Calling Creative Innovators To Be Part Of ‘Vivid Sydney’ 2018

Vivid Sydney is inviting Expressions Of Interest (EOI) from individuals & organisations across the creative industries spectrum to participate in the world’s largest festival of light, music & ideas in 2018.

Minister For Tourism & Major Events, Adam Marshall, said “Vivid Sydney brings together leading global creative innovators for 23 days & this year, attracted a record 2.33 million attendees from around the world”

“The festival celebrates its 9th anniversary in 2018 & is set to be another spectacular display of art, technology & innovation. It is undoubtedly a grand platform for artists, musicians, creative professionals, educators and businesses to showcase their expertise to local and international audiences & I encourage everyone to submit their EOI and be part of this exceptional event” he said.

The Vivid Sydney EOI invites submissions across the festival’s 3 program pillars – Light, Music & Ideas.

Vivid Light transforms the city into a kaleidoscope of colour with awe-inspiring light sculptures & large-scale architectural projections onto iconic landmarks. Artists, designers, creative industry practitioners, equipment suppliers, businesses & educational institutions are invited to present their ideas, designs, concepts & interest for inclusion in Vivid Light.

Vivid Music features an extensive program of performance, multi-genre musical collaborations, contemporary and experimental music at venues across Sydney & includes the Vivid X|CELERATE program, a partnership with the City Of Sydney which is devoted to celebrating Sydney’s blossoming musical talent by awarding grants & marketing support to venues, artists & promoters with good ideas. Submissions are being sought from across the industry including music venues, producers, promoters, industry associations & innovators interested in being part of Vivid Music.

Vivid Ideas celebrates & champions creativity & innovation; connecting audiences & creative professionals with world-class creators, makers & thinkers, to share cutting-edge insights, market and industry updates & building tools and skills for the future. Events which ignite a national conversation, bring professional practitioners to Sydney for training and development & which actively build networks throughout the Asia-Pacific region are sought for Vivid Ideas.

To register your interest in being part of Vivid Sydney 2018, visit

Applications close at 5pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday the 7th of November 2017.

Vivid Sydney is owned, managed & produced by Destination New South Wales (NSW), the NSW Government’s tourism & major events agency. Vivid Sydney will be held from Friday the 25th of May to Saturday the 16th of June 2018.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Opinion: Has Sydney Reached Peak ‘Vivid’?

On Tuesday, Vivid Sydney revealed this year’s attendance figures – a record 2.33 million people over the event’s 23 days but this also represented the slowest growth in the event’s history at 1% up on the previous year. In other words, just an extra 20,000 visitors.

Attendance growth has been declining since after 2014  – the year after the Sydney Harbour Bridge was introduced into the event – and by this trend, should mean future editions of the event would have smaller crowds than in previous editions which has never happened before. This is because next year could see Vivid entering negative growth for the 1st time.

Graph showing the growth of attendance year on year since the 2010 edition (2nd ever edition)

The only good news is that interstate & international visitation, at 247,712 visitors, is still growing at 35% up on last year. This should signal that the Sydney/New South Wales (NSW) market for Vivid has reached it’s peak. In regards to Sydneysiders and NSW residents, this means the number of first-time visitors to Vivid Sydney is now being outweighed by the number of visitors who think the event is no longer worth visiting.

This could be the result of several effects:

  • Crowd Levels

The crowds have been increasing year on year particularly in the ‘iconic’ area of Vivid Sydney – Circular Quay. Due to a combination of a rare East Coast Low & poor crowd control for the increased attendance after that weather event, last year’s event saw near-crowd crushes occur. Organisers have since improved their crowd management arrangements and had the fortune of no significant weather events this year too. On weekends, crowds around Circular Quay have reached uncomfortable levels resulting in the weekend visitors not returning as regularly as they should due to the experience, particularly as their availability to visit on other nights is more limited due to work and school etc. even if they are local. This is no doubt a contributing factor.

  • Terrorism Fears

Whilst the least likeliest of the reasons to be contributing, the pedestrian nature of Vivid Sydney combined with the road closures & very high crowd levels, in today’s environment, may be enough to put people off particularly once they have visited the event for the 1st time, knowing they have experienced it once in their lives, they don’t have to risk it again.

  • Innovation Perception

Vivid Sydney consists of 3 parts – Light, Music & Ideas. The latter two only make up approximately 14% of the event’s visitation. This is partly because they are ticketed niche events in limited capacity venues. Vivid Light, therefore, is the main attraction. It is a free mainstream event & in venues without capacity limits (though if crowds do increase any further, capacity limits may be needed. Good thing they already implement crowd controls on the busy nights!). No wonder it makes up 86% of Vivid’s visitation!

Vivid Music & Ideas are easy to give people reasons to return to. A new, rather than repeating, line-up of musicians & talkers always allows new audiences to experience these parts of the festival as long as the line-up participants are popular enough to sell significant amounts of tickets. They also increase the possibility of returning visitors as they already know the event’s standard.

Vivid Light, though, is more difficult. To most people, it is just lights & patterns. This is despite new narratives being told via light each year & organisers giving new artists the opportunity to shine. After all, lighting artists aren’t exactly the most well-known type of artists.

This is probably Vivid Sydney‘s biggest problem particularly when combined with the crowd levels. Why return, to suffer in the crowds, when it looks the same as last year? If they want NSW visitors to return, they need to revitalize Vivid Light. Organisers have done this in previous years with the introduction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour in 2013 (to great effect) & Taronga Zoo and the Royal Botanic Gardens in 2016 (both proving popular).

But once introduced though, they don’t visually innovate which sees audiences leaving as they ‘have seen it all before’. For example, the Lighting Of The Sails (Sydney Opera House projection show) was introduced when the event started in 2009 as a projection show of patterns. 8 years later, despite incorporating new narratives, themes & artists to the show annually, still ‘looks the same’ to the everyday person.

Making things look different would help but it will be a great challenge. If this is not solved, Sydney/NSW visitation to Vivid will decline. So let’s assume they don’t visually innovate as the case has been since 2009…

The usual strategy of expanding the event by making ‘major-mini Vivids‘ (complete with their own projection show) in new locations to solve this problem won’t work (though it will solve crowd problems to an extent if they are to iconic locations such as Bondi Beach & Manly) as, unless they visually innovate regularly, it will lead them back to where they are. It would give a brief one-off attendance boost though.

Given the event is a government event (run by the NSW Government), governments are mainly focused on:

  • Publicity (e.g. social media) – this allows them to promote Sydney to future visitors of Sydney.
  • Revenue (e.g. Music/Ideas ticketing & NSW Government-run public transport) – this goes towards event costs as well as other NSW Government expenditure.
  • Economic Benefits (e.g. gross domestic product growth etc.) – visitors to Vivid increase revenue of businesses such as accommodation, restaurants, airlines etc. which, in turn, raises revenue for other businesses along the supply chain that, again in turn, helps pay their employees & lastly in turn, raises revenue for the NSW Government through taxes etc. to spend on community services (such as Vivid & public transport), which brings the economic cycle back to full circle.

Vivid Sydney currently brings AUD$143 million to the NSW economy.

If organisers decide to focus on interstate/international visitation from now on, given it’s continued growth & increasing economic impact, a reasonable strategy would be to reduce the Vivid Light Walk to it’s 7 ‘must-sees’:

  • The Lighting Of The Sails (Sydney Opera House projection show)
  • 32 Hundred Lighting’s annual Sydney Harbour Bridge & city buildings interactive light display
  • Harbour Lights (Sydney Harbour ferries/boats lit up)
  • Royal Botanic Gardens walking trail
  • Museum Of Contemporary Art projections
  • Customs House projections
  • Cadman’s Cottage projections
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre’s annual projection show on the south-eastern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Plus the other 2 ‘must-sees’:

  • A Light For The Wild (Taronga Zoo)
  • Darling Harbour’s multimedia show

This means all the smaller light exhibits (about 50 in total) along the Vivid Light Walk would disappear, allowing more focus on the internationally iconic light displays & more space for crowds to flow. These smaller light exhibits are targeted more towards Sydneysiders so if organisers want Sydney/NSW visitation to be stable in the short term, another reasonable strategy would be to give these smaller light exhibits new homes in the Sydney suburbs. Chatswood would be a great place to start to test this out but it could be expanded to include certain ferry wharves along Sydney Harbour with it’s nearby parks/public spaces:

  • Manly
  • Parramatta
  • Watsons Bay
  • Cockatoo Island
  • Milsons Point
  • North Sydney
  • Mosman Bay
  • Birchgrove
  • Cabarita
  • Kissing Point

Having them near ferry wharves allows them to be linked to the central Vivid hub of Circular Quay by Harbour Lights. In the end, it depends which Sydneysiders like Vivid the most – is it the ones who live on the Sydney Harbour foreshore, the ones who live in the eastern suburbs or the ones who live in the western suburbs? If they are in places far away from Sydney Harbour like in Campbelltown, maybe they can incorporate Vivid into the rail services with a Light Express or Light Rail (pun intended)? Connecting railway stations could be decorated with lights & maybe some train carriages could be spruced up with special lights for the occasion. Other locations that could accommodate the small light exhibits could include:

  • Fort Denison
  • Other Sydney Harbour Islands
  • Barangaroo Reserve, Barangaroo

We said earlier that moving to new locations would not work but just to emphasize what we said earlier, that is only if they do not visually innovate those locations each year so if they move the smaller light exhibits to the above locations, it should work as long as new small light exhibits that look completely different from previous years’ exhibits are put on display each year.

Given it is a NSW Government event, smaller crowds can provide incredible political ammunition particularly when the event is spectacular, extravagant & expensive (Vivid costs nearly AUD$8 million – slightly more expensive than Sydney New Year’s Eve). It also does not help when climate change, electricity prices & economic downturns are political issues as they increase the motivation for political opponents to attack the NSW Government for producing an event that less and less people attend.

As long as Vivid Sydney attracts sufficient positive publicity & produces a profit or economic growth that outweighs the event’s costs, the NSW Government is going to support it even if attendance declines. If Vivid does not do one of them or crowds begin to decline, political opponents will begin to argue that:

  1. The NSW Government mismanages events or;
  2. People have forgotten or are going to forgot it’s existence hence argument 4 (below) or;
  3. People do not care about it anymore hence argument 4 (below) or;
  4. It is a waste of taxpayers money.

If crowds begin to decline next year, political debate could begin. Of course, like I said earlier, visual innovation is key here & could allow all that to be avoided. But if the status quo remains unchanged, crowds will decline, likely to result in major changes that do not help the event regrow (such as less lights) especially if interstate/international visitation declines too. The latter would guarantee all the arguments to be thrown at the NSW Government as it allows the failure of all key factors for government events. The NSW Government, unless they visually innovate the event, would, as a result of growing pressure, withdraw Vivid‘s funds resulting in it’s obvious cancellation.

Vivid Sydney Attendance
Graph showing Vivid Sydney’s attendance to date, our predicted attendance rates & what the attendance trend would have been had attendances not grow even further in 2013 when the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour were incorporated into the event for the 1st time

At the current rate, Vivid may cease to exist in 4 years. We hope not. So if you are not from Australia or from interstate & wish to experience Vivid Sydney in all it’s glory, it’s probably time for you to check it out. Just in case the lights switch off…permanently.

And if you are from Sydney or NSW, try & support Vivid by attending next year (particularly if you have never been) or encourage your friends/family members who haven’t been before to go & see it for the 1st time. It is a truly iconic Australian event, a Sydney Spectacular. Otherwise, you must be over Vivid so prepare for a eventual return to Sydney’s dim & empty winters unless, of course, organisers revitalize the event beyond our wildest dreams leaving us no choice but to visit again!

So Sydney, are you really over Vivid? It seems like you are.

If you are from Sydney or NSW, tell us what would bring you back to Vivid. Is it more security, better crowd management or just something new and worthy of seeing? Tell us in the feedback form below:

NSW To Boost Japanese Tourist Numbers: Global Launch For ‘Vivid’ 2018 Dates

New South Wales (NSW) Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has invited the largest ever Japanese travel trade delegation to visit Vivid Sydney 2018 in a bid to build on the record number of tourists who took part in this year’s festival.

Japan is the 6th largest market for international visitors to the state. In the year ending in March 2017, NSW welcomed 165,000 Japanese visitors who stayed 3.1 million nights & contributed an estimated AUD$339 million to the NSW visitor economy.

Ms Berejiklian made the announcement in Tokyo overnight at the global launch of the Vivid Sydney 2018 dates.

“We are seeing a resurgence of Japanese visitors to our shores & we want to see that grow even further” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Not only is this great for forging closer ties with Japan but more tourists coming to NSW is vitally important for our local economy”

Ms Berejiklian announced that the NSW Government’s tourism & major events agency, Destination NSW, had invited a record 50 Japanese travel agents & wholesalers to experience Vivid Sydney 2018.

“This will be the largest ever Japanese travel trade delegation to be invited to come & experience Vivid Sydney first hand & then return home to sell Vivid Sydney packages for 2019” the Premier said.

In 2017, 5,062 Vivid Sydney packages were sold to visitors from Japan, up from 4,710 packages in 2016 (a 7.5% increase).

Ms Berejiklian revealed a record 2.33 million people attended this year’s Vivid festival.

Vivid Sydney 2017 attracted 247,712 national & international visitors, an increase of around 35% on 2016. These visitors stayed a total of 804,399 nights (up 30%) & contributed over AUD$143 million (up 30%) to the NSW economy.

Vivid Sydney 2018 will be held from May 25th to June 16th.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Darling Harbour Shines As An Illuminated Playground During ‘Vivid Sydney’

Walls of water, fantastical fountains, fireworks & family fun

Vivid Sydney has turned Darling Harbour into a night time playground featuring spectacular light shows that include projections, water fountains, lasers, fireballs & fireworks.

Destination New South Wales (NSW) Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer Of Vivid Sydney, Sandra Chipchase, said “As a Vivid Sydney precinct, Darling Harbour is much loved by families who enjoy its wide-open spaces, easy accessibility and proximity to public transport & a huge array of restaurants and cafes. The precinct’s large scale projections & interactive installations cater for families of all ages”

Visitors who work up an appetite taking in the lights & sights will not leave the entertainment hub hungry with plenty of food options to choose from at Cockle Bay Wharf, Harbourside, Darling Quarter & King Street Wharf.

Darling Harbour is walking distance to the nearby Barangaroo (South) light precinct where Vivid Sydney’s magic continues until the 17th of June.

Darling Harbour highlights include:

  • Tumbalong Lights: Take open space, the night sky & add 32 extraordinary dazzling beams of moving light. The result? A stunning exhibit where spotlights create patterns over visitors as they walk between the suspended lights within Tumbalong Park. Visitors to Tumbalong Lights can check in at the Huawei Phone Booth to capture & share a souvenir GIF featuring the light beams shooting into the night sky as the backdrop.
  • Magicians Of The Mist: This extraordinary showcase of art & technology features huge projections of mystical beings shone onto walls of water 60 metres wide & 40 metres high while 12 massive pumps throw 28 tonnes of water into the air every minute. The spectacle is enhanced with lasers, searchlights, jets of flame, music & fireworks. The Magicians Of The Mist show plays every half an hour from 6pm-11pm AEST nightly with fireworks added to the 7pm & 8:30pm shows each Friday & Saturday. An extra fireworks display has now been added at 7pm on Sunday the 11th of June 2017.
  • The Gift Of Sight: Journey into the darkness armed with a special ultraviolet (UV) flashlight to discover incredible artworks created with invisible UV ink in this spellbinding installation from The Fred Hollows Foundation as it celebrates 25 years of saving sight.
  • The Light Playground at Darling Quarter: Bring the kids & explore this dazzling interactive installation featuring 3 different play spaces in modified shipping containers. Enjoy Giant Light Bright’s over-sized interactive black pegboard, Light Bubble Forest, where illuminated 1.5 metre high columns are filled with thousands of colour changing bubbles & Glow In The Dark Illumination, showcasing black light luminescence. Disc jockeys entertain the crowd from 6pm to 10pm AEST Thursday to Sunday.
  • Inspired By The Sea: The wave-like roof of the Australian National Maritime Museum is the canvas for a spectacular projection that showcases the sea’s majesty, mystery & its power to influence artists, writers and collections. This stunning projection is a collaboration with University Of Technology Sydney animation students.
  • Expressive mobile technology: Visit the Huawei Hub for an interactive multimedia experience of sound, light & art featuring animated faces on the new Huawei P10 phone.
  • Revolutions by Shepard Fairey: A free, outdoor exhibition of the 16 large-scale, music-themed artworks of iconic American artist, Shepard Fairey, known around the world for his iconic imagery including the Barack Obama HOPE poster campaign & album cover art for bands from Led Zeppelin to The Smashing Pumpkins. Each artwork is printed on wood panels & showcases his signature style and passion for music culture. (26th of May – 17th of June, 1-25 Harbour Street, Darling Quarter)

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

‘Vivid Sydney’ Breaks Global Record

124,128 lights send ‘Vivid Sydney’ installation into the
‘Guinness World Records’™ books

Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music & ideas, has once again cemented itself as a record-breaking international event. Guinness World Records, the global authority on record breaking, has awarded Vivid Sydney installation, Dreamscape, with the title for the ‘Largest interactive lighting display’.

Made of 124,128 lights, Dreamscape, created by Vivid Sydney veteran, 32 Hundred Lighting, links the entire Circular Quay precinct from the iconic Sydney Opera House to the Sydney Harbour Bridge into 1 cohesive canvas of light. It allows participants to decide the colour, texture & pattern of the lighting across the cityscape via 3-dimensional interactive modelling in a control room in Circular Quay. With the simple touch of a button, Vivid Sydney guests of any age have the power to create their own masterpiece, using the ‘Harbour City’ as their muse.

In achieving the Guinness World Records title, Dreamscape trumped its own Vivid Sydney 2016 predecessor, Dress Circle, which was also a 32 Hundred Lighting creation that illuminated Circular Quay. This year, the addition of the Cahill Expressway to the installation adds an additional 1 kilometre of lights to the record.

Sandra Chipchase, Chief Executive Officer Of Destination New South Wales & Executive Producer Of Vivid Sydney, said “Each year when we produce Vivid Sydney, we want interstate and international visitors to be awed by what they see & we want locals to be proud of what our city brings to the world. Breaking a Guinness World Records title shows the global calibre of our festival & breaking our own title shows that we will never rest on our laurels”

Iain Reed, Managing Director Of 32 Hundred Lighting, said “We are beyond thrilled to break our own Guinness World Records title & be internationally recognised for our work. Our team is so passionate about what we do & it is a pleasure to be part of Vivid Sydney once again, illuminating this great city!”

Those wanting the opportunity to experience & interact with the record-breaking installation have until the 17th of June to head down to Vivid Sydney & join in the action.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

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

‘Vivid Sydney’ 2017’s Record Opening

The opening weekend of Vivid Sydney has seen more than 326,000 attendees take in the world’s largest festival of light, music & ideas.

