penny Miles 

“The city is moving differently – night-time is the time to be in Melbourne.” 

“The uplift of these activations will create a positive ripple right across the night-time economy – creating more reasons for visitors to venture in or stay longer in the city after dark.” 

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