Lights On! It’s Time To Shine For Super-Sized ‘Vivid Sydney’

Vivid Sydney has bathed Sydney in breathtaking colour & a dizzying array of special effects as the world’s largest festival of light, music & ideas switched on for 23 nights from 6pm tonight, the 26th of May 2017.

Featuring 7 light precincts & more than 90 large scale light installations and projections, Vivid Sydney will run bigger, bolder & brighter until the 17th of June.

New South Wales (NSW) Minister For Tourism & Major Events, Adam Marshall, said “It Is all systems go as the city becomes a massive, creative canvas from tonight, with art & technology coming together to present awe-inspiring creations conjured by some of the world’s leading creative minds & technology innovators”

“Visitors to Vivid Sydney come for the lights & stay for the sights of this great state. In 2016, Vivid Sydney welcomed a record-breaking 2.31 million attendees. In 2017, we are hoping to surpass last year’s massive AUD$110 million injection into our state’s visitor economy” he said.

More than 180 local & international artists have created the light installations & projections for Vivid Sydney including The Rocks, Campbell’s Cove, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Taronga Zoo, Martin Place, Darling Harbour & festival debutante, Barangaroo (South).

Projections will illuminate iconic buildings & landmarks throughout the city including the Sydney Harbour Bridge & the Museum Of Contemporary Art as well as the organic backdrops of enormous trees & natural rockscapes in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The ultimate canvas, the sails of the Sydney Opera House will feature Audio Creatures, an indescribable world of colour & light featuring imaginary sea creatures lurking deep in the harbour & shimmering plant life.

Special effects & animations are found at every turn from the ground below visitors’ feet at Barangaroo (South) to Darling Harbour’s Magicians Of The Mist, a 50 metre high water fountain featuring 40 metre high projections, lasers, fireworks, flames & a dramatic soundtrack.

North of the Harbour, a steampunk waterworld themed adventure awaits in Chatswood while giant illuminated lanterns of endangered animals are sparking conversations about conservation at Taronga Zoo.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney, Sandra Chipchase, said “Over the next 23 days, visitors can take their pick of hundreds of events including more than 284 Vivid Ideas discussions and creative forums in 59 venues that will explore our creative future or more than 390 Vivid Music performances in more than 40 venues featuring a range of genres from indie folk & electronic music to musical theatre & jazz”

Festival highlights include:

Light

  • Lighting Of The Sails: Audio Creatures: The Sails of the World-Heritage listed Sydney Opera House will be brought to life by Audio Creatures: a series of imaginary creatures curated and designed by visionary director Ash Bolland. Audio Creatures will feature morphing and mesmeric marine creatures and plant life, cut with sleek futuristic technology across the iconic Sails. Audio Creatures will be set to a bespoke soundtrack by Brazilian electronic producer Amon Tobin.
  • Organic Vibrations: Australian contemporary artist Julia Gorman and French collective Danny Rose will create a new artwork projected onto the heritage-listed façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA). The installation will use projection-mapping techniques to bring to life images originally made by Gorman in watercolour, oils, and marker pen depicting sinuous lines and colours inspired by the natural world. (The Rocks)
  • Magicians Of The Mist: Fantastical fountains, flame jets, lasers, music, fireworks and walls of water show the power of creativity and innovation in this spectacular projection. (Darling Harbour)
  • Trapdoor: Discover what optical illusions are in store if you dare to step onto this fantastical floor mural that tells otherworldly stories of Barangaroo. (Barangaroo South)
  • Electric Forest: The forest comes to life as never before, from wild hanging fruits to schools of fish, when you enter this strange world of illuminated plants, illusions and a psychoacoustic soundtrack. (The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney)
  • Lights For The Wild: Shine a light on the plight of endangered animals with your interactive wristband and gaze in amazement at the beauty of these majestic, giant illuminated lanterns – you can even step into the mouth of PJ the Port Jackson Shark! (Taronga Zoo)
  • Steampunk Waterworld: Peer into an incredible submerged steampunk water world of lights, sounds and special effects at the Reflection Pool in The Concourse. (Chatswood)

Music

  • Curve Ball: Creatives, artists and musicians join forces to deliver this immersive, large scale, live music audio and visual spectacular combining quality dance music and stunning visuals. (3pm-10pm Sunday 11 June, Carriageworks).
  • Hidden Sydney – The Glittering Mile: The roller coaster ride into the story of Kings Cross and the colourful cast of characters from its gritty, glittery past. (25 May – 18 June, The World Bar, Kings Cross).
  • Nick Murphy (Formerly Known As ‘Chet Faker’) Presents Missing Link: The charismatic hitmaker returns, premieres new material and resurrecting old favourites in an ambitious inthe-round performance. (1 -3 June, Sydney Opera House).
  • Dappled Cities: One of the most beloved indie bands to emerge from Sydney over the past two decades presents new album IIIII (pronounced five), complete with immersive lighting spectacle in this one-off concert. (4 June, City Recital Hall)

Ideas

  • Game-Changer Talks Series: Hear from the creative forces shaping our world and lives, including Buzzfeed founder, CEO and media visionary Jonah Peretti. (28 May, City Recital Hall); influential Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone (28 May, City Recital Hall) and iconic American artist Shepard Fairey (17 June, Sydney Town Hall). Fairey, the artist behind the Barack Obama HOPE campaign, will also create a public mural in the heart of Sydney’s CBD during the festival, while an exhibition of his music-themed works is on display at Darling Quarter.
  • The Sunrise Conference: Delve deep into the future of technology, business and innovative start-up ecosystems at this enlightening forum.(31 May)
  • Semi Permanent: Hear about our innovation future straight from the source in a series of interactive, immersive experiences with world leading innovators from Getty Images, Nike, Uber, Google and more. ( 25-27 May)
  • Clipped Music Video Festival: Learn from artists and filmmakers at this creative hub as they collaborate and debate and celebrate the art form of music videos. (3 June)
  • Good Design Festival: Join design luminaries, experience the best in all things design and celebrate the winners of the 2017 Good Design Awards and exhibition. ( 8-11 June)
  • Rhodes: Creative: Explore tomorrow’s technologies today with hands on activities including 3D printing and robotics. (28 May – 16 June)
  • The Vivid Ideas Exchange: You name it, there’s probably a session about it, debating and dissecting everything from fashion to placemaking, storytelling, ageism, marketing, health, innovation, big data and mixed reality. Events at the Vivid Ideas Exchange run every day from 10am to 5pm on Level 6, Museum Contemporary Art Australia throughout Vivid Sydney.

