Vivid Sydney Mobile App Launched In China

An innovative new mobile phone application is taking Vivid Sydney to the eyes and fingertips of people in China, encouraging them to plan a trip to NSW to experience the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, first hand.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said the app uses augmented reality technology to transform images of Sydney landmarks into stunning Vivid Sydney highlights.

“Destination NSW will be sharing images of some of Sydney’s most iconic buildings on its Weibo and WeChat accounts in China and encouraging followers to scan the images using the new app. In just a simple click, users will see the landmarks come to life in 3D renders, projections, and a stunning video of Vivid Sydney highlights,” Ms Chipchase said.

“We’re also inviting followers to enter a competition to win a trip to Sydney and Regional NSW by sharing their favourite Vivid Sydney images using the hashtag #vividsydney.”

“This is a fantastic initiative to further engage with the 121,000 plus Weibo followers and 17,000 plus WeChat followers Destination NSW has in China. The app will also be promoted and shared though partnering social channels, with a potential reach of up to 18 million Chinese consumers.”

“Vivid Sydney is firmly established as a highlight on the world’s festivals and major events calendars, attracting a record 1.43 million attendees in 2014. In fact, more than 9,700 visitors from China travelled to Sydney on Vivid Sydney travel packages last year and we are aiming to see this visitation grow through new Vivid Sydney campaigns and activities,” she said.

China is the number one inbound visitor market for NSW. In the year ending September 2014, more than 443,000 Chinese visitors stayed 12.1 million nights in NSW and spent over $1.5 billion during their stay.

“The development of the app is another great example of Destination NSW’s initiatives to promote NSW in China, and comes on the back of recent announcements including a partnership campaign with Chinese agency CTrip to promote travel packages for Vivid Sydney, and our partnership with leading travel wholesaler China Travel International (Guangdong) Ltd,” Ms Chipchase said.

“Destination NSW also recently held a week-long, pop-up event in the Chengdu International Finance Centre to promote NSW to more than 100,000 shoppers and hosted 33 NSW tourism operators in China as part of the Greater China Mission.”

“In the digital space we have also launched Sydney.CN, a dedicated website hosted in China, to promote Sydney and NSW to travellers,” she said.

The Vivid Sydney augmented reality application is available for Apple and Android users to download in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Owned and managed by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, Vivid Sydney is set to once again transform the city into a colourful canvas of light, music and ideas for 18 nights from 22 May to 8 June.

For more information on Vivid Sydney visit


Vivid Sydney Shines At Chatswood

Vivid Sydney came to Chatswood for the very first time tonight to give a sneak peek of what visitors will enjoy from this Friday 22 May – 8 June 2015. A new Vivid Sydney precinct for 2015, Chatswood tells the story of Nautilus and the Sea, and takes visitors on a journey to an underwater fantasy from Chatswood Interchange to The Concourse in the bustling suburb to the city’s north.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres said: “Vivid Sydney at Chatswood is not only colourful and entertaining, but also offers an enthralling story. There is no doubt that the tale of Nautilus and the Sea told through magnificent lighting installations and projections will attract visitors who, I am sure, will be as mesmerised as I was.”

“It’s wonderful to see the success of Vivid Sydney spread into the city’s suburbs to allow even more people to experience what is now the world’s largest festival of Light, Music and Ideas.”

Tonight, in a special preview, the characters from Nautilus and the Sea came to life in grand installations along the path from Chatswood Mall to Chatswood Interchange. A Flowing River of Light, Jellyfish Chandeliers, an Aquarium, Norbert and Lieutenant Angler transform the popular Chatswood hub into a spectacular Vivid Sydney precinct. At The Concourse, an animation tells the full story of Norbert the Nautilus as he travels through the vast ocean, searching for a new home.

