Engineering A Better Sydney New Year’s Eve Event

‘Engineering A Better Sydney NYE’ is a campaign between the City of Sydney and Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) to encourage the community to get creative and suggest ideas to address New Year’s Eve challenges in and around Sydney.

For the 2nd consecutive year, EWB has been chosen as the official charity partner of the 2014 Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations. For more information:

Lizzie Brown, CEO of EWB said sustainability, crowds, road closures and access for people with a disability were common problems facing Sydney revellers on New Year’s Eve.

EWB’s ‘Engineering A Better Sydney NYE’ competition invites the community to come up with innovative ideas to solve these problems,” Ms Brown said.

“Ideas will be judged as to whether they embody the spirit of Sydney NYE, represent socially conscious design, are scalable, utilise business and technology in a meaningful way and embody the values of EWB: community, sustainability, respect, learning and quality.”

The top 5 ideas will receive tickets to an exclusive Sydney New Year’s Eve viewing area and will be announced on 5 December 2014.

Judging the top ideas are a preeminent judging panel of: Lizzie Brown, Danny Almagor (Founder of EWB Australia, Co-Founder and CEO Small Giants), Aneurin Coffey (Sydney NYE Producer), Sally Dominguez (award winning designer and creative thinking educator) and Dr Brandon Gien (CEO Good Design Australia).

The competition encourages the community to submit ideas in the following categories:

  • Crowd management
  • Access for people with disability
  • Harbourside sustainable audience engagement
  • Unattractive event infrastructure.

For more information about the campaign and competition, please visit

To get involved with Engineers Without Borders Australia or for more information, please visit 

Screen Legend Inspires A Cracker Night For Sydney NYE2014

Australian screen legend Jack Thompson is preparing to take on his latest starring role as the Creative Ambassador for 2014 Sydney New Year’s Eve.

One of the country’s most accomplished storytellers – both as an award-winning actor and lifelong lover of poetry – Mr Thompson will bring the theme of this year’s celebrations, Inspire, to life with a series of stories inspired by the harbour city.

“It is such an honour to be able to represent my home town – one of the world’s truly great cities – as the Creative Ambassador of 2014 Sydney New Year’s Eve,” Mr Thompson said.

“Sydney is filled with stories that inspire, from the ancient engravings of the Gadigal people in the sandstone of the headlands to the unique architecture of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.”

“As we prepare to celebrate the year that’s passed and look to the future at what lies ahead, I encourage Sydneysiders and visitors alike to join with us and share their own inspirational stories of Sydney.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said she could not think of a better ambassador for 2014 Sydney New Year’s Eve than one of Australia’s best loved cinematic figures.

“From classic Australian films like Breaker Morant to more recent global hits like The Great Gatsby and Australia, Jack Thompson is one of our finest and most accomplished actors,” the Lord Mayor said.

“He also has one of the most famous voices in the country and is known by many for his best-selling recordings of iconic Australian poems, including The Man from Snowy River by Banjo Patterson.”

“As Creative Ambassador for 2014 Sydney New Year’s Eve, Jack will share his favourite stories of our beautiful city: its stunning harbour setting, rich Aboriginal heritage, thriving creative scene and, most of all, diverse and friendly people.”

“I look forward to the celebrations and can’t wait to see how Jack inspires us all as we farewell 2014 and welcome the dawning of a new year.”

Mr Thompson, who was born and raised on Sydney’s northern beaches, has appeared in more than 100 films and television shows over the past 45 years.

He has won prestigious Cannes and AFI Awards, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1986 for his accomplishments in the film industry.

More recently, he received a Doctor of Letters from Charles Darwin University for his commitment to indigenous territorians through The Jack Thompson Foundation’s Homelands Building Program.

Mr Thompson has been working with the City of Sydney and Sydney New Year’s Eve creative agency Imagination Australia on plans for the event since early this year.

