It’s time to call your friends, gather the kids and make your plans, with just one week to go until Vivid Sydney bathes the city in a glorious cavalcade of colour as it kicks off its 10th anniversary celebrations on Friday, 25 May.
The world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas will transform Sydney into a colourful showcase of illuminations, sensational sounds and creative thinking for 23 days and nights from 25 May to 16 June.
NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall said, “We’re busy putting the finishing touches on the installations for our Vivid Light Walk across the precincts this week. We’re throwing a 23-day party and everyone is invited to join the fun, see the lights, catch some music and take part in our sessions on creative ideas. Check out the program and make your plans now so you don’t miss any of the action in this super celebration of our city, showcasing light, art, technology and innovation.”
VIVID LIGHT HIGHLIGHTS
The lights will shine brightly each night at precincts across Sydney including Barangaroo, Circular Quay, Chatswood, Darling Harbour, Kings Cross, Luna Park, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Taronga Zoo and The Rocks.
Luna Park makes its Vivid Sydney debut with a grand light show, Spirit of Fun on Coney Island, taking visitors on a wild ride of a different kind, while the Ferris Wheel will shine brighter, following a refit of more than 3,000 LED lights.
Customs House makes its return to Vivid Sydney with the beloved May Gibbs characters, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, who will drop by to celebrate their 100th birthday with a joyous adventure through the Australian bush.
You won’t be able to miss the spectacular Skylark show as it sends dozens of laser beams and lights into the night sky from atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay. The centerpiece is Bradfields Beacon – a fully interactive laser twice as strong as any ever seen on Sydney Harbour. Its full colour beams will reach right around the harbour, spotlighting iconic sites and moving from the inner harbour to the headlands each night in a two-minute spectacle every 30 minutes.
The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney will be home to its largest footprint for Vivid Sydney yet, with a number of standout installations including; The Bloom a dazzling flower in the Garden with each guest featured at the centre of its 5-metre petals, a meandering puzzle-like pathway of light Aqueous that reacts when the young at heart jump, run and play on it, and a Vivid Sydney first for Government House, which will be lit by a projection designed by TAFE NSW students.
In Barangaroo, visitors will be enthralled by The Liminal Hour, a performance featuring a giant six metre tall puppet interacting with visitors on Wulugul Walk.
While on opening night, every eye will turn to the Sydney Opera House to see Metamathemagical, this year’s stunning Lighting of the Sails by featured artist Jonathan Zawada.
VIVID MUSIC HIGHLIGHTS
Too much music is never enough and Vivid Music delivers in spades in 2018 at venues across the city.
Grammy award winning rock star and goddess of reinvention, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist St Vincent will take to the stage for one exceptional night only on 17 June at Carriageworks.
It’s all things jazz with the Innovators in Jazz series at the City Recital Hall featuring triple Grammy award winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis and some of the world’s finest jazz vocalists, including Grammy winning baritone Kurt Elling and unparalleled songstress Madeleine Peyroux. Also joining the line-up is Orange is the New Black star Lea DeLaria who will mesh stand up comedy with her sultry vocals in her live show.
Hiatus Kaiyote will show why they’re one of the most sampled bands in the world at The City Recital Hall on 26 May. Iconoclastic purveyors of psychedelia, wildly original live band Brian Jonestown Massacremake their long awaited Australian return at The Metro on 8 June. The country’s most electrifying punk band WAAX will take to the same stage in an all-ages event the next night.
Super-scale live music and art event Curve Ball hits Carriageworks on 18 June, headlined by Alison Wonderland. Sydney’s most eclectic masquerade-ball-rock-show takes over the Enmore Theatre on 7 June when Young Hearts Run Free brings to life the celebrated soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet.
Music and visual delights combine in Introduced Species, a special one-hour event exploring the trash crisis in our oceans at the Seymour Centre on 31 May.
Transforming the Sydney Opera House’s historic interiors, Vivid LIVE celebrates its return in 2018, featuring 35 international and Australian performances including 19 Australian exclusives and 10 Sydney Opera House debuts.
Highlights include the Australian debut of California’s dream pop, cult duo, Mazzy Star, who will be bringing their mesmerising guitar and charming vocals to the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. Daniel Johns (aka Dr Dreams) and Empire of the Sun’s Luke Steele will also be unveiling their highly anticipated electro-pop collaboration Dreams for Vivid LIVE.
VIVID IDEAS HIGHLIGHTS
Spark your imagination, don your thinking cap and join some of the world’s best and brightest innovators to explore fresh thinking in design, technology and culture with Vivid Ideas.
Hear from inspirational Game Changers including futurist and game developer Jane McGonigal and Artificial Intelligence (AI) expert Kriti Sharma, who will join forces and put AI, virtual reality and gaming under the microscope to question the type of society we are creating with technology on 3 June. Pioneering environmental activists Peggy Oki and Laura Wells team up to talk protecting oceans, tackling the war on plastic and turning passion into action on 6 June.
Mambo Clothing founder and all-round Australian global success story Dare Jennings will reveal the joys of throwing the rule book away and following your gut to create cult brands on 27 May.
Visual Strategist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and co-founder of the Museum of Awe Dan Goods, whose work fusing art and science is shown at festivals, museums and in outer space, shares his unique insights on 3 June.
The inaugural Mark Colvin Conversation in honour of the late, great broadcaster and journalist promises a thought provoking and entertaining discussion on 3 June when TV presenter Julia Zemiro wrangles a panel of educators, writers and commentators debating, ‘Are schools and society fostering or stifling imagination?’.
You can find more information and buy tickets to all events at vividsydney.com
How to make the most of your festival
Plan ahead – planning your visit before you go is simple with precinct and accessibility maps, transport options and activities available at vividsydney.com or through the festival smartphone app.
Get ‘appy’ – download the Vivid Sydney app to browse and discover everything on offer, take audio tours around Vivid Sydney precincts, light walks and events, save your festival favourites in one place on all your devices, and use the Map feature to see where you are and what’s nearby. Try out the new augmented reality functions while at the festival.
Take public transport – leave the car at home (there’ll be road closures and clearways in the CBD and The Rocks) and take advantage of extra bus and train services during the festival. Ferries get very crowded, so have a back-up plan.
Go early in the festival and come back for more – there’s so much to see and do at Vivid Sydney it’s impossible to fit it all into one visit. Go early in the festival and you’ll have time to make return visits and avoid the last minute rush.
Pick your days and time – going early in the week is quieter than Friday and Saturday. If you have young kids in tow, visiting early in the evening when lights go on at 6pm means you can see the lights, grab dinner and get little ones home in time for bed before the crowd builds. At Chatswood and Taronga Zoo, lights go on earlier at 5.30pm.
Need a hand or got a question? – ask the Vivid Sydney Volunteers, they’re easy to spot in bright pink jackets and happy to answer your questions. The Vivid Information Booths at Darling Harbour, Circular Quay & West Circular Quay have children ID wristbands – just add your contact number to make it easy to be reunited should you get separated in the crowd.
About Vivid Sydney
Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas and now the largest event in Australia. For 23 days – from 25 May to 16 June 2018 – the event places a spotlight on Sydney and reinforces its position as the home of light, creativity, cutting edge music, engaging conversations and the exchange of new ideas. The festival is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency. In 2017 Vivid Sydney attracted a record 2.33 million attendees and injected over $143 million into NSW’s visitor economy. For more information visit www.vividsydney.com