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:


  • 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)


  • 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)


  • 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.