1 Week To Glow!

BIGGEST-EVER VIVID SYDNEY LIGHTS UP ON 26 MAY

With just 1 week to go until the city bursts into a brilliant array of colour for Vivid Sydney 2017, it is time to peer into the program & plan your perfect visit to the world’s largest celebration of light, music and ideas.

Over 23 nights from Friday 26 May to Saturday 17 June, Vivid Sydney 2017 – proudly owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW – will transform Sydney into a breathtaking vision of colour across seven precincts, including the introduction of the festival’s newest precinct, Barangaroo (South).

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer and Vivid Sydney Executive Producer Sandra Chipchase said, “As Vivid Sydney continues to grow, so does the depth and breadth of events on offer. No matter what your interests, from niche to mainstream, Vivid Sydney has you covered, from creative collaborations, musical musings and maestros; to luminaries, instigators and disruptors redefining our creative future; and the ingenuity and innovation delivering Vivid Sydney’s boldest colourful canvas of lights ever.

“Pick your program and precinct highlights and plan your visit to Vivid Sydney now to make the most of the ample opportunities to experience the city at its brilliant best,” Ms Chipchase said.

There’s more to see and do than ever before at this year’s Vivid Sydney as hundreds of artists, musicians, thinkers and creatives prepare to share their musings and masterpieces with locals and visitors.

There’ll be more dazzling lights with over 90 installations and projections. There’ll be more light bulb moments, with more than 280 thought provoking Vivid Ideas sessions to illuminate and ignite debate and discussion; while more than 400 music events – more than double last year – will light up stages across Sydney, providing the soundtrack to the city’s favourite festival.

Highlights include:

VIVID LIGHT

Over 90 light installations and projections created by 180 Australian and international artists across seven precincts will light up Vivid Sydney 2017. Some highlights include:

  • Lighting Of The Sails – Audio Creatures: Dive into an indescribable world of colour and light, from pulsating sea creatures lurking deep in the harbour to shimmering plant life above it, in this audio and visual feast projected on the city’s ultimate canvas, the sails of the Sydney Opera House. (Circular Quay)
  • Trapdoor: Did the earth move for you? Step into this incredible optical illusion if you dare and see a spectacular, mysterious, cavernous underworld open before your eyes – and under your feet. Fantastical floor murals and sensational scene swaps spring to life to tell the stories of Barangaroo. (Barangaroo South)
  • Magicians Of The Mist: Lasers, fountains, flame jets, music and fireworks will celebrate the power of creativity and innovation through millenia in this spectacular projection show. (Darling Harbour)
  • Electric Forest: Enter a strange world of illuminated plants, illusions and a changing psychoacoustic soundtrack as the forest comes to life, from wild hanging fruits to schools of fish, all projected onto a stunning giant fig tree in this collaborative piece by TAFE NSW art, design, animation and music students. (The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney)
  • Lights For The Wild: Step into the mouth and walk through PJ the Port Jackson Shark, one of the many illuminated sculptures of endangered animals that captivate young and old and shine a light on conservation. (Taronga Zoo)
  • Steampunk Waterworld: No need to go 20,000 leagues under the sea. An incredible submerged steampunk water world of lights, sounds and special effects inspired by the likes of Jules Verne awaits at the Reflection Pool in The Concourse. (Chatswood)

VIVID MUSIC

More than 400 music events and creative collaborations will entertain audiences across 40 venues, including:

  • Curve Ball: After a sensational debut last year, creatives, artists and musicians return to deliver another immersive audio and visual spectacular combining quality dance music and stunning visuals. This large scale live music event curated by Fuzzy music will feature SAFIA, Client Liason, and Tkay Maidza (3pm-10pm Sunday 11 June, Carriageworks).
  • Hidden Sydney – The Glittering Mile: An exhilarating excursion into the roller coaster ride that is the story of Kings Cross and the colourful cast of characters that gave it its gritty, glittery history. (25 May – 18 June, The World Bar, Kings Cross).
  • Nick Murphy (formerly known as ‘Chet Faker’) Presents Missing Link: Something old, something new. The Charismatic hit-maker premieres new material and resurrects old favourites in an ambitious in-the-round performance. (1 to 3 June, Sydney Opera House).
  • Dappled Cities: Sydney based indie rock band Dappled Cities present their new album IIIII (pronounced five). Combining their trademark layered soundscape with an immersive lighting spectacle the one-off concert will showcase the characteristic ethereal melodies and textures that have made Dappled Cities one of the most beloved indie bands to emerge from Sydney over the past two decades. (4 June, City Recital Hall)

VIVID IDEAS

Over 280 Vivid Ideas sessions featuring 370 speakers from 12 countries across 67 venues will ignite conversation among visitors, including:

  • Game-Changer: What’s the buzz? Find out what the future holds for media in the social age at this talk from the Web’s king of viral content, Buzzfeed founder, CEO and media visionary Jonah Peretti. (28 May, City Recital Hall)
  • Game-Changer: Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone will appear in conversation with Margaret Pomeranz. The Hollywood veteran is lauded for some of the most influential films of our time. (28 May, City Recital Hall)
  • Game-Changer: One of the world’s most respected street artists, the iconic Shepard Fairey will create one of his largest public murals ever in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. Best known for his Barack Obama HOPE campaign, and this year’s ‘We The People’ initiative, Shepard will be sharing his do-it-yourself approach, his career highlights, and how he managed to turn his creativity into an authentic voice in street culture. (17 June, Sydney Town Hall)
  • The Sunrise Conference: Hear directly from start-up founders fostering an innovative start up ecosystem. They’re contrarians, innovators and entrepreneurs and they’re sharing their stories and insights into the future of technology and business. (31 May, Carriageworks)
  • Semi Permanent: Attend live events, workshops and presentations from trailblazers that are shaking things up as they design the future at this series of interactive, immersive experiences, with innovators from Getty Images, Nike, Uber, Google and more. (25-27 May, Carriageworks)
  • Good Design Festival: Join designing minds and check out the annual award winners and experience the world’s best design, creativity and innovation in everything from cars and furniture to gadgets and apps at the free Good Design Showcase Exhibition. (8 – 11 June, Overseas Passenger Terminal)

TOP TIPS FOR VISITORS

Make the most of your Vivid Sydney experience with these handy hints:

  • Time it right – Early in the festival, early in the week and early in the evening are the most relaxed times to enjoy Vivid Sydney. Lights on at 6pm.
  • Get an even earlier start – It’s lights on from 5:30pm at Taronga Zoo and Chatswood – ideal to get young children home for bedtime or take in the lights before dining out.
  • Travel smart – Vivid Sydney precincts are close to public transport links and extra train and bus services will operate throughout the festival. The best train stations to access Vivid Sydney precincts are Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Martin Place and Chatswood. Exhibition Centre and Convention are the best Light Rail stops for the Darling Harbour precinct.
  • Leave the car at home – Extensive city road closures and special event clearways will be in place in the CBD and The Rocks and will make driving and parking difficult, so leave your car at home and take public transport.
  • Stay up to date – Keep a Vivid Sydney planner in your pocket using the smartphone app or website on your mobile device for the latest information and locations. Download the Vivid Sydney app or visit the Vivid Sydney website at vividsydney.com.
  • Keep kids safe – Pick up a wristband from Vivid Sydney information booths at Darling Harbour, Customs House & West Circular Quay, add your contact number and pop it on your childrens’ wrists to make it easy to be reunited should you get separated.
  • Help is at hand – Look for Vivid Sydney’s friendly army of volunteers in their bright pink jackets who are there to answer your questions or point you in the right direction.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Delicious Bites With A Side Of Lights

What’s on the menu at Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney will serve-up its biggest and tastiest program to date, when the lights switch on from Friday 26 May – Saturday 17 June 2017.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney, Sandra Chipchase said, “Vivid Sydney is a celebration of creativity and innovation that is reflected across Light, Music, Ideas and even the extensive menus on offer, which promises to cater for all tastes and budgets.

“Some of Sydney’s best food purveyors, restaurateurs, producers and suppliers will showcase the latest food trends and cooking techniques, as they offer Vivid-inspired treats to suit all visitors.”

This year, Vivid Sydney visitors will be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing from a number of our restaurants and bars. It is recommend diners plan their evenings and book ahead to ensure they can enjoy the full culinary experiences on offer over a number of nights during the festival.

Here’s a taste of what’s on the menu:

  • For the first time at Vivid Sydney, chef and Potts Point local, Kylie Kwong will host a series of special communal dinners. ‘Kylie’s Table’ will celebrate the spirit of Billy Kwong’s mantra; Celebration, Collaboration, Community. On each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening during Vivid Sydney, Kylie will personally welcome guests, and create a bespoke menu of Billy Kwong favourites including dishes that celebrate collaborations within the local community. Bookings are essential via 02 9332 3300 or enquiries@billykwong.com.au. Cost: $120 per person.
  • Martin Place will be a foodie hotspot once again as production powerhouse Motti+Smith returns with Lux Populi, to showcase one of Sydney’s hottest food trends, smoking. Porteno will lead an Argentinian menu, with meats cooked on an open fire fuelled by wood and coal. Joined by special guest chefs, Luke Powell (LP Quality Meats) and Ibrahim Kasif (Stanbuli), special Vivid Sydney-inspired specials will run each week of the Festival. James Squire Beer & Cider, Archie Rose Gin and Vodka, Cattleyard Brewing Co. Beer and Azure Wines will all be served at the bar too, letting visitors quench their thirst with some of NSW’s best beverages, whilst devouring some of the best food the city has to offer.
  • Indulgence is on the menu at The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney’s Enchanted Garden Bar and Eatery. Featuring the innovative Nel. restaurant, diners will be able to enjoy the whimsical pop-up including signature dishes of Truffle Hunt Chicken or comforting bread and butter Pudding. Visitors will be able to keep warm at the bar with a cheeky tipple of their signature G&Ts, spiced rum, Glühwein mulled wine, a molten hot chocolate or specialty coffee by Will & Co.
  • Visitors to Sydney’s hottest new dining district and Vivid Sydney precinct, Barangaroo (South) will be spoilt for choice with more than 30 restaurants, cafes and bars open during each night of the festival. Devon Café is going psychedelic with a purple haze sundae, an electric purple ube (purple yam) soft serve with leche flan and taro; Ume Burger has created a wicked Vivid Burger with signature house-made wagyu mince sauce, fries with umami salt, spicy special sauce, tomato, onion, beef patty and cheese; and glowing cocktails are on the menu at Banksii’s Belvedere light bar and Untied’s winter-themed pop-up rooftop bar. Be sure to try the Basil Dazzle and Vivid Spritz.
  • NSW’s top chefs will once again collaborate over food, music, art and design at Carriageworks’ Sydney Table for a series of bespoke dining experiences. The first lucky 100 diners will be able to feast nightly over the four nights from the 14 – 17 June, so get in quick before this one of a kind event sells out. Purchase tickets here. Cost: $200+bf
  • The Night Market will also return to Carriageworks to highlight the very best producers and chefs across Sydney and regional NSW. Curated by Lennox Hastie and inspired by the theme ‘Cooking with Fire’ the market will present guests with the ultimate fire dining experience. Purchase tickets here. Cost: $10+bf
  • Culinary and creative duo Motti + Smith have curated a glow cave of wondrous delights in the Martin Place Vivid Sydney dining precinct. Don your neons, step into the black lit box and light up your senses with glow in the dark desserts, including a glow-in-the-dark donut! Do-nut miss this.
  • The world is on offer in the heart of Chatswood at The District from authentic Asian streetfood in Hawker Lane to a light show with an Italian feast, alfresco style on The Concourse. Burger aficionados will be in heaven when they sink their teeth into Orchard Tavern’s Vivid Sydney burger filled with pig three ways served in a charcoal bun. To finish the night, Choc Pot’s decadent chocolate Vivid Sydney dessert or Passion Tree’s loaded hot chocolates will keep the taste buds entertained with a number of tantalizing flavours including campfire s’mores which will satisfy anybody’s sweet cravings. For more information: https://www.vividsydney.com/precinct/chatswood
  • While enjoying cutting edge performances and immersive theatre at Vivid KX, visitors can enjoy a number of culinary delights at The Apollo, Cho Cho San and Fratelli Paradiso. From Tuesday to Thursday The Apollo will serve an exclusive Chef’s Table menu, and Cho Cho San will offer an exclusive table of ten with a Vivid Sydney inspired menu.
  • Beneath the Sails in the Concert Hall Northern Foyers, Goodgod will debut Vivid LIVE’s first ever sustainable bar concept with the Soft Future Piano Bar. Recline into conversation and indulge in Australia’s best natural wines, slow-cooked meats and charcuterie from Events by Aria, and ambient sounds of synths, all within a zero-waste, pillowy paradise.
  • The Sydney Opera House restaurants will be pairing their exclusive winter dishes with unbeatable harbour views for Vivid Sydney visitors. Enjoy front row sights at Opera Kitchen with a glass of Tempranillo and Dukkah Lamb Cutlets for $30 or a two-course menu created by Portside Sydney’s Head Chef Lauren Murdoch for $55.
  • Westfield Sydney has something for the whole family during Vivid Sydney with a number of exclusive offers, and extended food trading hours for food retailers, most will open until 9pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Enjoy world-class dining options, including Ding Tai Fung, Ippudo, Fratelli Fresh and Grill’d, whilst taking in the interactive light displays of retro childhood games and toys.
  • Macleay Street Bistro celebrates 35 years with the return of Vivid KX’s Hidden Sydney and Kings Bloody Cross with 2 for 1 pre-show cocktails and a 2 course post-show lunch & dinner + a glass of wine for $50 – exclusively to ticket holders. Dinner 7 days, lunch Saturday and Sunday only. For bookings call 02 9358 4891 or reservations@macleaystbistro.com.au
  • Gourmet foodie enthusiasts will be able to enjoy the diverse, distinctive and delicious delights from some of Sydney’s best food trucks, street food vendors and artisan dessert producers at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.
  • Vivid Sydney’s wildest precinct Taronga Zoo will keep visitors well fed at the Taronga Piazza, with an additional pop up selling crowd favourites of delicious chocolate dipped fruit and warm hot beverages. Taronga Food Market and Baker Coffee Maker will also be making an appearance across the concert lawns offering a number of beverages and snacks as visitors travel along the illuminated trail of fully interactive animal lanterns.
  • American Express Card Members can indulge in a delicious meal at one of the 70 restaurants dotted throughout the precincts of Vivid Sydney and receive a dining credit with an equally tantalising offer from Dimmi. Card Members who sync their American Express Card to their Dimmi account, book a participating Dimmi restaurant and spend $50 or more on their synced American Express card will receive a $20 credit (offer limited, valid from 16 May until 30 June, T&Cs apply).