He is the latest high-profile Australian to take on the role of Creative Ambassador for Sydney New Year’s Eve. Last year’s event was led by artist and musician Reg Mombassa, while pop princess Kylie Minogue featured in 2012 and designer Marc Newson headlined in 2011.

Joining Mr Thompson for this year’s event is the official Sydney New Year’s Eve 2014 charity partner, Engineers Without Borders Australia – a non-profit organisation that works with local groups and communities worldwide to provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene, energy, basic infrastructure, waste systems, communication technologies and engineering education.

Sydney New Year’s Eve is Australia’s biggest public event, reaching 1.6 million people on Sydney Harbour, millions across Australia and more than a billion worldwide, and generating an estimated $156 million to the local economy.

Vivid Sydney Shines For Record 270,000 Visitors During Opening Weekend

Vivid Sydney is breaking all previous records with more than 270,000 visitors welcomed during its first weekend, Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Andrew Stoner announced today.

Vivid Sydney is dazzling audiences once again, with opening weekend visitors up 170 per cent on last year,” Mr Stoner said.

“The festival of light, music and ideas just gets bigger and better every year, and visitors come to Sydney from across the state, Australia and around the world to see Sydney put on a show like no other.”

“Of course, the light installations and projections are always extremely popular, and in 2014 Vivid Light has increased its footprint dramatically, providing a unique perspective not only of favourites like the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay, but of new Vivid Sydney areas such as Martin Place.”

“With just over two weeks of Vivid remaining, it certainly looks like the festival is on track to generate significant visitor spend.”

“Last year, more than 800,000 people came to Vivid Sydney, which contributed over $20 million in new money to NSW,” he said.

Vivid Sydney is also a huge hit with retailers, with many reporting double and triple the takings of a normal night. Ice cream is again proving to be particularly popular, especially with Sydney’s recent run of warm weather.”

“In fact Gelato Messina at Martin Place sold an extra 1,000 gelato sundaes on Saturday night alone, and over the weekend went through around 900kgs of gelato. The Intel-flavoured ‘Silly Cone Chips’ outsold the other flavours by twice as many,” Mr Stoner said.

Mr Stoner said that with crowds to Vivid Sydney building on the weekends, families should consider coming early in the week, and early on in the evening, with many installations on from 5:30pm including all of the light installations and projections at Martin Place.

“People should also consider splitting their visit to Vivid over several nights so they can see everything,” Mr Stoner said.

“Crowds build on the weekend so coming earlier in the week will help those with young children, prams and those visitors with mobility issues.”

“With 3,500 extra transport services and road closures, visitors to Vivid Sydney should take public transport and plan their trip by visiting,” he said.

Vivid Sydney 2014 is on each night from 6pm, until Monday 9th June.

The full Vivid Sydney program is available at

Vivid Lights Up Sydney For Another 18 Days

NSW Premier Mike Baird tonight officially launched Vivid Sydney 2014, the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest festival of light, music and ideas.

Mr Baird hit the switch as part of the annual ‘Lights On’ moment to officially launch the sixth year of the festival, lighting up the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House.

Vivid Sydney has become one of the city’s most anticipated events, drawing massive crowds from Sydney, interstate and overseas,” Mr Baird said.

“This event showcases the state’s creative talent and transforms the way the city’s most famous landmarks are viewed using spectacular lighting displays and projections.”

“Last year, the family friendly festival attracted an impressive 800,000 visitors, which in turn delivered a major $20 million boost to the NSW economy.”

“This event provides a welcome boost to shops, restaurants, cafes and bars during the winter period and I’d encourage everyone to leave the car at home and take advantage of more than 3,500 additional public transport services on offer during the festival.”

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism & Major Events Andrew Stoner said Vivid Sydney is made up of more than 200 events that showcase the state’s creative industries, including digital media, design, animation and music.

“With 40 per cent of Australia’s creative industries based in NSW, nurturing our state’s creative sector through major events like Vivid Sydney has a positive impact on our economy and the overall strength of our nation’s creative industries,” Mr Stoner said.

“This year’s festival has been expanded to five new precincts, including Martin Place, Carriageworks, The University of Sydney, The Star and Sydney Harbour.”

“The festival includes 50 free light installations and projections transforming Sydney’s architecture and open spaces through Vivid Light, 80 Vivid Music shows, and 300 speakers at 180 creative industry events as part of Vivid Ideas,” he said.

Anyone attending Vivid Sydney is encouraged to view the full Vivid Sydney 2014 program and plan their trip to and from the event at

1 Week Until Sydney Goes Vivid

In just seven days Sydney will sparkle, shimmer and shine as the sails of the Opera House are splashed with colour and the Harbour foreshore and surrounds crisscrossed with 3D-mapped projections for the sixth year of the winter festival of light, music and ideas, Vivid Sydney.

Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said Vivid Sydney, the winner of the Australian Event of the Year, had last year enthralled more than 800,000 visitors, contributing more than $20 million in new money to the NSW economy.

Vivid Sydney gets bigger and brighter every year, and 2014 is no different with a spectacular program of lights, music and ideas that is sure to please the crowds,” Mr Stoner said.

“This year’s Vivid Light Walk boasts over 50 new light installations, and magic water theatre will once again transform Darling Harbour, with giant fountains, four major water screens, lasers, projections and pyrotechnics from the French master fontaneers, Aquatique, whose Vivid show is twice the size of last year’s and is designed as a theatre in the round,” Mr Stoner said.

“Perhaps the most exciting development for Vivid Sydney 2014 is in the area of building projection, with three international and five Australian digital content houses, working with our three main projection technology companies, the Electric Canvas, TDC and NovaTek, on eight major lighting projects. “

“In another Vivid Sydney first, the light and laser installation, Filament Storm, will play out on the façades of five Circular Quay skyscrapers, and feature six high powered 10-watt lasers, plus the latest in giant theatrical lights from the world’s largest lighting company, the Production Resource Group,” he said.

“These lights, known as the Best Boy and the Bad Boy, are less than a metre tall, weigh as much as a person and can light an entire skyscraper with a single instrument.”

Produced by Sketch Evolution, with major partners PRG, Oracle, and Laser Tri-Point Rigging, Filament Storm will tower over the Light Walk and help tie the Harbour to the CBD lighting spectacular in Martin Place which is yet to be fully revealed.

The sails of the Sydney Opera House will come alive with spectacular 3D-mapped projections by English company 59 Productions and French projection gurus, Danny Rose, are turning Customs House into a sequence of amazing interactive musical instruments.

Sydney’s visual content masters Spinifex Group, whose credits include two Olympic Games and a World Expo, are working with Australian artist Jess Johnson to transform the original façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art, while up-and-coming multimedia artists, The Digital Shamans in collaboration with another Australian artist, Ross Manning, will turn the new façade into an interactive piece of musical meditation.

Other new projections include; German artist Heinz Caspar, is painting Cadman’s Cottage with the changing seasons and; the multi-award-winning The Electric Canvas are projecting on the façade of The Star for the first time.

Sandra Chipchase, Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer said: “Last year 800,000 festival-goers including 11,000 international tourists who came on Vivid Sydney travel packages came to experience Vivid Sydney and marvel at our city in lights and snapped up over 51,000 tickets for an impressive program of concerts, conferences, creative product launches and exhibitions at Vivid Ideas and Vivid Music (including Vivid Live).”

“This year, visitors can expect an even bigger and better Vivid Sydney experience, with exciting new light installations, an expanded line up of contemporary and cutting edge music, and world renowned creative industries events – it is simply a must attend event so don’t miss out ,” she said.


Martin Place will hit the lights for the first time this year, featuring new installations with a number of impressive technical innovations, transforming the bustling thoroughfare into a gallery of light like no other. Darling Harbour will again sparkle brightly with water shows spanning two thirds of the bay, doubling 2013’s Harbour spectacular. French company, Aquatique’s, water show draws upon water jets, fountains and laser displays to paint a creative canvas of beauty and movement on the water.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge will be the largest and most spectacular coat-hanger on earth, and the water below will sparkle with Harbour Lights, as vessels and ferries light up to join in the fun. Sandstone will shine like never before at Customs House and the MCA, and over 50 light installations will enthral along the Vivid Light Walk.


A favourite feature during Vivid Sydney, music fans will again be spoilt for choice with an expanded Vivid Music line-up in even more venues around the city. Including, the Sydney Opera House (with Vivid LIVE), Seymour Centre, The Basement, Spice Cellar, Home Night Club, The Argyle, and the brand new event Modulations at Carriageworks (6-9 June), curated by Stephen Pavlovic.

Across its venues, Vivid Music including Vivid LIVE will feature performances from a wide range of artists including Pixies, Ms Lauryn Hill, Pet Shop Boys, The Liars, Hot Chip, The Luis And The Wildfires, ACO and The Presets, Nicky Siano, Laneous & The Family Yah, The Big Village, Giorgio Moroder, James Vincent McMorrow, Goodgod Small Club, Penny Penny, St. Vincent and Anna Calvi.


Sydney’s annual celebration of innovation, creativity and community, Vivid Ideas, includes a world renowned program of conferences, workshops, panels, talks, showcases, exhibitions, creative product launches, award presentations and networking functions. Vivid Ideas has quickly become a globally recognised platform for the best and brightest creative minds from Australia and overseas to connect, collaborate and create, and this year’s Vivid Ideas will include 300 speakers at over 180 events showcasing the best creative talent in the market.

Fans of Vivid Sydney looking to attend the 18 day festival are encouraged to leave the car at home and travel via public transport as road closures and special event clearways will be in place.

The full Vivid Sydney 2014 program is available at

More Than 3,500 Extra Public Transport Services Light The Way For Vivid Sydney

Visiting Vivid Sydney will be easier this year with more than 3,500 extra public transport services available to help people travel to and from festival precincts, including the new Martin Place venue, as well as festival favourites Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Walsh Bay and North Sydney.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Andrew Stoner said public transport was the best way for people to get out and about in the Harbour City and enjoy Vivid Sydney.

“Last year 800,000 visitors experienced Vivid Sydney, and this festival is shaping up to be our biggest and brightest event ever,” Mr Stoner said.

“The NSW Government has been working hard to ensure that the best transport and traffic measures are in place for another huge year of Vivid Sydney, and to make sure that visitors can move around the city there will be road closures in effect at various times, as well as special event clearways.”

“We are also providing a one-stop shop for the latest information about trains, buses, ferries, taxis and light rail services at the website.”

“This will include all the latest information about trains, buses, ferries, taxis and light rail services that connect the Vivid Sydney precincts right across Sydney,” he said.

Vivid Sydney begins with ‘Lights On’ on Friday 23rd May at 6pm and runs nightly, 6pm – midnight until Monday 9thJune.

Over the three weekends of the event, almost 3200 extra bus services will run in addition to the regular timetable services, moving an extra 160,000 passengers.

An extra 350 train services will also be running on top of the regular weekend services to move an extra 500,000 people.

And an additional 132 ferry services will also be running over the weekends however these are expected to be very crowded, so the extra train and bus services are the best way to get to and from Vivid.

Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian encouraged people to take advantage of the additional public transport services and suggested that they build travel time into their festival plans in order to make the most of everything Vivid Sydney has to offer.

Vivid Sydney is a significant event for our city, so ensuring that our transport and roads network can contribute to a great event is critical,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Just like planning ahead for New Year’s Eve and Australia Day, the message is clear – leave the car at home and catch public transport.”

“We encourage everyone to take public transport to and from the event, and those with young families and strollers should consider coming to Vivid Sydney earlier in the week, when visitor numbers are expected to be smaller than during weekends.”

For all the latest information about trains, buses, ferries, taxis and light rail services go to:


North Sydney Shines Bright For Families This Vivid Sydney

The Vivid Sydney Festival is back in North Sydney this year with fantastic family friendly attractions including roving performers, interactive light installations and the opportunity to personally choose and customise the lighting effects on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, topped off by spectacular views across the Harbour.

Owned and managed by Destination NSW, Vivid Sydney, won Australian Event of the Year in 2013 and enthralled over 800,000 visitors (including 11,000 international visitors who came on Vivid Sydney travel packages), contributing more than $20 million in new money to the NSW economy.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Andrew Stoner, encouraged families to make the most of the North Shore’s vantage points.

“Locals and visitors alike will be able to enjoy all the family friendly activities on offer in North Sydney as well as the opportunity to see Vivid from another angle at Milsons Point Foreshore which boasts the best views back across the Harbour to the Sydney Opera House,” Mr Stoner said.

Member for North Shore Jillian Skinner said the light installations at North Sydney would attract visitors to the area and provide a boost for local cafes, restaurants and bars.

Preview Of Lighting The Sydney Harbour Bridge For Vivid Sydney 2013

Colour the Bridge, an installation allowing people to choose stunning colours and sequences on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, was so popular last year that it is coming back to the North Sydney boardwalk near Luna Park,” Mrs Skinner said.

“Other North Sydney Vivid attractions include Sea of People, a group of silhouetted figures by sculptor John Wright on the Milsons Point Foreshore, and Sea of Lanterns, which will illuminate Bradfield Park South with 70 lanterns under the Sydney Harbour Bridge,” she said.

North Sydney Mayor, Jilly Gibson, encouraged everyone to kick off their Vivid Sydney experience in North Sydney which she said has been especially planned with families in mind.

“Around 800 school children from nine North Sydney schools have also been working hard to make their mark on Vivid by personalising the 70 supports for Sea of Lanterns with their own decorative touches and I know they are excited to see their handy work lit up in just under two weeks,” Ms Gibson said.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said: “Colour the Bridge, a collaboration between Intel and 32 Hundred Lighting, is a truly spectacular experience and certainly a highlight, but there are many other great things to do and see in North Sydney during Vivid, including local light installations and The Incredibly Short Film Festival at North Sydney Olympic Pool.”

“North Sydney is also the perfect vantage point to see the special and new Harbour Lights cruise vessels and harbour ferries lighting installations,” she said.

Vivid Sydney highlights in North Sydney




Milsons Point Foreshore

Sea of People: A group of silhouetted figures by sculptor John Wright constructed from Perspex and lights. The installation is built on the concept of the community coming together to celebrate Vivid Sydney.

From sunset to sunrise

Bradfield Park South

Sea of Lanterns: Bradfield Park South will be illuminated with 70 lanterns under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Children and community groups will decorate the poles holding the lanterns with an answer to the question “What lights up your life?”

Nightly 6pm-9pm

North Sydney Olympic Pool

Australian China Art Foundation Multimedia Exhibition: Features internationally recognised photographer John McRae, who exhibits his larger than life images of Australia’s greatest Olympic diver and sportsman of the year, Matt Mitcham.

Throughout Vivid

North Sydney Olympic Pool

The Incredibly Short Film Festival: Showcases the wonder of GIFs as short format films. Now in it’s 2nd year, The Incredibly Short Film Festival will be screened across four nights during Vivid Sydney. Opening night – Saturday 24 May: Featuring live music from supergroup “Ego“.

7pm-9pm on:

Saturday 24 May

Saturday 31 May

Saturday 7 June

Sunday 8 June

Boardwalk near Luna Park

Colour the Bridge: A collaboration between Intel and 32 Hundred Lighting returns giving people the opportunity to choose stunning colours and sequences on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Nightly 6pm-Midnight

The full Vivid Sydney 2014 program is available at