Vivid Sydney at Chatswood is set to be a popular precinct for all visitors to the event. With two bespoke venues, the 4 Pines Rooftop Bar and Night Markets at The Concourse and Cabana Bar popping-up for the festival, alongside the incredible story of Nautilus and the Sea, visitors are sure to experience Chatswood in a new light.

Vivid Sydney is owned and managed by the NSW Government’s Tourism and Major Events agency, Destination NSW. The largest event of its kind in the world, Vivid Sydney runs for 18 nights from this Friday 22 May until Monday 8 June.

To see the program and to plan your trip to Vivid Sydney, visit

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Plan Your Trip To Vivid Sydney On Public Transport

Visitors to Vivid Sydney 2015 will be able to take advantage of thousands of extra public transport services with the NSW Government confirming an additional 3,500 extra trains, buses and ferries to run during the annual festival of lights, music and ideas.

Over three weekends, more than 2,600 extra bus services will run in addition to the regular timetabled services, moving an extra 130,000 passengers.

More than 700 additional train services also will be added, with capacity to get an extra million people in and out of the city, including from Chatswood, while an extra 154 ferry services will help to move an additional 55,000 passengers around Sydney.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres is encouraging festival goers to take advantage of the increased public transport.

“We want to make sure visitors can easily move around our Harbour City to experience this must-see global event, which attracted more than 1.43 million people last year,” Mr Ayres said.

“With so many extra services and all festival attractions close to major public transport hubs, there really is no better way to get to and from Vivid Sydney.”

Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said it’s important people plan and build time into their trip to make the most of everything Vivid Sydney 2015 has to offer.

“We encourage everyone to leave the car at home and take public transport to and from the event with these additional services made available,” Mr Constance said.

“As ferries are expected to be very busy, especially on weekends, those coming to explore this incredible festival should look to take advantage of the extra trains and buses.”

Vivid Sydney 2015 runs from 22 May to 8 June with the program available at

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

University Of Sydney Lights The Way For Vivid Sydney

In one week’s time the beautiful historic grounds of the University of Sydney will come alive with spectacular light installations, music performances and public forums during Vivid Path to the Future, a week-long program held as part of Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.

The University of Sydney’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence said, “The University will be transformed into a creative playground that will surprise and ignite the imagination of people and we are delighted to be bringing Vivid Sydney to our local community.”

“A large creative pool of talented staff, students and artist collaborators are behind a revealing program of new ideas and directions in art, technology and music.”

“It will be an immersive event where visitors can see a spectacular light show, listen to live experimental music, or take part in topical talks on society’s key health and social issues that the University’s research is tackling.”

“At the University of Sydney we take our responsibilities as a citizen of the city seriously and this program complements our work supporting the intellectual and creative life of the city. We are proud of our contribution to the cultural landscape of the city, and we hope our staff, students, alumni and local communities take the opportunity to visit and enjoy our campus,” Dr Spence said.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said, “I am pleased that the University of Sydney will be a part of Vivid Sydney for the second time, with an expanded program showcasing light, music and ideas across the campus. Vivid is where art, technology and commerce intersect, and with exceptional academic staff and students across each of these three areas it is only natural that the University plays a big role in this year’s Festival.”

The University of Sydney’s famous Quadrangle will once again become the centrepiece of this year’s Vivid Path to the Future program with three illuminating light shows presented each evening from 25 to 30 May. The iconic façade will be turned into a magnificent canvas featuring artworks created by more than 40 local and international artists.

Among these are several headliner acts, including French visual artist, Joanie Lemercier and UK sound artist, James Ginzburg who will make their Australian debut at Vivid. They are joined by two other large-scale projection artists: New York’s Light Harvest Studios and Sydney’s The Electric Canvas. These leading artists will present their new electrifying works, Blueprint, Simple Creatures and Space that will be shown in three light shows at 6pm, 8pm and 10pm daily (6pm only on 31 May).