Card Members can also take a load off before walking the Vivid Light Walk, relaxing over refreshments in the American Express Invites Lounge on Level 6 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Visit the www.amex.com.au/vividsydney website for more.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

VIVID IDEAS: The Countdown Begins

Vivid Ideas has launched its full 2017 program online as the countdown to Vivid Sydney begins. The year’s most-anticipated forum for exploring the business of creativity, Vivid Ideas brings luminaries, major players, innovators and emerging talent from across the globe to Sydney. Promising the largest Vivid Ideas yet, this year boasts 284 events across 65 venues, and attracts 541 speakers from more than 12 countries. Vivid Ideas runs 26 May to 17 June, as part of Vivid Sydney: the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.

Among the highlights of Vivid Ideas 2017 will be Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone. The Hollywood veteran will appear in conversation with Margaret Pomeranz on Sunday 28 May at City Recital Hall. Stone has earned a well-respected place in cinematic history. He is lauded for some of the most influential films of our time: Scarface, Midnight Express, Platoon, Wall Street, Natural Born Killers, JFK, Nixon, and The Doors. More recently, films have included the Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and the biographical political thriller, Snowden. Stone is a master at tackling controversial subjects. His films are grand in scale and his hardhitting style takes a realistic and truthful look at the world, which often polarises audiences.

Also in the Game-Changer Talks Series, BuzzFeed Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti will make his first ever appearance in Australia. For his Vivid Ideas discussion on Sunday 28 May at City Recital Hall, Peretti will share his thoughts on the evolution of the media industry. The digital mastermind has spent his career ignoring traditional notions of media. Before launching BuzzFeed, Peretti co-founded The Huffington Post with Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer. He started BuzzFeed in 2006. Under Peretti’s leadership, BuzzFeed has been named Fast Company’s #1 Most Innovative Company with 18 offices, 11 international editions and content that gets an average of 7 billion views monthly. Jonah will be joined by award-winning journalist and anchor of ABC TV’s 7.30 Leigh Sales.

The third speakers in the Game-Changer Talks Series, Shepard Fairey will appear on Saturday 17 June at Sydney Town Hall. Fairey’s body of work includes the OBEY GIANT art project, the Barack Obama HOPE campaign, and this year’s ubiquitous ‘We The People’ initiative. For the first time in 14 years, Shepard returns to Australia to share how he managed to turn his creativity into an authentic voice in street culture. Fairey will also showcase a selection of his music themed works at a free exhibition at Darling Quarter. Plus, for the first time ever in Australia, he will paint and reveal a public art mural at 309 George Street, in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. He will be joined on stage by award-winning journalist and ABC TV’s 7.30 reporter Monique Schafter.

Tickets are also selling fast to other Vivid Ideas highlights across the 23 day festival, including:

SEMI PERMANENT
25-27 May, Carriageworks
The global creative platform celebrates 15 years of creative inspiration this year. Designed to inspire and enable the leaders of tomorrow, this 3e day festival delivers some of the most talented artists and creative icons from across the world. Under the theme ‘designing for change’, this year’s program explores pivotal themes such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, storytelling and urban design. Speakers include: Katherine Keating of VICE, Meirion Pritchard of Nike, Jacqueline Bourke of Getty Images, and designers David Caon, Henry Wilson and Sydney architect Kelvin Ho.

KINGS BLOODY CROSS: TALES OF THE CRIMINALE AND GLITTERATI
27 May – 11 June, The World Bar
Rub shoulders with artists, idealists and opportunists and hear fascinating stories about the past and ‘ungentrified’ Sydney. Wind back the clock to the heady days of rock n roll, corruption, opportunity, free love, as well as politics in the twentieth century. Presented over three weekends, Kings Bloody Cross will engage audiences with thrilling insights into the dirty half mile’s larger-than-life characters. Don’t miss this season of raw and riveting ‘in conversation’ events featuring Kinds Cross luminaries.

CHAMPIONING THE ENTREPRENEURS’ JOURNEY
29 May, Vivid Ideas Exchange, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
An inspiring panel of young business leaders share their insights and the secrets behind a startup that succeeds. This event brings together a diverse range of visionaries from fashion and digital marketing, through to property and ecommerce — all with one common thread: entrepreneurial business success. Together they explore how trust, respect, collaboration, and a thirst for learning have enabled their businesses to thrive. Panelists include: Chris Gray (Your Empire) who started buying property at age 22, semi-retired at age 31, and currently holds over $15m in his property portfolio; Gina Lednyak (L&A Social) who since launching a social media and digital agency has doubled its size and revenue each year (and Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year award in 2016); and Jane Lu (Showpo) who swapped careers from business analyst to fashion entrepreneur and owner of Showpo – the online shopping site with a 2.5M social following and $25M revenue.

