Updated: Apr 8, 2019
Today marks 50 days until Vivid Sydney illuminates Sydney Harbour once again with a stellar line-up of events featuring incredible light artists, music makers and brilliant game changing minds.
Vivid Sydney, now in its eleventh year, is the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere, lighting up Sydney and surrounds at 6pm each night for 23 days from Friday 24 May until Saturday 15 June 2019.
Destination NSW Chief Executive and Executive Producer – Vivid Sydney, Sandra Chipchase said, “In 2018 Vivid Sydney welcomed 2.25 million attendees and generated a record $172.9 million in tourism expenditure for the duration of the festival.
“In 2019 there are so many creative and innovative events to explore and enjoy at Vivid Sydney, from incredible light installations and projections to enlightening discussion panels as well as exclusive gigs all over the city.
“We are confident this year’s program will inspire new audiences to experience Vivid Sydney for the first time, as well as encourage avid fans to return once again,” Ms Chipchase said. “With the countdown on, we have put together a list of 50 reasons of why you must visit Vivid Sydney 2019.”
Here they are!
1. Lie back under the Argyle Cut in The Rocks and be transported back to your childhood. Enjoy an exclusive look at 30 years of animation through the eyes of PIXAR Animation Studios including some of their most loved characters such as Woody and Buzz Lightyear.
2. It’s undoubtedly the best time to enjoy a Sydney Harbour cruise. Shimmering lights, grand projections, it is the best show around.
3. Experience the magic of Taronga Zoo at night; with new lantern, Sumatran Tiger Cubs, marking the birth of three new tiger cubs and highlighting the zoo’s commitment to conservation.
4. Explore a festival within a festival: from the Audiocraft Podcast Festival to Freshflix Film Festival, Semi-Permanent to Sydney Film Festival.
5. Vivid Sydney will help you discover the city and surrounds over 23 days. Challenge yourself to see something different each day and night – no tour guide needed!
6. Learn how to write your own opinion piece column with mentorship from an acclaimed journalist at Vivid Ideas. It’s a great opportunity to boost the profile of your business.
7. Play with slime but avoid the mess thanks to the Goo project by PropMill at Cadmans Cottage.
8. Experience over 10 electronic and indie music acts in one day at Curve Ball, Carriageworks. It just might be the warehouse party of the year!
9. Learn the basics of coding, or get the inside scoop on how to drive business through game-changing technology. Whether you’re an adult or a child, head over to Vogue Codes at Carriageworks to up your tech game.
10. Meet female innovators who are shaping business in Australia at the Future Women event at Vivid Ideas.
11. High school students in Years 9-12 can hear from a panel of creative industry professionals about their career pathways and challenges at the inaugural Vivid School. Talk to your teacher and sign up now.
12. Trying to figure out what to do with your Creative Arts degree after university? Check out GRAD SHOW for inspiration.
13. See a concert by a rockin’ female musician as part of X|Celerate at Ziggy’s Barber Shop in Surry Hills.
14. Play the giant Cascading Harp made of hollow metallic spheres at Chatswood. Be inspired by the traditional sounds of Tibetan meditation tunes or create your own joyful song of positivity and hope.
15. Be immersed in the most progressive form of music video whilst dancing along to The Rubens at Clipped Music Video Festival.
16. Explore Sydney’s colonial history from a new perspective by discovering the installations throughout the harbourside quarter where European settlement began in The Rocks such as Watch Your Chips! and Nostalgia Above.
17. Stroll over Sydney Harbour Bridge to experience City Sparkle, an unforgettable view of Sydney Harbour lit up by thousands of LEDs and projections.
18. Fly through the night sky on Volaré, Luna Park’s newest ride, described as a “magical wave swinger”.
19. Hear about the surprising future of work at Vivid Ideas – Unworking. Will Artificial Intelligence and robots take over? Will we still have physical offices? How will the transport revolution unleash our access to work?
20. Kids can let their hair down each Saturday night during Vivid Sydney at Kiddo Disco at Home The Venue in Darling Harbour - an energetic, uplifting and dynamic disco for children that includes dancing, games and a visual wonderland for kids big and small.
21. Catch a rare screening of The Dirty Three documentary before seeing the iconic Australian band perform their seminal self-titled record in its entirety at Sydney Opera House.
22. Experience OM ceremony at Glebe Town Hall. A spiritual adventure like no other, OM is the culmination of seven years of videos and photography from sacred Australian lands, India, selfies with lovers and more.
23. See the lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails at 6pm every evening. This year, LA based Andrew Thomas Huang will transform the Sails with Austral Floral Ballet. Uniquely Sydney, uniquely Vivid.