A unique collaboration between three University faculties, the Charles Perkins Centre and Eora TAFE promises to be another highlight of the 3D mapping projections in the Quadrangle. Intercellular is a series of short films created by University staff and students across design computing, medicine and music, in partnership with Indigenous staff and students at Eora TAFE. The conceptual films will bridge the idea of light from the galaxies, Indigenous astronomy and the physics of light from cells, in a celebration of the International Year of Light.

The International Year of Light is also the impetus for several public discussions within the University’s Vivid Ideas program. Popular talks will include Enlighten: Our brightest minds reveal how light transforms your life; and The Future of Music: how interactive technologies are changing music experiences; as well as panels tackling some of the big health and social issues such as The Obesity Epidemic: can design help?; and I’m not racist, but…. hosted by television personality Gretel Killeen.

For Vivid Music, the Seymour Centre will host a series of experimental music concerts called New Wave Sound, including Gothic, Music For Double Bass, Senex et Sonet and Bridge: Electroacoustic Review. Additionally, the Seymour Centre will host Musify + Gamify curated by the University’s Ollie Bown and Lian Loke. A showpiece of the event are two concerts of bold experimental music by groundbreaking Australian artists including Ensemble Offspring, Robbie Avenaim and Chris Abrahams, 7Bit Hero, Alon Isar and renowned BAFTA nominated game composer David Kanaga of Dyed and Proteus. They will be complemented by an exhibition in the auditorium inviting ‘gamified’ audience participation in the creation of music.

For the first time, the University of Sydney will present a light walk with installations dotted along the journey from the Quadrangle light show to the gigantic public artwork, the Sea of Hands, and onto several light installations along the promenade of Eastern Avenue.

  • What: Vivid Path to the Future
  • When: 25-31 May (Quadrangle Light Show daily at 6pm, 8pm, 10pm from 25-30 May and 6pm only on 31 May; and other events across the day and night. See full program)
  • Where: The University of Sydney Quadrangle and Eastern Avenue, Camperdown, plus satellite events across Darlington campus and the Seymour Centre.
  • Full program:

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Modulations Announces Third Grace Jones Concert At Carriageworks Exclusive To Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney, Carriageworks, and Modular Music are thrilled to announce that fashion and music icon Grace Jones will perform a third and final concert as part of Vivid Sydney on Tuesday 2 June. With the first two concerts close to selling out, organisers have confirmed the internationally lauded music superstar will perform a third night exclusively for Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, owned and managed by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

The Tuesday 2 June concert at Carriageworks will follow concerts on Sunday 31 May and Monday 1 June. Tickets to the third concert go on sale today, Monday 18 May at 10am. This will be Jones’ only Australian appearances and her first visit to Sydney since her sell-out shows in 2011. Modulations has been delighted by the enthusiastic response from Sydney audiences as tickets have been in high demand to see the music superstar in this intimate setting for her Sydney-exclusive performances.

Carriageworks Director, Lisa Havilah said, “Grace Jones has a large and loyal following in Australia so we are thrilled to add a third concert to the Modulations program. One of the most influential artists of her generation, Jones is one of the original female music industry pioneers and a true cultural innovator of our time.”

Modulations Creative Director Stephen Pavlovic said Jones is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential music and fashion icons of the 20th century, and her reputation for electric on-stage performances makes this a must-see music event. “Grace Jones at Modulations will be a rare opportunity to experience a true music legend in the intimate and immersive spaces at Carriageworks. A truly iconic singer, songwriter, model, actor and all round enigma. Her live sets are duly renowned as nothing short of incredible, segueing from disco to funk, from pop to punk, all presented within a visual spectacular as stunning as the musical artistry. Grace’s performance promises to be unmissable.”

Modulations returns with an expanded program this year set across two jam-packed weekends promising six days of exclusive music performances, contemporary ideas and innovative food experiences as part of Vivid Sydney.

Vivid Sydney transforms the city into a colourful canvas of light, music and ideas for 18 nights from 22 May to 8 June.