Minister For Tourism & Major Events, Adam Marshall, said “Vivid Sydney promised to return bigger, bolder & brighter with a program that would delight visitors from around the world & it has certainly achieved that with more than 326,000 attendees celebrating the opening weekend”

“The festival continues to be warmly received & we have already seen a 10% increase on last year’s opening weekend attendance which is fantastic news for the state’s visitor economy”

“With more than 2 weeks of Vivid Sydney remaining, there is still plenty of time to be part of Australia’s largest event. With a remarkable line-up of events still to come, I encourage everyone to plan ahead & visit more than once to get the most out of their Vivid Sydney experience”

Families can start their Vivid Sydney experience earlier in the evening with lights on at 5:30pm AEST at Chatswood’s futuristic steampunk world & Taronga Zoo’s Lights For The Wild. Darling Harbour’s Magicians Of The Mist & the immersive Trapdoor at Vivid Sydney’s new precinct Barangaroo (South) are also proving popular for families.

The Light Walk continues to impress & extends from The Rocks to Circular Quay where the city’s laneways feature many hidden gems & into the Royal Botanic Gardens which is delighting visitors with grand sunflowers and Birds Of Lumos. Martin Place is also winning foodie fans with its gourmet delights & Urban Tree 2.0.

Highlights still to come include Vivid Ideas Game-Changer, Shepard Fairey, who will live paint a mural in the central business district as well as a huge program of music events across the city including Curve Ball at Carriageworks & the Eye Live Project at Sydney Tower Eye.

Visitors to Vivid Sydney are encouraged to plan ahead & take advantage of the extra 9,000 public transport services running during the festival & importantly, to leave the car at home.

Vivid Sydney is owned, managed & produced by Destination New South Wales (NSW), the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency & continues until Saturday the 17th of June 2017. For more information, visit

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

‘Vivid Sydney’: How To Shine On Your Digital Device

The wonder of Vivid Sydney 2017 will be enjoyed through an exclusively designed Snapchat lens, live streams on Facebook, a specially curated Spotify playlist as well as an improved smartphone application & website, further enhancing the Vivid Sydney experience for visitors.

Destination New South Wales Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney, Sandra Chipchase, announced the new digital innovations today.

“Vivid Sydney 2017 will be bigger, bolder and brighter than ever before, and we’re making sure the digital experience for our visitors is as well,” Ms Chipchase said.

“Last year Vivid Sydney attracted a record 2.31 million attendees, and this year we expect the festival to be just as popular”

“We know how important digital technology is to people’s lives, and we encourage all visitors to Vivid Sydney to share their images and experiences on their digital platforms”

“At its core, Vivid Sydney is about embracing new technologies, and our digital offering must reflect that” she said.

In 2017 Snapchat will offer a specially designed lens – an animated graphic which can be overlayed on a user’s face to augment the image. The exclusive Vivid Sydney lens, inspired by the animated Vivid Sydney ribbon graphic, will see neon patterns layered over the face of the person in the picture.

Snapchat Geofilters will also be available, providing a fun way for visitors to share where they are by adding a location overlay to their Snap. Vivid Sydney has exclusively reserved five geographic precincts including Circular Quay, Taronga Zoo, Tumbalong Park, Kings Cross and the MCA throughout the festival.

“As Snapchat users pass into the precinct they will be able to choose from the set of five geo-filters, which will in turn encourage attendees to make sure they explore multiple precincts to collect the full Vivid Sydney set,” Ms Chipchase said.

In another first, Vivid Sydney 2017 will also offer audio files via its smartphone application and website, which provide an audio description of each light installation and key venue.

“People who use the Vivid Sydney 2017 smartphone application will be able to listen to audio descriptions of the artworks, with beacon technology triggering the files to play as people pass by each artwork and through the different precincts,” Ms Chipchase said.

Vivid Sydney’s musical director Stephen Ferris is also partnering with Spotify to create a Vivid Sydney playlist.

“Stephen will curate a playlist with music from Vivid Music and Vivid LIVE’s impressive list of artists,” Ms Chipchase said.

The Vivid Sydney 2017 native smartphone application will also include improved navigation, usability, push notifications, and calendar and event ticket integration.

To visit the Vivid Sydney 2017 website go to

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

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.

Spotlight: Full Steam Ahead For ‘Vivid Sydney’ In Chatswood

Ride the steampunk wave into a funky, retro-futuristic smart city

There will be something old & something new as retro & future worlds collide when Vivid Sydney morphs Chatswood into a steampunk-themed world where technology & light fuses with 19th century steam-powered machinery. Interactive light installations will transform the Chatswood central business district into a funky smart city complete with people-powered steam engines, a giant drumming octopus, underwater worlds & sustainable cities perched in the sky as the bustling precinct is reinvented.

New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian said: “As the Member for Willoughby, I am proud that Chatswood is part of Australia’s largest event which entertains locals & visitors alike, attracting a record 2.31 million visitors & injecting $110 million into NSW’s visitor economy last year alone”

“Since 2015, Chatswood has delighted visitors with thought-provoking creative works, bringing cultures, communities, artists & local businesses together while delivering these tremendous benefits to the NSW economy. This year is no exception & is set to amaze and delight with an explosion of light & colour.”

NSW Minister For Tourism & Major Events, Adam Marshall, said: “Chatswood is a vibrant, bustling destination that goes from strength to strength as a Vivid Sydney precinct. This year’s light installations will again amaze, inspire and engage visitors & get them thinking too, with projections shining a light on future worlds & sustainable communities. As a thriving retail & dining hotspot, visitors will be spoilt for choice with so many options on the menu to make their trip to Vivid a complete night out.”

Highlights include:

  • Voxelscape: Cue the lights! Exit the Interchange & enter a 3-dimensional lightshow as more than 9,000 light-emitting diode spheres glow in the vast air space above you – all viewable from any level of the Chatswood Interchange.
  • Gear Shift: Help create this amazing, pulsating, people-powered steam engine simply by moving. This extreme-resolution interactive projection uses intelligent motion tracking to shift, pump & turn in perpetual motion.
  • Future City, Smart City: A fantastical future world is waiting to be discovered. You will see people take to the air in whimsical airships & an airborne, sustainable community emerge in the sky in this feature projection on the futuristic sails of The Concourse.
  • Steampunk Waterworld: What lies beneath? Peer into the reflection pool on The Concourse to discover the magic of this submerged world that pays homage to the likes of Jules Verne through light, sound & special effects.
  • Crossword: What will you say? All is revealed when you wander through a glimmering canopy of light in Chatswood Mall to the Victor Street intersection & discover this installation sending hidden messages mid-air & onto revellers.
  • Light Bounce: Those who cannot wait for sundown to enjoy the lights can wander through an enchanting, sparkling forest of refractive light in a captivating daytime installation at Chatswood Chase Sydney.
  • Go on a food adventure: Visitors can enjoy dozens of dining options throughout the precinct. Take a foodie journey around the world with international cuisines at The District at Chatswood Interchange, a stroll down Hawker Lane for authentic Asian street-food at Westfield Chatswood, see the light show while dining alfresco on The Concourse, or tuck into specially created Vivid dishes, from Orchard Tavern’s Vivid Burger to The Choc Pot’s decadent Chocolate Vivid Dessert.

Vivid Sydney will light up Chatswood from 5:30pm – 10:30pm every evening from Friday the 26th of May to Saturday the 17th of June. Light Bounce at Chatswood Chase Sydney will operate from 9am – 5:30pm daily & until 9pm on Thursdays.

About Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, music & ideas, which for 23 days – from 26 May to 17 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 & 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

Note: All times are AEST.