Vivid Sydney 2017: Bigger, Bolder, Brighter

New precinct at Barangaroo
Expanded Royal Botanic Gardens footprint
Goldfrapp, AIR & Nick Murphy for Vivid Music
United States contemporary artist, Shepard Fairey headlines Vivid Ideas

The world’s largest festival of light, music & ideas, Vivid Sydney returns bigger, bolder & brighter in 2017 with a new precinct at Barangaroo, an expanded Light Walk through the Royal Botanic Gardens & imaginary creatures that will transform the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

Over 23 nights from Friday the 26th of May to Saturday the 17th of June, Vivid Light will transform the cityscape into a creative canvas, take over Sydney stages with Vivid Music’s biggest program to date & provide a global forum for creative conversations at Vivid Ideas.

Vivid Sydney is owned, managed & produced by the New South Wales (NSW) Government’s tourism & major events agency, Destination NSW.

Vivid Light

For the 1st time, Vivid Sydney’s vibrant kaleidoscope will stream into a new precinct at Barangaroo with a trail of installations winding through intimate laneways, past waterfront vistas & into a foodie paradise. Visitors will be immersed in A Day In The Light, an outdoor theatre of light and sound that lets them become part of the artwork & treated to optical illusions at Trapdoor, which tells the stories of Barangaroo’s past.

The festival’s bright lights will return to the Royal Botanic Gardens with an expanded trail that will take visitors through the heart of the beautiful harbourside oasis. Here, Birds Of Lumos, inspired by the rare rowi species of the New Zealand kiwi, will come to life as they glow & pulse with colour. The nostalgic Dipping Birds, giant 2.5 metre illuminated sculptures, will change colour as they dip back and forth into a pond & quirky installation You Lookin’ At Me? will turn heads as big glaring eyes follow passers-by. A pop-up landmark celebrating our Harbour city, Sydneyland, will provide a beautiful & iconic photo backdrop for visitors & locals.

At the heart of the Vivid Light Walk, the sails of the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House will be bought to life by a series of imaginary creatures curated & designed by acclaimed cinematographer, editor & graphic designer, Ash Bolland. Audio Creatures will show creatures interacting with the environment, morphing & moving between each other across the iconic sails.

The city’s icons will once again be transformed including the façade of the Museum Of Contemporary Art with Organic Vibrations, a collaboration between Australian artist Julia Gorman & the Paris-based creative and artistic collective, Danny Rose. Interactive lighting display Dreamscape will let visitors put their own colourful mark on the city’s skyline from Circular Quay along the Cahill Expressway to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney, Sandra Chipchase, said “In 2016, a record-breaking 2.31 million visitors came to Vivid Sydney, which is testament to the festival’s impressive line-up, continued innovation & growth over the past 9 years”

Vivid Sydney in 2017 will impress with a robust program across Vivid Light, Music & Ideas so now is the time for visitors to start planning their trip so they can be inspired visually, creatively & musically at Vivid Sydney

Popular precincts, Chatswood, Taronga Zoo, Martin Place & Darling Harbour will return in 2017.

The buildings, shopping malls, streets & laneways of Chatswood’s central business district (CBD) will be reinvented as a retrofuturistic smart city called Future City, Smart City with ingenious installations & light sculptures inspired by the ‘steampunk’ design aesthetic of 19th century steam-powered machinery.

Lights For The Wild at Taronga Zoo will return featuring giant animal light sculptures that wowed visitors when they made their debut last year. A few new characters & surprises will join the 2016 favourites including a swarm of buzzing bees & a giant interactive Port Jackson shark.

Martin Place will be home to Sydney’s most popular food & beverage purveyors alongside grand, interactive light installations. Highlights include a new version of the multi-award winning 3 dimension-mapped projection Urban Tree 2.0 & Deep Forest, an urban jungle for feasting featuring an open flame fire-pit with barbeque treats from Porteño & some of NSW’s best fire chefs.

28 tonnes of water will be thrown into the air every minute whilst lasers, flame jets, music & fireworks combine in a celebration of the power of creativity & innovation at Darling Harbour. Magicians Of The Mist water theatre will be a spectacular display of technology & art defining the digital era.

Vivid Music

The beat of the Vivid Music program is stronger than ever with over 250 events in this year’s line-up. Highlights include an Australian exclusive performance by electronic pop duo Goldfrapp and the return of Curve Ball: a large-scale live music & art event created by Fuzzy Music, both at Carriageworks.

Popular Vivid Music events return including Heaps Gay, Soul Of Sydney, Purple Sneakers & The Argyle’s Tokyo Disco.

Vivid LIVE At The Sydney Opera House will deliver an eclectic suite of not-to-be-missed performances from influential American folk-rock band, Fleet Foxes, French electronic superheroes, AIR, British singer & songwriter, Laura Marling, & producer and bonafide hit-maker, Australia’s Nick Murphy.

City Recital Hall breaks from its’ classical roots with an incredible program – Metamorphosis – serving up everything from jazz & dance anthems to multisensory masterpieces. Sydney-based indie rock band, Dappled Cities, will launch their new album IIIII (pronounced 5), Grammy Award-winning jazz singer, Dianne Reeves, will take to the stage in a special one-off performance & Paul Mac will host a Sound Bubble Sound Party.

In a Vivid Music first, Vivid Sydney has partnered with the City Of Sydney to deliver a program across a multitude of city venues. Showcasing grassroots & emerging local music talent, highlights will include a new roof-top festival from Cake Wines, Pie In The Sky & a showcase of Women In Electronic Music at Oxford Art Factory.

Kings Cross returns with an exciting line-up of performance music, art, ‘Avant Cabaret’ & cutting-edge, independent and immersive theatre with a bohemian flavour, part of the Vivid KX program.

Vivid Ideas

The Vivid Ideas program will continue to challenge & inspire with more than 200 events exploring the changing face of the creative industries. Iconic American artist Shepard Fairey, who blurs the boundaries of art & design, headlines the Vivid Ideas line-up. His body of work includes his Barack Obama HOPE campaign, the OBEY GIANT art project & this year’s ubiquitous We The People initiative.

In a Vivid Sydney exclusive, Fairey will share his do-it-yourself approach, career highlights & how he managed to turn his creativity into an authentic voice about street culture. He will also create a large scale public mural live on a wall in Sydney’s CBD & some of his most famous works to date will be part of a pop-up exhibition at the Darling Quarter.

Throughout the city, a series of conferences will connect start-ups, emerging talent, practitioners & entrepreneurs with world-class creators & thought-leaders. Highlights include The Sunrise, which connects start-ups with successful founders; Semi Permanent, returning with a series of interactive, immersive experiences featuring leaders from Getty Images, NIKE, Google and more & family-favourite, Robowars, where some of the country’s best engineers & robotic experts put their self-built robots to battle.

The Vivid Ideas Exchange at the Museum Of Contemporary Art also boasts a diverse line-up of talks presented by creative practitioners covering topics from fashion to place-making, storytelling, ageism, marketing pitching, health, innovation, big data & mixed reality.

Vivid Sydney Sponsors

Vivid Sydney thanks its sponsors for their support of the festival in 2017 including partners, Huawei, Ford and American Express & supporters, Allianz, Canon, City Of Sydney, NSW Department Of Industry, Google, Oracle Liquid, Property NSW, Sensis, Sydney Airport, Sydney Opera House, Technical And Further Education NSW, Technical Direction Company & 32 Hundred Lighting. Vivid Sydney’s access & inclusion partner is Cushman And Wakefield & the festival continues its sustainability partnership with the Banksia Foundation.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney