Spotlight: Royal Botanic Gardens

Charming cast of characters sends an illuminating message

Rock walls, tree canopies & the trunks of 100-year-old Ficus plants will be transformed into living canvases as Vivid Sydney artists’ unleash their creativity & put the environment in the spotlight when the Royal Botanic Gardens returns bigger, bolder & brighter for this year’s Vivid Sydney festival.

Art, technology, flora & fauna will combine in a captivating showcase of light installations featuring cutting edge developments in projection, lighting & sound that will entertain & delight visitors as well as explore important conservation issues.

Minister For Tourism and Major Events & Assistant Minister For Skills, Adam Marshall, said “One of this year’s highlights at the Royal Botanic Gardens is Electric Forest, a dynamic collaboration between Vivid Sydney and Tertiary & Further Education New South Wales (TAFE NSW), designed & constructed by current TAFE NSW students.

Electric Forest features music, lighting design, animation and projection-mapping onto the Gardens’ magnificent fig trees & is designed to highlight both the natural beauty of the Royal Botanic Gardens and the talents of the next generation of designers, 3-dimensional artists, animators & electronic musicians”

Executive Director Of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kim Ellis, said “Vivid Sydney is an awe-inspiring festival of light that dazzles & entertains us all with its brilliant cacophony of colours. It is also a powerful platform for artists & creative thinkers to challenge, provoke & encourage visitors to ponder bigger issues”

“This year’s lights will help spread a valuable message around sustainability & the importance of protecting fragile ecosystems delivered in the most captivating, natural botanical environment of all, the Royal Botanic Gardens”

Highlights include:

  • Birds Of Lumos: Birds of a feather? This illuminating mum & chick representing the rare rowi species of kiwi will melt hearts & highlight the importance of conservation when they come to life and try to avoid danger as visitors gather around them.
  • The Sunflowers: Ain’t no sunshine at night but that will not stop these charming, enormous potted sunflowers bowing down to welcome you as you pass by. This joyous, sustainable light sculpture uses solar energy harnessed by day to captivate visitors by night.
  • Spreading Life: Inspired by that most natural (and magical) of experiences: blowing on a dandelion. This installation captures the delicate moment when a dandelion’s seeds float off & spread through the air; a passage of nature — that shows us that as a flower dies, others are born.
  • You Lookin’ At Me?: The eyes have it in this captivating installation. A Vivid Sydney-take on the paintings where eyes follow your every move, you will encounter 5 giant, glaring, glowing eyeballs scattered across the grass. Watch them watch you – and find out what happens if you venture too close.
  • The Big Red Button: Will you press the button? This playful light sculpture dangles a carrot to the curious as it questions our impact on the environment & efforts being made to protect it. Will you be tempted to press the giant red button marked ‘Do Not Press’? And what will happen to the green environment if you do?
  • Dipping Birds: These sticky beaks are thirsty birds. A Vivid Sydney twist on the novelty ‘drinking bird’ toy that perched on the rim of a glass, 2 enormous bobbing birds stand over 2 metres tall in a pond in this hypnotic installation. The child in everyone will delight in the charming spectacle as the drinking buddies & the water change colour as they quench their thirst.
  • Waratah: Plants are more like us than we think. Find out how when this majestic, larger-than-life inflatable native flowering plant (and floral emblem of NSW) responds playfully & emotionally to sound and movement when visitors walk up & make direct contact.
  • Taste The Garden: Enchanted Garden Bar & Eatery is a whimsical & enchanted pop-up bar & eatery hosted by Wat’s On Events featuring the progressive & innovative Nel. Restaurant. From the Eatery, enjoy truffles & edible soil to bread & butter pudding with apple compote & cinnamon ice cream. At the Bar, toast the lights or keep warm with a cheeky tipple or two from the signature drinks list featuring gin & tonics, spiced rum, glühwein-mulled wine, molten hot chocolate & speciality coffee by Will & Co.

Vivid Sydney at the Royal Botanic Gardens runs from 6pm to 11pm AEST every night from the 26th of May to the 17th of June.


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 and 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


Founded by Governor Macquarie on the traditional land of the Gadigal people, the Royal Botanic Gardens is Australia’s 1st scientific institution & oldest living botanic gardens. It has & continues to be a favourite place for visitors & Sydneysiders alike to come to share, to relax, to discover & to be inspired. For the 1stt time in its history, the Gardens partnered with Vivid Sydney in 2016 to light up & open up its gates after dark to celebrate its 200th birthday year milestone.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Spotlight: Barangaroo’s ‘Vivid Sydney’ Debut Delivers A Feast For All The Senses

Spectacular lights, sights & delicious delights at ‘Vivid Sydney’’s newest precinct

Sydney’s newest waterfront destination will burst into a spectacular kaleidoscope of light, colour & sound when Barangaroo (South) makes its Vivid Sydney debut with an illuminated trail of light installations from the 26th of May to the 17th of June 2017.

NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall said: “For the first time Australia’s largest event will encompass Barangaroo (South) with a remarkable program that showcases Sydney’s newest harbourisde precinct to visitors from around the world.”

“Visitors to Vivid Sydney’s newest CBD precinct will uncover secret worlds and create their own universe as they wander and weave through the streets and laneways of Barangaroo before discovering a delicious dining destination.”

Light installations will be a feast for the senses (and sensors) as visitors become part of the artwork and ‘feel’ sounds matched to changing light; dive deep into the harbour to explore a magical waterworld; unearth the secrets of Barangaroo when the ‘ground’ opens; and go on a global voyage of discovery immersed in a personal sound bubble. Visitors can then enjoy a foodie paradise with the precinct offering a smorgasbord of dining options, whether guests are hungry for a quick ‘grab and go’ meal for their family, or a sit-down dinner to complete their date night.

Vivid Sydney at Barangaroo (South) highlights include:

  • A Day In The Light: Life becomes the art as you move through this immersive, multi-sensory experience, created by renowned French/Italian artistic collective Danny Rose. As light and sound blend to recreate the day from dawn to dark, you’ll ‘feel’ the sound of the changing shades of light.
  • 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.
  • You-niverse: An out of this world experience that puts you at the centre of your own ‘Youniverse’. Pop on the wireless silent disco headphones and go on a voyage of discovery through a kaleidoscope of vibrant visuals and spectacular soundscapes, where you’ll encounter everything from Indigenous Elders and global explorers, to yoga festivals and ‘doof-doof’ music at Australian bush parties.
  • What Lies Beneath: Ever wondered what secrets lurk in the waters of Sydney Harbour? Join a colourful cast of characters from another world as they explore the marvels and mysteries of one the world’s most beautiful bodies of water in this roving piece that will delight the young, and young at heart.
  • Migration: Barangaroo’s harbourside promenade comes to life under an animated canopy of sea creatures. Visitors will be bathed in a beautiful spectrum of blue as they stroll along the harbourside walk, with translucent manta rays floating above them to light the way.

After taking in the bright lights, enjoy a Vivid-inspired cocktail at Banksii, or keep the kids smiling with neon glow-in-the-dark hair spray and face art at Blown Lux, as well as delicious handmade brightly coloured chocolate lollipops at Oh! Boo Chocolates.

Vivid Sydney at Barangaroo (South) is easily accessible from Wynyard Station via Wynyard Walk and is just a short stroll from King Street Wharf and Darling Harbour. Visit & for more information.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

1 Week To Glow!


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:


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)


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)


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)


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
  • 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 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:
  • 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
  • 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 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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

  • 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

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.


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

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
  • 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.


  • 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

  • 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 or through the festival smartphone application.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

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

Spotlight: ‘Vivid Sydney’ Celebrates The Grit & Glitter Of Kings Cross

Masses of music, cult films, mysteries & tales from the underbelly

Buckle up & get ready to paint the town red when Kings Cross is celebrated as a pulsating centre of performance art, immersive theatre, avant-cabaret, music, cult films & nostalgic talking heads as part of Vivid Sydney 2017.

Vivid Sydney Creative Director, Ignatius Jones, said: “For the 1st time, Kings Cross will be an exciting precinct that includes all Vivid Sydney pillars of light, music & ideas called Vivid KX. It is a wonderful mix of genres, theatre, performance, story-telling and light art & it celebrates exactly what makes Kings Cross so special – diversity, creativity, equality & community”

Vivid KX will explore the bohemian underworlds that gave ‘The Cross’ its unique DNA through a genre-bending performance program; pop-up cinema screening the strangest, craziest & best in Australian film & raw and riveting talks of the days of the ‘Golden Mile’.

For the 1st time at Kings Cross, the Coca-Cola billboard will come alive to celebrate the talent, colour, creativity & diversity of Kings Cross. Shot by portrait photographer Katherine Williams, the Characters Of Kings Cross series will feature moving black & white portraits of the individuals that make Kings Cross so special. The projected images will feature on the left-hand side of the sign & will include familiar faces such as Kylie Kwong along with other Kings Cross locals.

The famous Coca-Cola light-emitting diode billboard will for the 1st time in 40 years transform into a continuous light show of vibrant colours & special effects for the entire 23 nights of Vivid Sydney.

Other Vivid KX program highlights include:

  • Welcome To Kings Cross: A dancefloor-driven adventure through diverse genres, eras, movements & vibrant late-night culture in a full-venue experience over 6 floors featuring dozens of disc jockeys (DJs) & one-off performances.
    When: 27th of May
    Where: Kings Cross Hotel
  • Cult Sinema Australiana: Discover the stories behind the stories when Sydney’s cultural underground legends Jay Katz & Miss Death present a subversive program of infamous, legendary & rarely seen cinematic gems in a pop-up cinema including insights & rare commentary from geniuses who created the weird, ultra-camp & high-art masterpieces.
    When: 1st to the 17th of June
    Where: Kings Cross Hotel
  • Murder On The Dancefloor: Who dunnit? Go on a murder mystery tour with this theatrical cocktail-culinary experience. There will be grisly projections & music curated by Australia’s 1st lady of house music, DJ Kate Monroe & a menu of fabulous food and creepy cocktails designed to match the murderous action.
    When: 16th of June
    Where: Crane Bar, Darlinghurst
  • Only Heaven Knows: This beloved musical set in bohemian Kings Cross in the 1940’s & 50’s tells of a young gay man’s discovery of love & life, which, in the heady freedom of the post-war day, is rudely interrupted with the cold winds of intolerance.
    When: 26th of May to the 17th of June
    Where: Hayes Theatre, Potts Point
  • Basement Parties: A daring program of 9 unique, immersive parties in Kings Cross Hotel’s intimate Dive Bar. Bands, DJs, dancers, singers & performers will celebrate something different each night – from glam rock to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
    When: 1st to the 17th of June
    Where: Kings Cross Hotel
  • Hidden Sydney – The Glittering Mile: A wonderfully witty, exceptionally exhilarating cabaret set in a former brothel dedicated to the cast of colourful characters who made the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s the ‘Golden Age Of The Cross’ from standover men, crims & crooks to poets, drag queens, witches & eccentric entertainers.
    When: 26th of May to the 17th of June
    Where: The World Bar
  • Kings Bloody Cross: Discover the grit behind the glitz in these fascinating ‘in conversation’ events. Hear from real-life luminaries, artists, idealists and opportunists who made Kings Cross what it was & lived to tell their tales from the heady days of rock ’n’ roll, free love & corruption to sex, greed & politics.
    When: 27th to the 28th of May, 3rd to the 4th of June, 10th to the 11th of June
    Where: The World Bar & The Wayside Chapel

Now in its 9th year, Vivid Sydney is a major celebration of the creative industries & is owned, managed and produced by Destination New South Wales (NSW), the NSW Government’s tourism & major events agency. Vivid Sydney will run from the 26th of May to the 17th of June 2017.

For more details & to book tickets, visit Coca-Cola is a proud Vivid Precinct Contributor for the Vivid KX program.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Media Visionary Jonah Peretti To Speak At ‘Vivid Sydney’

BuzzFeed Founder & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jonah Peretti, will make his 1st Australian appearance at this year’s Vivid Sydney festival where he will speak at the Vivid Ideas Game-Changer Talks Series.

For his Vivid Ideas discussion at City Recital Hall on Sunday the 28th of May, Peretti will share his thoughts on the evolution of the media industry as well as insights into creative endeavour in the digital age.

The digital mastermind has spent his career ignoring traditional notions of media. Instead, Peretti has focused on how audiences seek, share & engage with content. This approach has earned him the label ‘the web’s king of viral content’ according to Business Insider.

Destination New South Wales CEO & Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney, Sandra Chipchase, said “A pioneer in his field, Jonah Peretti has played a key role in shaping digital publishing globally & he will now share his insights and vision for the future at Vivid Ideas. This is a remarkable opportunity to hear from a global thought leader & we are proud to welcome Jonah Peretti to this year’s dynamic Vivid Sydney program”

On speaking in Australia for the 1st time at Vivid Ideas, Jonah Peretti said “I am thrilled to be coming to Sydney to participate in Vivid. Australia has been a major focus & priority for BuzzFeed since we launched our local edition in 2014 & I am excited to be part of an event so focused on the exchange of creative ideas plus I have avo toast for breakfast almost every day & I cannot wait to try the original!”

Before launching BuzzFeed, Peretti co-founded The Huffington Post along with Arianna Huffington & Kenneth Lerer. He started BuzzFeed in 2006 as an experimental lab focusing on tracking viral content & making things people wanted to share. Under Peretti’s leadership, BuzzFeed has been named Fast Company’s #1 Most Innovative Company with 18 offices, 11 international editions & content that gets an average of 7 billion views each month.

The media visionary places an emphasis on audiences not only consuming content but sharing it as well. Peretti says the BuzzFeed audience prefers & expects content that works across platforms, is relevant to them, easily shareable & globally accessible.

Peretti will join Academy Award-winning director, Oliver Stone & iconic American artist Shepard Fairey in the Vivid Ideas Game-Changer Talks Series. With just 5 weeks to go until Vivid Ideas, tickets are already selling fast for highlight events.

The 2017 Vivid Ideas program is the largest ever featuring more than 200 events & hundreds of speakers from across the globe. Vivid Ideas will continue to challenge, inspire & explore the changing face of the creative industries. A forum for creatives to collaborate, foster business connections & showcase new ideas, Vivid Ideas runs 23 nights from the 26th of May to the 17th of June 2017.

Jonah Peretti will speak as part of the Vivid Ideas Game-Changer Talk Series on Sunday the 28th of May at 1:30pm at City Recital Hall. Tickets are on sale now & available at

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

‘Vivid Music’ Amps Up Extensive Line Up To Reveal Biggest Program Ever

More than 400 events have been revealed as part of Vivid Sydney’s biggest-ever Vivid Music program including the announcement of a 2nd show from global pop icon, Boy George.

After selling out his 1st show, Boy George will perform a 2nd intimate disc jockey (DJ) set on the rooftop of Café del Mar on Saturday the 17th of June against a fabulous backdrop of pyrotechnics & lights at Darling Harbour. Tickets will go on sale 12pm AEST tomorrow, the 20th of April, at

Vivid Music Curator, Stephen Ferris, said “Vivid Music showcases international acts like Boy George & celebrates the diversity and creativity of the local Sydney music scene. Established & emerging artists will perform across a variety of Sydney music venues including The Factory Theatre, Leadbelly Newtown, 107 Presents, Oxford Art Factory & many more as part of the X|CELERATE program in partnership with the City Of Sydney, expanding the Vivid Sydney footprint from the Harbour around the central business district (CBD) into Sydney’s creative Inner West”

Dustin Tebutt will join homegrown singer-songwriter, Lisa Mitchell, at The Factory Theatre in Marrickville on Saturday the 10th of June. The pair will weave their songs together as part of their collaborative Distant Call tour, performing each other’s popular hits & new music.