For more information on Vivid Sydney visit

To book tickets for Modulations visit


Tickets to Grace Jones third concert are on sale from 10:00am Monday 18 May. For bookings visit:


  • WHAT: Grace Jones in Concert
  • WHEN: Sunday 31 May, Monday 1 June, Tuesday 2 June, 8pm
  • WHERE: Carriageworks, Sydney
  • TICKETS: $127*

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

One Week To Go! Vivid Sydney Top Picks And Tips

In just one week, the city will sparkle, shimmer and shine even more brightly when the lights go on for Vivid Sydney. Organisers are sharing tips to help visitors make the most of the 18 night festival from 22 May – 8 June.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres said: “Sydney is about to light up our Harbour city and enthral visitors from around Australia and across the world who visit Sydney for this very special annual event.”

Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, will feature more than 60 lighting installations, 70 music performances and 150 Ideas events. The festival will spread from Circular Quay to Walsh Bay and take in Martin Place, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont, Central Park, Chatswood and the University of Sydney.

Destination NSW CEO, Sandra Chipchase said: “Vivid Sydney is set to light up the city and visitors’ hearts with some of our most incredible light installation programs yet. With so much to see and do, we offer the following tips to help everyone get the most out of their Vivid Sydney experience.”

With a bigger light festival planned in 2015, here are some of the top picks:

1. See the Harbour illuminated

Be dazzled by a fleet of ferries and boats that will light up different colours which will change as they cruise through the Harbour and beyond. Ferries, jet boats, harbour cruise vessels will take part in the ‘Harbour City Lights’ moving art.

2. Give Dolly a Hug

Sure to be a crowd-pleaser, head to Campbell’s Cove to give a giant crocheted doll a hug. The illuminated Dolly is the perfect Vivid Sydney night light and is sure to be popular with young and old.

3. Re-live your childhood at First Fleet Park

Enjoy tributes to family favourite games at First Fleet Park’s interactive hub. Be the DJ with Beat Dice, a series of drum cubes that light up. Play Duck Duck Goose on the installation of the same name or spot the piggy in the middle at Entitle, a giant illuminated Rocco pig. The young, or young-at-heart can swing the night away on Swing Glow, a glowing swing set.

4. Don’t miss Enchanted Sydney

Be mesmerised by the flora and fauna of Sydney when it’s projected onto one of the city’s oldest sandstone buildings, Customs House, at Enchanted Sydney. The city will hum with gorgeous butterflies and soft mossy flora.

5. Make your way to Martin Place

Head to Martin Place for some refreshments at Transcendence and then get hands-on with ‘a game of drones’. Other installations included in the precinct include the giant Robotanics, Phase Frames, Spectra and Drum Circle.

6. Be wowed in Darling Harbour

Head to Darling Harbour for the Vivid Laser-Fountain Water Theatre to see a spectacular liquid-light show featuring dynamic jets and spirals of water, full-colour lighting, rainbow-coloured lasers and dancing flame effects, all to a soundtrack from Sydney electronic music gurus, the Presets.

7. Jump on the train and head out to new precincts of Chatswood and Central Park

Whether you love street art projections and silent discos at Central Park, or if you are more inclined to be drawn into the story of Norbet and the Nautilus at Chatswood, the new Vivid Sydney precincts this year will buzz with light installations and much more!

Vivid Sydney 2015 Tips

1. Go early in the week and early in the night!

Vivid Sydney is on for 18 days, so there’s plenty of time to see it all. Monday to Wednesday is less busy than weekends so those who want to stroll leisurely through Vivid Sydney should take advantage of these quieter periods by visiting on weeknights. Special tip for families – start your experience at Martin Place and Central Park where lights turn on at 5:30pm nightly, before the rest of the festival lights up at 6:00pm.

2. Leave the car at home

Plan your trip at, leave the car at home and catch public transport to and from the event.

3. Download the free Vivid Sydney smartphone app

Follow the Vivid Trail of your favourite sportsperson, media personality or photographer, and see what installations are near you with Near Me technology with the Vivid Sydney app. Available now to be downloaded at iTunes and Google Play, the app is sure to enhance your Vivid Sydney experience.

4. Take your camera and get social with #vividsydney

If you’re feeling social and sharing photos online, don’t forget to tag #vividsydney. Selfie lovers should also head to You Are Here on the Light Walk to get a snap with the iconic Sydney Opera House as the backdrop.

5. There’s no need to rush

Take your time. Vivid Sydney is open for 18 nights so you can plan to visit more than one precinct or return to a much loved installation.

Vivid Sydney is owned and managed by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW. Visit for more information.

Media Release: Vivid Sydney

Save The Rings!

It lit up Sydney when the city was at it’s brightest – the 2000 Olympics. For over 14 years, the iconic ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect, which was switched off in the most dramatic fashion during the Closing Night Harbour Spectacular (see video), has been sitting in a shed nearly 200 kilometres south of Sydney in Goulburn and now it is for auction on eBay for $10,000 minimum – but would this iconic and historic piece of lighting be preserved?

Over the years, there have been proposals to permanently place it in Goulburn as a tourist attraction along the town’s bypass whilst some have also proposed it to be locate at Sydney Olympic Park but none of these have happened. It is apparently in good structural condition but the ropelight no longer works – an upgrade of the ropelight could see it become LED with colours – something the Bridge Effect did not have in 2000 (it was just plain yellow back then). The Bridge Effect could also be programmed to form different patterns and sequences or made interactive too.


It still has potential but with little time left, it is highly likely the ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect might disappear forever again…for real this time unless someone buys it with intent to preserve it. It has heaps of sporting, cultural, historical and engineering significance and is something the public could enjoy to see for decades. It was switched on for the first time on September 14 2000 when the Olympic Torch Relay arrived at the Sydney Opera House and the Olympic Flame was exchanged between the torches of Pat Rafter and Olivia-Newton John. It then stay lit until  October 1 2000 when it featured in the world record breaking finale of the Closing Night Harbour Spectacular which saw the Olympic Rings ‘explode’ into the night sky. A year later, a section of the ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect appeared in a local Goulburn parade and has not been seen in use since.

Only 1 Bridge Effect has been placed permanently for the public to view – ‘Fanfare‘ (or colloquially known as the ‘disco ball’) from Sydney NYE2004 – ‘Reflections On Australiana’ is currently being installed in Christchurch, New Zealand as part of a SCAPE Public Art project after being donated by the City Of Sydney. The designer of that Bridge Effect, Neil Dawson, is from Christchurch.

Given the significance of the ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect and the fact that it is still intact (very rare), it deserves a permanent home so we have set up below a petition to hopefully ensure the ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect’s survival. Share it on social media – there is very little time!

The description on eBay reads ‘The Rings are massive, in good condition and under cover they could be used for igloo type buildings. Located in Goulburn NSW. Transport can be arranged’.  Bidding closes at 10:18pm AEST 13 May 2015. Hopefully the ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect has a bright future…


Sign our petition as a way to show your support:

‘Olympics Rings’ Bridge Effect Fast Facts

  • Each ring consists of 4 or 5 separate sections
  • 7 semi-trailers are required to transport it (Each semi-trailer holding 3 sections)
  • 1st time 40 tonnes of metal structure was hung off the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • 8.5 kilometres of iridescent ropelight
  • Face of each ring is 2.1 metres in width/1.8 metres deep
  • Each ring contains 20 ropelight strands
  • 300,000 globes in the ropelight overall
  • Ring diameter is 25 metres
  • Spans 78 metres
  • Powered by 200 amp power supply
  • Designed and built by Kermac Welding and Engineering
  • Lit /electrified by The Wilken Group
  • Lit on the Sydney Harbour Bridge between 14 September and 1 October 2000 for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games