Spotlight: Feast In The Forest As Martin Place Morphs Into An Urban Jungle

Lights, cameras, appetites: The heart of the city sparkles for ‘Vivid Sydney’

It is Martin Place – but not as you know it – when the heart of the city centre comes to life after dark as an utopian urban jungle & sizzling foodie hotspot during Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music & ideas, on until the 17th of June.

Visitors will be surrounded by the colour, movement, sounds & smells of incredible installations and projections including forests, frogs and fountains created by some of the world’s most innovative light artists & complemented by food prepared by some of New South Wales (NSW)’s best chefs & producers.

Porteño will lead an Argentinian inspired menu of NSW meats cooked over an open flame fire-pit while visitors can quench their thirst with some of NSW’s best beverages with James Squire Beer & Cider, Archie Rose Gin and Vodka, Cattleyard Brewing Co. Beer & Azure Wines all served at the bar.

Culinary & creative duo, Motti + Smith, have curated an epic partnership between sweet legends Black Star Pastry & N2 Extreme Gelato to produce a glow cave of wondrous delights. Don your neons, step into the black lit box & light up your senses with tasty treats including a glow in the dark donut.

Sandra Chipchase, Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney said: “Visitors will literally see Martin Place in a new light when some of the world’s best creative & technological wizards join forces with some of the state’s most creative chefs in a showcase of grand, interactive installations & spectacular culinary collaborations that bring the precinct to life during Vivid Sydney

Program highlights include:

  • Urban Tree 2.0 – The mushroom-shaped CTA building is transformed into a giant luminous mushroom-shaped tree teeming with exotic creatures where rivers flow, plant-life grows & a glowing frog tries to catch a caterpillar for dinner.
  • Atmos – Starry, starry night: A magical, overhead display of rippling, ghost-like scrims & ribbons above the dining area, recreating the majesty of our ‘Southern Lights’, the Aurora Australis.
  • re/FRACTION – The 20-metre undulating, curved water veil of the Lloyd Rees Fountain – a very familiar landmark – reinvented in a most unexpected way, using light to add vibrancy & moments of newfound delight. The Fountain comes to life every night by throwing brilliantly glittering, refracted light across the Fountain’s length, filling the cascade with vibrant colour, movement & animated characters.
  • Twelve-Tone – Play these 12 interactive, illuminated stacks, representing the musical tones that make up an octave, to create hologram-like visual effects and patterns & hear the sounds of the musical scale.
  • Deep Forest – Explore an oasis created by the fusion of artists & chefs where forest & feasting come to the urban jungle of Martin Place, designed by production powerhouse Motti+Smith.
  • Waratah – To honour this iconic plant native to NSW, this huge, interactive, inflatable light sculpture gives visitors a larger-than-life experience of the aesthetics of this magnificent bloom.
  • Lux Populi – Soaring 10 metres above the forest floor with a kilometre of glowing neon rope reflecting off the skyscrapers in the finance district, this tree-like installation transforms glass & concrete into a sparkling corridor of light. Below, the chefs from renowned restaurant Porteño will cook a genuine Argentine barbecue on an open fire fueled by wood & coal. They will be joined by special guest chefs, Luke Powell (LP) (LP Quality Meats) & Ibrahim Kasif (Stanbuli), with Vivid Sydney-inspired specials that will run each night of the festival.

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 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

Media Release: Vivid Sydney