INSIGHT: THE BUSINESS OF FILM
29 May, Golden Age Cinema
Learn the realities of what goes on behind the camera from some of Australia’s most successful stars of the big screen, providing personal insights into life in front and behind the camera. Three film industry heavyweights explore their career highlights and challenges in addition to the phenomenal rise of local talent and the inherent pull of Hollywood, the mechanics of the Australian film industry and the future of funding. Leading Australian big talents include: Actor Susie Porter, Director Brendan Fletcher and Producer Jan Chapman.

BIG IDEAS IN PLACE: PLACE LEADERS ASIA PACIFIC CONFERENCE 2017
29-31 May, The Connection, Rhodes
This conference is a global platform bringing together leading voices, makers, activators and visionaries from across the Asia Pacific to share, provoke, challenge, and discover. Together these place making experts will explore the biggest trends and ideas shaping the future of urban development across the planet. The conference looks for big ideas that respond to global trends, as fresh insights into the place making industry to create vibrant places for today and tomorrow.

THE SUNRISE CONFERENCE 2017
31 May, Carriageworks
Driven by Australia’s start-up success, The Sunrise delves deeper into the future of technology, business and fostering an innovative start-up. It takes you into the minds of Australia’s most successful start-up founders to tell their stories. These entrepreneurs think differently. They are often outcasts and they have the ability to magic ideas into existence. The Sunrise brings together many of Australia’s brightest stars of business to show how companies were born and scaled. Speakers include: Shan Lyn Ma of online wedding registry Zola, plus Jodie Fox Co-Founder ShoesOfPrey.com.

CURVY: CREATIVE WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
1-4 June, Old Clare Hotel
Now in its eleventh year, this event is an annual showcase of tenacious, boundary-breaking women who are leading the world’s creative circles. CURVY is a platform for creative women to connect, share and learn. It is designed to help creative women to unlock their strengths, talents and capacity to influence change. Speakers include Ainsley Hutchence: Co-Creator of content disrupters Sticks and Stones, Alexandra Sloane: Head of Marketing for Facebook Australia and New Zealand, and Eleanore Pendleton: celebrated influencer and founder of online beauty magazine Gritty Pretty.

NEW BEGINNINGS FAIR
2 June, Overseas Passenger Terminal
Want to be your own boss but need a little inspiration? Or perhaps your business is stuck on the first floor when you know the penthouse awaits. New Beginnings is the first step to taking that leap to a new career. Featuring some of Australia’s most successful startup female entrepreneurs in fashion retail, it is a one day festival of inspirational speakers, practical workshops and vendor markets. Speakers include: Victoria Beattie: Co-Founder of The Beach People; Candice Rose-O’Rourke: Zulu & Zephyr Creator and Alex McBride of The 5th.

HUMAN AND THE MACHINE:
2 June, Vivid Ideas Exchange, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Artificial Intelligence is embedding itself in every industry across the globe. If the last ten years were about building AI to help automate and complete process-driven tasks, the next ten will be focused on building AI into the creative disciplines. The field of computational creativity, or creative AI, is growing at a rapid pace. We are just at the beginning of understanding the amazing, unforeseen, and potentially positive impacts AI will have on creativity. Led by a keynote from creative technologist Ross Goddwin, co-creator of Sunspring, the world’s first film entirely written by an artificial intelligence bot. This talk will explore how A.I will democratise, distribute and escalate creativity through a panel discussion of leaders from across the creative industries.

INDUSTRIAL EVOLUTION: OLD + NEW = CREATIVE SURVIVAL
3 June, Vivid Ideas Exchange, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
As the digital meteor smashes traditional models of creative industry, clever creatives are finding new ways to evolve the old into the beautiful new. From ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’: self-published fan fiction which became an international best-seller, to ‘In Rainbows’: the Radiohead studio album released via ‘pay what you want’, examples are endless of skilled creatives making it in the digital domain. Together, convention and creativity are starting to work together to develop dazzling new models for distribution, broadcast and audience engagement. However, evolution is painful. Only the fittest and most adaptable will survive. So what is the difference between creative practices that will thrive, and those that may not be as lucky in the digital age?

CLIPPED MUSIC VIDEO FESTIVAL
3 June, Sunstudios Australia
CLIPPED is Australia’s premier platform for celebrating the best music video making talents today. Following its first festival in 2016, Clipped returns to celebrate the best music video production from across Australia and overseas. It comprises an exhibition, video screening, award ceremony, live music, and discussions panels with leading creatives. Headlining will be American video director Warren Fu who has worked with the best in the business including Daft Punk, The Weeknd, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams, The Strokes, The Killers, Depeche Mode, Weezer, Mark Ronson, and Aaliyah.

FRESHFLIX EMERGING FILMMAKERS’ CONFERENCE
3-4 June, Giant Dwarf
This short film festival started in a backyard overlooking the ocean in Sydney’s northern beaches and has since toured to warehouses, cafes, breweries and courtyards. Showcasing the best in international and Aussie independent film, Freshflix brings workshops, filmmaker talks and industry speed-dating to set the emerging Aussie filmmaker up with everything they need to get started. Freshflix promises two days and nights of live music and art, good food, great company and quality films for the latest season of Freshflix.

I’LL BE HAPPY WHEN
7 June, DesignByThem Showroom
Perfection is paralysing. How does a creative mind know when the work is finished? Perfection is something that blocks many creatives from achieving their goals and making their ideas viable. With insights from the world of interior design, fashion, graphics, furniture and art, this event will dissect a topic every creative has faced at some time. They will be diving into the gritty decisions, compromises, shortcomings and wins to find out where the line is drawn between success and satisfaction. Joining this panel: Kirsten Stanisich (SJB Interiors), Vince Frost (Frost*collective), Bianca Spender (Bianca Spender), and Sarah Gibson (DesignByThem).

GOOD DESIGN FESTIVAL
8-11 June, Overseas Passenger Terminal
Sydney’s biggest celebration of cutting-edge design and innovation, the 2017 Good Design Festival showcases the very best in Australian creativity. The exhibition unveils latest innovations in product, digital, architectural and communication design, as social innovation and design enterprise. Good Design last year attracted more than 10,000 visitors. It is expected to do the same this year. Expect a cutting edge and fascinating showcase of the most exciting design minds working in Australia today.

PATHWAY TO PLATFORM: WOMEN MAKING IT IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
10 June, Vivid Ideas Exchange, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
The road to recognition in music can be long and bumpy. The final products often seem glamorous but in reality there is usually an untold story of financial setbacks and emotional turmoil. For every chart-topping album, orchestral performance and celebrated film score, there is a story of hard work and tough lessons learned along the way. Presented by Music Love, this session explores the journeys of four female panelists and their road to success. It provides first-hand accounts of tips and tricks, traps to avoid and who you can trust to make it in the music business today.