Exclusive to Vivid Music 2017, Heaps High, a new club night by Heaps Gay will be held at Sydney Tower Eye on Saturday the 17th of June & will feature Australian indie pop star, Brendan McLean. The Sydney Tower Eye will also be home to an intimate show by electro-pop sensations, Elizabeth Rose & Touch Sensitive on the 2nd of June.

Music lovers will also get to experience culinary delights with Cake Wines’ Pie In The Sky rooftop music series on the 3rd of June 2017. Held on 3 different CBD rooftops, chefs from Three Blue Ducks, Thievery & Superior Burger will create bespoke menus to be served with matched Cake Wines & paired with a range of music performances from eclectic house to disco beats. The location of the 3 rooftops will be revealed closer to the date.

Music fans will be treated to a performance by American jazz-legends The Donny McCaslin Group at The Basement on the 31st of May. McCaslin collaborated with David Bowie on his last album, Blackstar.

Vivid Music will also feature a series of musical showcases including Women In Electronic Music Showcase II at Oxford Art Factory on Saturday the 17th of June, hosted by Triple J’s Linda Marigliano, and a showcase by independent record-label Personal Best on the 27th of May at Freda’s, where dream-pop ensemble, Moody Beach & Sydney space-funk duo, The Goods, will feature.

New Zealand’s answer to 90s femme-pop, Bic Runga, will also be making an appearance this year at the Sydney Conservatorium Of Music for 1 night only on Sunday the 11th of June. Tickets are available here.

Some Other Events To Diary Note

Reggae, ska, dub & afro-beat originals and classics from The Skatalites to Fela Kuti! A musical experience powerfully explosive & authentic with 3 acclaimed albums already under their belt.

Think Blades of Glory figure skating whilst listening to an incredible live DJ set on your very own pair of headphones.

Every Thursday night during Vivid Sydney, Harpoon Harrys will present Thursday Night Live — a night of emerging & established live electronic acts with supporting DJs. On the 1st of June, The Ladies Network will add their femme touch to the program.

    • Cabaret performer, Jeff Duff | 3rd – 4th of June 2017 at Leadbelly Newtown

Wild & permissive London in the late 1970’s! Many who experienced that madness are no longer here to recall the excitement & the excesses – but Sydney’s Jeff Duff has survived to tell the tale & sing the songs!

The Crooked Fiddle Band‘s live shows blister with an intense energy that is driven by their distinctive sound. The Crooked Fiddle Band mix blasts of fiery folk with the intense atmosphere & detail of post and prog-rock, resulting in a multi-layered, complex & ecstatic hybrid they call ‘chainsaw folk’.

Sydney-based electronic duo Cosmos Midnight are at the forefront of their genre cultivating their own twist on electronica.

    • Rock ‘n’ roll stars, The Radiators |10th of June 2017 at Leadbelly Newtown

Deputing in Sydney in September 1978, The Radiators have survived the road to rock ‘n’ roll stardom. This Australian household name is set to rock & dance the night away.

    • Up & coming indie musician, Jack Colwell | 17th of June 2017 at the Golden Age Cinema & Bar

Jack Colwell’s distinctive croon & hefty songwriting chops have garnered him significant praise within Australia with a sound attributed to 90’s alt-rock influences, distinctive piano inflections & confessional lyrics.

Now in its 9th year, Vivid Sydney is a major celebration of the creative industries & is owned, managed and produced by Destination New South Wales (NSW), the NSW Government’s tourism & major events agency.

For more details & to book tickets, visit

Media Release: Vivid Sydney