Around 2,000 people braved a cool Canberra evening to attend Floriade’s first ever twilight concert last night.
Visitors rocked to the music of The David Bowie Tribute band supported by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra as the sun went down during a magical event surrounded by lights and flowers.
Rugged up against the cold, visitors danced, swayed and clapped to such hits as Let’s Dance, Rebel Rebel, the Jean Genie, Starman, Life on Mars?, Major Tom, and Ziggy Stardust.
There were picnics on rugs, children playing games and friends sharing drinks during a relaxed evening capped off by a surprise fireworks display at the end which thrilled the crowd.
Canberrans Fiona Gotterson and Sally Pierce were among those dancing and clapping to the songs.
Fiona said she thought the twilight concert was an “absolutely fantastic idea”.
“I like the atmosphere and it’s accessible for the community,” she said.
Betsy Joseph and Joseph George from Isaacs enjoyed the time together listening to the music and relaxing. Betsy is one of Floriade’s regular volunteers but was enjoying the chance just to be part of the crowd.
Betsy said she thought the twilight concert was a good idea.
“This year they have done so many changes, I think it will boost it a bit because a change is always good,” she said.
Gates opened for the twilight concert at 4.30 pm, with visitors able to enjoy a first look at the 2017 flower bed designs before the gates officially opened this morning. The concert began at 5.15 pm and ran until 7.45 pm.
Head Gardener Andrew Forster and his team have excelled themselves in planting more than one million flowers this year. Andrew is celebrating his 20th year as Head Gardener and believes that this year will be the best festival yet.
Media representatives were also given an early look at the NightFest installations designed by Mandy Lights. These include 1,000 lights across the park and a further 8,000 lights in the Rhododendron Garden.
NightFest will run over two separate weekends this year, with an increased offering of lighting designs and interactive installations. A new installation named ‘The Vines’ promises to be a big drawcard because it is the first NightFest installation that people can touch.
Floriade runs from September 16 to October 15 at Commonwealth Park and this year has extended opening hours from 10 am – 7 pm. Entry is free but you need to buy tickets to attend Nightfest – available here.