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Vivid Sydney at Chatswood 2017

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by Irenke Forsyth (subscribe)
A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at
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Discover a world of whimsy
Chatswood has been a participant in the Vivid Sydney festival for a couple of years now and it's worth venturing north of the city for the displays on buildings, in shopping malls, streets and laneways, that are all within walking distance of the train station.

Whether you stop off on the way home from work during the week or journey in on the weekend, the sights at Chatswood are set to be just as fantastic as those in the city. Past years have seen some great themes with 2015 all about sea creatures. Standouts for me were the giant nautilus in Chatswood Mall and the huge jellyfish hanging from the ceiling of Chatswood Interchange.

Vivid Chatswood
2015's colourful displays

In 2016 it was all about the prehistoric with birds, dinosaurs and their eggs. On the ground at Chatswood Mall, one could walk with dinosaurs whilst in the reflection pool at Chatswood Concourse one could see dinosaur eggs cracking open and the growing embryos inside. It was something to behold.

Vivid Chatswood
2016's magic

Vivid at Chatswood in 2017 provides a theme portraying a steam-powered vision of the future with a funky-retro smart city. Technology and light fuse in spectacular installations for sightseers of this annual festival. Expect the unusual and the amazing.

Hopping off a train or a bus at the Chatswood Interchange, you'll step into the 3D light show of Voxelscape where more than 9,000 spheres glow above and, in Gear Shift, an interactive extreme-resolution projection is created through a pumping people-powered steam engine using intelligent motion tracking.

Gear Shift, Vivid Sydney Festival, Chatswood
Gear Shift on the level 3 footbridge

As you set forth, travel through a glimmering Canopy of Light in Chatswood Mall to the Crossword installation sending a crossfire of hidden messages and meanings into the air and onto revellers. Nearby, above Hawker Lane at Westfield Chatswood, is Steampunk Octopus (Octopoda) hanging and awaiting audiences to join his tentacle percussion ensemble in creating an explosion of colour and light animating his musical mind. When all eight drums at the tentacles of this creature are playing together, Octopoda will dazzle further with his mechanical moves and rhythmic light display. Whilst there, also enjoy this Asian food hotspot with special offers and entertainment during the Vivid festival.

Octopoda, Vivid Sydney Festival, Chatswood
Be sure to play the drums at Octopoda

Proceed further down to The Concourse Performing Arts Centre with its facade hosting Future City, Smart City in which people have taken to the sky in whimsical airships, creating an airborne sustainable community of homes with greenhouses and water farms harvesting clouds powered by waste, wind and the sun.

Future City Smart City, Vivid Sydney Festival, Chatswood
A steampunk future

Return to earth and the reflection pool for the submerged magic of Steampunk Waterworld paying homage to French author Jules Verne through light, sound and special effects.

Steampunk Waterworld, Vivid Sydney Festival, Chatswood
A most unusual waterworld

Vivid Sydney in Chatswood is run by Willoughby City Council with lights on from 5.30pm-10.30pm nightly. During the day there is also the captivating installation of Light Bounce at Chatswood Chase, which encourages visitors to walk through a sparkling forest of refractive light. The youngest will enjoy this fun experience as they wander through the totems adorned with colourful and reflective materials, speckled with projected patterns and textures from above.

On the whole, there's a lot to enjoy in this less crowded area of the Vivid Sydney festival.

2017 images courtesy of
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Why? To light up your life
When: 5.30pm-10.30pm
Where: Victoria Ave, Chatswood
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Looks like a fascinating festival, Irenke - well done with the Award!
by Elaine (score: 3|7222) 1117 days ago
Great article :)
by Romy Page (score: 2|308) 1117 days ago
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