SARTORIAL: WHERE DIGITAL ART MEETS FASHION AND TECHNOLOGY
10 June, The Connection, Rhodes
Rhodes Creative will team up with the creative minds artists behind dLux Media Arts to bring you sARTorial: part art installation and part fashion parade. This exciting initiative explores the relationship between fashion and electronics through a cutting edge showcase of interactive designs. sARTorial fosters collaboration and skills-sharing between artists, designers, and technophiles and showcases the latest possibilities in wearable art and technology. Experience the future of fashion. See beautiful outfits, experience interactive augmented reality art and hit the dance floor for the most original and fashion-forward party Sydney has ever seen.

THE LOVE AND STRUGGLE IN CREATIVE FOOD CAREERS
11 June, Vivid Ideas Exchange, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Having a niche is supposed to secure success in the highly competitive food-lovers market. But that is no longer enough to survive in the digital age. This event explores the global phenomenon of creative food careers from food photography, cake design, and dining experience, to food art fueled by social media. Today’s niche easily becomes tomorrow’s cliché. So how do leading food creatives consistently stay on top of the game? Speakers to answer that questions include: Clayton Wells, Automata; Danling Xiao, Founder Mundane Matters; Katherine Sabbath, Cake Creative and more.

VIZBI
14-16 June, University of Sydney and the Vivid Ideas Exchange, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
Presented in Australia for the first time, VIZBI is the world’s leading conference on Visualising Biological Data. Life science experts from across the globe will explore key advances in molecular biology, biomedical science and ecology. The VIZBI community includes data scientists, computer scientists, bioinformaticians, medical illustrators, graphic designers and artists. Sydney-siders can also see behind the scenes of this fascinating industry at Vizbi Plus: which includes keynote speaker Emmy and BAFTA awards-winning biomedical animator Drew Berry whose works are held in international museum collections such as the Guggenheim and MOMA.

About Vivid Ideas

Vivid Ideas is Asia Pacific’s annual celebration of innovation, creativity and change community, and is held as part of Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas. Vivid Ideas brings the world’s greatest minds, innovators and industry leaders to Sydney to build engagement between the creative industries and the broader economy, exploring trends, movements and opportunities that shape society and business through public talks, industry seminars, conferences, workshops and debates. Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency and runs 26 May to 17 June 2017.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Spotlight: ‘Vivid Sydney”s Wildest Precinct Roars To Life After Sundown

Giant illuminated sculptures shine a light on conservation at ‘Vivid Sydney At Taronga Zoo’

Taronga Zoo’s colourful cast of giant, illuminated endangered animal sculptures return with 5 new additions & surprises including a 20-metre walk-through Port Jackson shark when Vivid Sydney’s wildest precinct lights up to enchant visitors of all ages & continue its conversation about conservation from the 26th of May to the 17th of June 2017.

Minister For Tourism & Major Events, Adam Marshall, said Taronga Zoo will return to the Vivid festival line-up with new & exciting installations as well as all the crowd favourites.

“After the success of Vivid Sydney At Taronga Zoo in 2016, the Lights For The Wild will return to entertain both the young & young at heart. This year, crowd favourites will be joined by exciting newcomers including PJ the shark, an animated pelican, a family of silverback gorillas, a Tasmanian devil with its baby & a swarm of buzzing bees”

Environment Minister, Gabrielle Upton, said this exhibition would delight visitors after the permanent Zoo residents have retired for the night.

“The Zoo’s Vivid display tells an important conservation story with the lanterns raising awareness of the plight of these animals & how we can all help and support Taronga’s work” Miss Upton said.

Highlights include:

  • PJ the Port Jackson shark: Walk through PJ’s gaping jaws & stroll through this 20.6 metre giant Port Jackson shark.
  • Gorillagram: Pose for a happy snap with 2 large, interactive silverback gorilla lanterns & post it to Instagram and use the power of social media to spread the Zoo’s conservation message to your followers.
  • Floating stingray: This new addition is made from recycled milk bottles collected from schools & businesses within the local community in an effort to promote the need to keep our environment clean from litter.
  • You become a Light For The Wild too: For the 1st time, visitors can become part of this fully immersive experience, interacting with the light sculptures like never before with a free, state-of-the-art wristband for all ticket holders.
  • Get a bird’s eye view from Sky Safari: A limited number of Blue Pass tickets that include a round trip on Taronga’s Sky Safari cable car will be available each night to see the Vivid Sydney At Taronga Zoo experience from the sky, after dark & illuminated in all its glory.

Entry to Taronga Zoo is via the main upper entrance on Bradley’s Head Road only.

Additional Information:

What: Vivid Sydney At Taronga Zoo

Where: Taronga Zoo, Mosman.

Sessions: Tickets can be purchased for 2 session times:

  • Session 1 – 5:30pm–7:30pm AEST
  • Session 2 – 7:30pm–9:30pm AEST

Tickets: Pre-purchase your tickets at taronga.org.au/vivid:

  • Adult – AUD$21.95 + booking fee
  • Child (4-15 years) – AUD$16.95 + booking fee
  • Child  (under 4 years) – AUD$0

Note: Last entry at 8:30pm AEST

Taronga Zoo is not for profit. All ticket proceeds go directly back to work in conservation & wildlife care.

About Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, music & ideas, which for 23 days – from the 26th of May to the 17th of June 2017 – transforms the ‘Harbour City’ with its unique, colourful, creative canvas. In 2016, Vivid Sydney attracted a record 2.31 million attendees. Vivid Sydney is owned, managed & produced by Destination New South Wales (NSW), the NSW Government’s tourism & major events agency. Vivid Sydney features large scale light installations & projections – Vivid Light; music performances & collaborations – Vivid Music (including Vivid LIVE At The Sydney Opera House); & creative ideas, discussion and debate – Vivid Ideas, all celebrating Sydney as the creative hub of the Asia-Pacific. Vivid Sydney is in its 9th year. For more information, visit www.vividsydney.com.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

‘Vivid Sydney’ With Kids: Top Tips For Spectacular Family Friendly Fun

There is more to see & do at this year’s bigger, bolder, brighter festival

Winter favourite Vivid Sydney returns in 2017 with a bigger family-friendly offering than ever before. Over 23 nights, there are over 100 family-friendly installations & events including 32 Vivid Ideas & Music events.

From Friday the 26th of May to Saturday the 17th of June, Vivid Sydney – proudly owned, managed & produced by Destination New South Wales (NSW) – will transform the city into a creative canvas. Light installations & projections will illuminate iconic buildings & locations including new precinct Barangaroo (South) & returning favourites, the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, The Rocks, Martin Place, Darling Harbour, Chatswood, the Royal Botanic Gardens Taronga Zoo.

NSW Minister For Tourism & Major Events, Adam Marshall, said “Vivid Sydney is family-friendly and jam-packed with fantastic fun programming & importantly for parents, most of the festival is free & available for all to enjoy. There is so much to see, do, discover & be entertained by, it is the ultimate family excursion that entertains the little ones & turns grown-ups into kids at heart”

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney, Sandra Chipchase, said “Each year, Vivid Sydney presents a family-friendly program that delights & entertains children of all ages. Interactive installations give youngsters the ability to control light, colour and sound & create amazing, magical landscapes through touch and movement while other activities inspired by gaming, music-making & future worlds cater to the interests of older kids and teens”

Family-friendly highlights include Vivid Ideas’ Rhodes: Creative in Rhodes including the Human Friendship Robot Ball, where kids can learn, interact & dance with humanoid robots called ‘NAO-bots’. Get the whole family swinging with Vivid Lights at Freedom Of Movement at Dawes Point, an interactive, larger-than-life set of humble swings that combine the wonder of motion with colour, light, sound & performance. Vivid Music presents 2 of the kids’ favourite activities mashed-up for a 2-week-long free festival: the Silent Disco Ice Skating Rink in Central Park combines a live disc jockey set played through individual headphones with the magic & excitement of ice-skating.

OTHER FAMILY HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

0 – 6 Years: Bubs To Pre-Schoolers

Vivid Sydney’s youngest visitors can watch light and colour dance & animations come to life. They will enjoy interactive installations featuring giant friendly flowers, favourite animals & a fantastical fairytale world where colours, sounds & forms change simply by moving, touching or walking past something. Highlights include:

  • Dipping Birds (The Royal Botanic Gardens) Just like the ‘drinking bird’ novelty toy perched on a glass, these brightly coloured, spindly legged, 2 metre tall birds bob up & down seeking a drink of water too, changing colour as they quench their thirst.
  • The Sunflowers (The Royal Botanic Gardens) – Kids will be delighted by this joyous creation. Charming, giant sustainable sunflowers welcome you with a bow as you walk by at night, using solar energy they harnessed during the day.
  • Never Ends (The Rocks) – A lone illuminated rocking horse on a platform 4 metres in diameter, waiting for a rider. Hop on for a ride into the night & everything changes as you create a fairy-tale setting.
  • Lights For The Wild (Taronga Zoo) – After the permanent zoo residents have retired for the night, the giant light sculptures of endangered animals take centre stage along an illuminated trail of interactive animal lanterns with crowd favourites including the Asian Elephant & toothy Sumatran Tiger joined by new additions: Gorillagram, Pelican, Tasmanian Devil, a swarm of tiny buzzing bees & PJ, a 20 metre walk-through Port Jackson Shark.

7 – 11 Years: Primary Schoolers

Activities that tap into primary school-aged children’s natural curiosity & sense of discovery through exploration and play include watching combat action with Australia’s best robots battling it out & making their own interactive creation by giving coding a crack. Youngsters will burn off energy at installations that challenge them to get involved from jumping over cracks to swinging giant, colour-changing balls.

  • Don’t Step On The Crack (Alfred Street, Sydney) – You might have childhood memories of not stepping on cracks in the footpath but never like this. Kids jump over illuminated cracks, cross boundaries & question what really lies beneath the surface.
  • Cradle (Customs House Square) – The coolest physics lesson ever. Kids can channel their inner Isaac Newton & give 5 giant illuminated spheres a gentle push so they swing back & forth, changing colour every time they touch.
  • {Kids/Code/Create} (27th of May, 10am – 3pm, Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo) – Presented by Code Club Australia, kids are inspired to create a project using code, light & music. Parents can learn what all the fuss is about & give it a go too! Tickets can be purchased via www.vividsydney.com/event/ideas/kidscodecreate-1.

12+ Years: High Schoolers

Pre-teens can interact with installations featuring favourite teen activities including making music & playing video games. They can also get their hands on some of the coolest technology around at events featuring 3 dimensional (3D) printing, coding & robotics.

  • SYDNEYLAND (Pertain Precinct in The Domain. Best viewed from Circular Quay) – Ooh snap! Paired with its very own geotag, teens can pose for a Hollywood-style Sydney selfie & share it with friends and followers via Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat.
  • MailboX (The Rocks) – Part video game, part post box: Posting a letter has never been this much fun. By interacting with MailboX’s game inspired design & tapping at different places, teens can help create anything from an emoji to a smiling koala.
  • Gen XI: Educating The Next Generation (28th of May & 4th of June, 9am – 4pm, Surry Hills) – Calling all budding change-makers, problem solvers & inventors! Learn to tap your imagination & turn it into tangible prototypes at this interactive 1 day Vivid Ideas workshop for 14 to 18 year olds. Tickets can be purchased via www.vividsydney.com/event/ideas/gen-xi-educating-next-generation-innovators.
  • Rhodes: Creative (Rhodes) – Curious kids who enjoy creating cool things with the latest technology will enjoy this program of masterclasses, workshops, activities & talks on 3D printing, robotics, wearable art & technology.
  • Future City, Smart City (Chatswood) – What teen does not love a funky, retro-futuristic smart city? That is what they will find in Chatswood, where the central business district is reinvented with ingenious, steampunk installations & light sculptures inspired by 19th century steam-powered machinery. Follow a flight to an airborne, sustainable community then return to Earth & discover the submerged magic of Steampunk Waterworld & try to solve hidden light messages sent by Crossword.

TOP TIPS FOR FAMILIES TO MAKE THE MOST OF VIVID SYDNEY

  • Visit early in the week – Monday to Wednesday are quieter compared to Friday & Saturday.
  • Visit early in the evening – Experience the wonders of Vivid Sydney when the lights go on at 6pm. It is lights on at 5:30pm at Chatswood & Taronga Zoo – ideal for taking in the lights, grabbing an early dinner & getting the family home for bedtime.
  • Visit more times for more fun – It is impossible to see everything in 1 night. Plan your visit & travel to different precincts on different days.

On the city side, Barangaroo (South) & nearby Darling Harbour could be done in 1 night. Arrive by train at Wynyard, take the Wynyard Walk tunnel straight to Barangaroo (South) to experience TrapdoorA Day In The Light before journeying past the Australian National Maritime Museum which will be illuminated with the projection, Inspire By The Sea, then arriving at the spectacular water theatre spectacle, Magicians In The Mist.

