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Editions
August 09 Edition Cover

Docklands lights up with City Circle Tram extension

27 May 2009

Docklands  lights up  with City  Circle Tram  extension Image

Docklands goes off this month in a blaze of light and fire and thousands of new visitors can be expected to experience it thanks to an extension of the City Circle Tram to Waterfront City.

The now-annual Ignite@Docklands spectacular erupted at NewQuay and Waterfront City on Saturday, May 30 – the same day as the extended City Circle Tram came to Docklands for the first time.

The extension of the City Circle Tram is a lifeline to struggling retailers hit hard by the closure of the Southern Star Observation Wheel in January.

Docklands Chamber of Commerce President Keith Rankin said the tram extension was an indication that the plight of local traders was being taken seriously.

“It is a serious attempt to make things better down here and there’s more to come,” Mr Rankin said.

Businesses will also benefit from an integrated print, TV and billboard marketing campaign promoting Docklands – now underway thanks to a number of businesses, developers, VicUrban and the City of Melbourne (See our "Marketing frenzy" story for more details).

Holding true to the winter theme of illumination, a highlight of the Winter’s Eve party was a fireworks show which set the night skies ablaze as a parade of 25 lit motor boats glowed their way around Victoria Harbour.

Creative Director for Ignite@Docklands, Scott Maidment said those who loved last year’s event would find some old favourites and new surprises.

“Drawing on the success of 2008, we’ve gathered together a hot mix of international performance artists and lighting experts to invigorate, illuminate and stimulate the waterfront this winter,” Mr Maidment said.

“This year we’ve commissioned a new performance specifically for Ignite. We’re calling them the Suits of Light – picture business men dressed head to toe in thousands of flashing lights.”

“The Suits will be strolling the promenade throughout the festival, occasionally stopping to play music,” he said.

Also new to Ignite@Docklands is the Sprocket, which is an illuminated, moving trolley featuring five performers connected by a rotating hoist. They are swung around the trolley merry-go-round style while playing acoustic instruments.

Popular and visually mesmerising installation, The LightScraper, will become a fixture of  Docklands this winter. The custom-built aluminium structure has an infra-red camera that tracks participants as they walk through, playing musical notes with every step along with constantly changing visual projections. The result is a giant musical instrument and visual delight!

As the lights go down, the imagination will be ignited by a shadow puppetry performed on a grandiose scale. Called Sticks & Stones, household items convert through shadow to become images of fantasy and fun. Melbourne’s theatre favourites will also light up the Waterfront City stage with a special live performance offering a sneak peek at some of the city’s major winter entertainment events.

The spectacular, flame-fuelled Pyrophone Juggernaut also returns for another explosive season with more bass, more fuel and more fire. The fire-fuelled organ erupts as international performance artists and musicians captivate audiences with its unique sound.

Ignite@Docklands runs each Thursday, Saturday and Sunday until June 14 (including public holiday, Monday, June 8).

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