24. From the lights outside to the glitter of the stage, catch a show at one of Sydney’s iconic theatres while you’re here. Enjoy a childhood classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or get your groove on at Saturday Night Fever.
25. Meet new people. Vivid Sydney attracts 2.25 million attendees over 23 nights from around the world – why not stop, say hello and share the experience?
26. You don’t want FOMO when you see Vivid Sydney all over social media during May and June. Head down and while you’re there Instagram your favourite installations and tag #vividsydney
27. Check out some of the most ambitious and innovative local and international artists performing at the Sydney Opera House as part of Vivid LIVE including American synth-pop star Maggie Rogers and legendary jazz ground-breaker Herbie Hancock.
28. See an Oscar-winning director in the flesh, Spike Lee joins the Game Changer Series at Vivid Ideas for 2019.
29. Visit Sydney’s spectacular beaches in winter for a show of a different kind. There’s nothing like rolling clouds meeting crashing waves at Bondi, Manly or one of the bays.
30. Warm up with a little exercise – take on the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb at dusk and catch Lights On from a prime vantage point from 6pm each evening.
31. Go beyond Circular Quay and see some of Sydney’s most loved precincts, including: Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Royal Botanic Garden, Luna Park, Taronga Zoo and Chatswood. That should fill a few days.
32. Enjoy Sydney’s diverse and delicious restaurant scene and Vivid Sydney inspired menus. Try $1 dumplings at The Argyle, Vivid Sydney inspired teppanyaki at Kobe Jones or a $19 take-out box from No.1 Bent Street then top it off with a glow in the dark cocktail at Opera Bar.
33. Embrace your inner child at KA3233 at the Royal Botanic Gardens. The interactive installation is overgrown with alien plant matter and reacts to sounds and space.
34. Enjoy the Art Gallery of NSW after hours with a series of free ideas and music events on Wednesday nights. Catch Meshel Laurie talking about spirituality, Pulitzer Prize winning author Sebastian Smee, and hear an Astronaut’s Playlist – the mixed tape that may have been played during the Apollo 11 moon landing.
35. Experience the magic of Ballerina by Angelo Bonello, a dream like dance solo shimmering along The Harbour’s edge in Circular Quay.
36. See Australian music legend Paul Kelly and leading composer James Ledger perform thirteen new songs inspired by birds at the City Recital Hall. Celebrating winged creatures of all kinds.
37. Learn about architecture and human existence at Co-Existence, in Chatswood. Head down at 6pm each night to see the Limelight Academy transform The Concourse into a 3D mapped projection depicting the connection between architecture, love, peace and harmony.
38. Get the step count up, while experiencing some of what Vivid Sydney has to offer. The three kilometre light walk stretches from The Rocks around Circular Quay to the Royal Botanic Garden.
39. See the largest puppet constructed in Australia at Barangaroo. The glowing giant Marri Dyin, meaning ‘Great Woman’ in Sydney Aboriginal language will hunt and gather along Wulungul Walk each evening from Thursday to Sunday.
40. Reimagine the way you see Vivid Sydney with Samsung’s Galaxy 10 at First Fleet Park.
41. Sink a drink, and watch the lights from the American Express Lounge, Cruise Bar Rooftop at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.
42. Experience snow without leaving Sydney. Reacting to the weather and pedestrian motion Let It Snow makes it seem as though giant snowflakes have landed on Hickson Road Reserve.
43. Reflect on Australia’s Indigenous history and celebrate the Year of Indigenous Languages on the Sydney Harbour Bridge southern pylon. Eora: Broken Spear curated by Rhonda Roberts AO depicts the actions of peace-seeking members of the Indigenous Australia during first contact.
44. There is something for everybody at Tumbalong Lights in Darling Harbour. Celebrating the art of play, the basic right of inclusion and the joy of discovery. The space inspired playSPACE is accessible to all ages and abilities.
45. Walk through Firefly Field in the Royal Botanic Garden to experience the beautiful, unpredictable natural movement of the rare creatures.
46. Learn what goes on Under The Harbour during Vivid Sydney at Customs House. A surreal underwater encounter sure to delight children and adults alike.
47. Experience a church concert like no other at St Stephen’s Uniting Church. Light Qualities will present four concerts by emerging Sydney-based composer-performer collective Konxertproject throughout Vivid Sydney.
48. Shrink down and be immersed in a super-sized Trumpet Flowers at Chatswood. Jump on giant trumpet keys at the centre of the floral forest to make your own spectacular sound and light show.
49. Be seduced by the imposing art-deco façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art as it is transformed by award-winning Australian-Colombian artist Claudia Nicholson underscored by the cool and contemporary sounds of Lonelyspeck.
50. Be part of the experience that is Vivid Sydney by becoming a volunteer.