On the north side, Chatswood & Taronga Zoo are best done in separate visits. Send the kids ‘back to the future’ to learn about the steampunk era at Chatswood & grab dinner from one of the many food offerings. Head to Taronga Zoo on another night to see giant animal multimedia light sculptures & make the most of one of the Lights For The Wild sessions. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.taronga.org.au/vivid.

  • Visit by public transport – Leave the car at home (extensive road closures will be in place). Take advantage of extra bus & train services during the festival instead.
  • Visit a Vivid Information Booth & get an identification wristband for children – Wristbands are available at Darling Harbour, Customs House & West Circular Quay. Add your contact number & put them on your children’s wrists to make it easier to be reunited should you be separated at any time. Be sure to keep an eye out for Vivid Sydney’s friendly army of volunteers in their bright pink jacket. They can answer any questions or point you in the right direction.
  • Visit prepared – Planning your visit beforehand is simple with precinct and accessibility maps, transport options & activities available at www.vividsydney.com or through the festival smartphone application.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Note: All times are in Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

Future Sydney NYE Fireworks Producer To Be Decided As Iconic Party Is Cancelled

The pyrotechnic company who will produce the fireworks displays for Sydney New Year’s Eve (NYE) for at least the next 2 years will be decided in the next week.

Sydney NYE pyrotechnic displays have only ever been done by 2 companies – Syd Howard Fireworks (1976-1999) & Foti International Fireworks (since 1997).

3 companies have put their names forward for the iconic role. They include:

  • Fireworks Australia Importers Proprietary Limited (Pty Ltd)
  • Foti International Fireworks Pty Ltd
  • Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics

The companies are required to provide a 5 year strategic plan for the Sydney NYE fireworks displays demonstrating creative, technological, operational & environmental innovation to ensure the sustainability of Sydney NYE. They also have to demonstrate to the City Of Sydney that they have experience providing fireworks displays at major world recognized events or iconic locations.

As the name suggests, Fireworks Australia Importers Pty Ltd focuses on the purchasing of fireworks from overseas but they occasionally produce full-scale fireworks displays. Whilst a showreel couldn’t be found, it seems their most frequently produced fireworks display to date is the Australia Day fireworks in Canberra:

Out of the 3 bidders, Foti International and Howard & Sons are the ones to watch though:

Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics

Foti International Fireworks Pty Ltd

Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics will be Foti International’s biggest rival in the tender process but if the pattern of the last 17 years suggests anything, Foti International would win the tender. If Howard & Sons wins the tender, it would likely see a clear change in the choreography of the Sydney NYE fireworks in a more spectacular direction. It would be a breath of fresh air. Nevertheless, Foti International still produce spectacular fireworks displays & easily have the ability to match Howard & Sons if the latter won the tender and made the Sydney NYE fireworks even more spectacular.

City Of Sydney staff have recommended, to the City Of Sydney’s Corporate, Finance, Properties & Tenders Committee, which met today, a tender offer to be accepted & for the City Of Sydney’s Chief Executive Officer to negotiate, execute & administer the resulting contract between the City Of Sydney & the winning fireworks producer.

If the recommendation was accepted today by the Corporate, Finance, Properties & Tenders Committee, the City Of Sydney Council will then also have to approve the recommendation next week after which it will be implemented.

The contracts must be signed by the end of this month to ensure there is enough time to design & produce the fireworks displays. After 2018, the contract can be extended for another 3 years until 2021 if they choose to exercise that option.

The looming decision on the Sydney NYE fireworks producer comes after the City Of Sydney also decided for the event to cancel it’s iconic Lord Mayor’s Party.

Reported by Central Sydney (of The Daily Telegraph), the annual cost of the Lord Mayor’s Party, which is AUD$760,000, will be redirected to initiatives under the City Of Sydney’s 2016-2021 Environmental Action Strategy.

In recent years, the Lord Mayor’s Party has been criticized by fellow City Of Sydney Councillors as a waste of ratepayers money due to it’s cost & exclusivity.

That combined with future building works around the Northern Forecourt of the Sydney Opera House, where the Lord Mayor’s Party was held, would result in a newly negotiated arrangement by the City Of Sydney with the Sydney Opera House for the use of the venue on NYE. This was the catalyst for the sudden cancellation as it “…would be costly — and we are not going to do that” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“[The NYE party has] become quite sophisticated and iconic & that’s been fantastic & I think everyone has really appreciated it but I think now we have got to look very carefully about how we do all these things we want to do & I think it is just what we have to do” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

The annual Lord Mayor’s Picnic (held at the Royal Botanic Gardens) and Very Important Person (VIP) Viewing Area (held at Hickson Road Reserve) will still be held though but with the latter, it seems it will be downsized as Central Sydney reports that “the large scale catering and entertainment will not be a part of the (VIP Viewing Area) plan”.

The Lord Mayor’s Party was created in 1996 & formed the stage for the annual television (TV) broadcast of Sydney NYE every year until 2015, which is when the Australian Broadcasting Corporation moved the TV broadcast to the Southern Forecourt, a free public vantage point.

The TV broadcast base will be relocated as a result of the Lord Mayor’s Party cancellation. If this refers to the place where the hosts (e.g. Richard Wilkins etc.) are located, the most likeliest place for a new TV broadcast base is at the VIP Viewing Area at Hickson Road Reserve on Dawes Point (near the south-east pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge), which was the base for Telstra’s YouTube broadcasts of the event in 2013 & 2014.

If it instead refers to the technical side of broadcasting, it could be relocated to the Southern Forecourt of the Sydney Opera House where the hosts currently broadcast from or high up in a top secret location in one of Sydney’s skyscrapers where an event command centre exists. Another event command centre, which was based at the Lord Mayor’s Party, will also be relocated, probably merged with the remaining event command centre that we just mentioned.

As for the now empty Northern Forecourt of the Sydney Opera House on NYE, the question turns to whether the Sydney Opera House makes it a free or ticketed vantage point once the building works are complete?

In previous years, the Sydney Opera House has been a combined free/ticketed vantage point with all but the Southern Forecourt and a small portion of the Northern Forecourt free.

The Northern Forecourt has an iconic view & while during the building works it will probably be a free vantage point, once the building works are complete, it will probably become a ticketed vantage point just like most of the Sydney Opera House is already on NYE.

Update (24/05/2017): The Sydney Opera House responded: “Confirming the Northern Broadwalk was not available to the Lord Mayor for New Year’s Eve 2017 due to building works underway at the Opera House. We’re currently assessing how we can best utilise this space for the 2017 NYE celebrations”