VIVID, Sydney’s annual extravaganza of light and color, has become the city’s premier winter event, a must-see festival of illumination that is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the world’s leading creative festivals.
The two-week-long celebration ushers in the new winter season with a free public exhibition of art sculptures and light installations all over Sydney’s most iconic buildings. The lighting displays sit dormant during the day but come to life every time the sun goes down for the duration of the festival. Paired with a cutting edge soundtrack to enhance the already incredible experience, VIVID is prepared by top-notch creatives for spectators from all over the world.
Because there are lighting showcases throughout the city, there are many ways to experience VIVID. The simplest may be to arrive in the city at nightfall and wander around until the installations light up your eyes, especially because maps are available to guide visitors through everything there is to see. Though most of the program is general, there are some specific themes to entice certain groups. In 2013, for example, the Customs House’s light show paid tribute to the TV Show Doctor Who for one night only.
The Sydney Harbour also provides sweeping views of the action. Take an evening boat cruise in the middle of the action
and see the famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up as artwork while enjoying a mini-buffet. The boat that carries visitors around even gets in on the fun with its own twinkling lights.
For a behind-the-scenes experience, opt for the special Sydney Opera House Tour during VIVID
. You’ll see parts of the world-famous performing arts center that are normally off-limits and gain insider knowledge on how the building makes its illuminating transformation during VIVID.
Or better yet, become part of the light show with a special VIVID BridgeClimb
. Climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge while wearing special LED lit vests that translate your heartbeat into a special light pattern!
While the art installations and light shows vary from year to year, there are certain staples that are essential to a VIVID Sydney experience. The Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Customs House and Darling Harbour are each guaranteed to delight with their memorable displays. Running concurrently with the festival attractions are workshops and performances that take place over the course of the celebration. Laser shows, parties and recitals also have spots on the program each year, adding depth to an already amazing festival.