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Top Free Events of Vivid Sydney 2023

Home > Sydney > Disabled Access | Family | Festivals | Free | Music
by Cassandra A (subscribe)
I escaped to Sydney over 15 years ago and haven't looked back since. I enjoy discovering new places and activities in the ever-changing, eclectic and bustling city that is Sydney.
Event: -
Brighten your nights at Vivid Sydney
Vivid Sydney continues to innovate with new light installations and events on offer over two weeks from 26 May - 17 June. The festival of lights, music, ideas and food is running for its 13th year but still keeps us guessing on what they'll do each time. New York may never sleep, but Sydney never gets old (and neither does this festival).

Start planning your Vivid visit to see the beautiful city and harbour glow far brighter than usual. The below free events will transform your wintry nights.

Location: Darling Harbour

Tumbalong Nights

This free concert will be a main attraction with a hefty list of local musicians set to take the stage at Tumbalong Park. Depending on the night, you can see live performances by Dan Sultan, Emma Donovan, Pink Matter, Yothu Yindi and many others. On 2 June, the radio channel Triple J will be celebrating its famous Unearthed music competition by inviting previous winners to perform.

Get your glowsticks ready (you know you want to!) and enjoy the best beats of the festival in the middle of the Darling Harbour precinct. This event will be taking place on select festival nights. Plan ahead and check the concert schedule here


Combine the concert with a short stroll to Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay for the impressive light installation, Elemental. Regardless of where you stand, you will see the water transform into a stage of fire, water shooters and projections.

The theme focuses on the main elements of nature, exploring how harmony and balance is central to our evolving planet. Set to a soundtrack, the light installation at Darling Harbour is always a must-see Vivid destination.

Vivid Sydney 2023, free events, Darling Harbour, Elemental, light and water display Sydney, family event, accessible event
Elemental at Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay

Location: Barangaroo


Step into this immersive visual experience at Vivid House. Walk through four levels of floor-to-ceiling imagery that will surround you with different themes, each inspired by the natural Australian landscape.

The installation will include snowcapped mountains, warm sunsets, the ocean floor and native birds. This 360 degree installation promises to transport you to places you've only dreamed of.

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Infinity at Vivid House, Barangaroo

The Last Ocean

The stargazer lawn (what a great name btw) will be the setting for this large-scale outdoor installation that is both moving and magnificent.

Visitors can walk across plastic that has been reclaimed from the ocean and recycled to create an 'ice sheet' from the neighbouring continent of Antarctica. Despite the few footprints that have been made on the icy region, Antarctica is being affected by climate change and rising ocean temperatures.

The artwork interacts with people's movements so you can see the Antarctic sea spill over to change the shape of the ice sheet. It is designed to reflect the changes occurring to the continent itself. Imagine what it would be like to walk across the vast Antarctic landscape at this festival installation.

Click here for more details

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'The Last Ocean' artwork by Jen Lewin

Location: Central Station

The Goods Line Walk

This city walking trail is worthy of a wonder, with a series of installations to see and music to vibe to. Each night, there will be a designated Vivid DJ playing on the The Goods Line stage, from 6pm - 10.30pm.

Start or end your journey at Central station's western fašade, which will be projecting images to highlight the building's history. Other artworks along the walk include the Waterlight Graffiti, an interactive LED blackboard, and Common Ground, an installation exploring the calm and chaos of nature at the Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo.

The Vivid Sydney website has all details including an easy-to-use map, although it won't be difficult to find your way. Just follow the crowds!

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Central Station's western facade and clock tower

Location: Circular Quay

Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)

The popular art gallery that sits next door to Circular Quay train station will become a canvas of projections throughout Vivid. See projected artwork bathe the six-storey art deco style building including Barerarerungar. The stunning visual display is a signature of the festival that you won't want to miss, even if you've seen it before.

You can also look across to the projections on the Sydney Opera House, which really needs no introduction. And on select festival nights, you can see the 'Written in the Stars' drone show flying in the sky above, commencing at 9pm.

View dates of the drone show on the festival website. It is recommended to arrive early, before the start of the show, to secure an optimum vantage point (and bring snacks!).

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The MCA at Vivid Sydney in 2014. Photo by Patty Jansen (Wikimedia Commons)
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Why? See the city illuminated for Vivid Sydney
Where: Sydney city incl. Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, Barangaroo and Central Station
Your Comment
What a huge and magnificent undertaking it is. I love the Last Ocean artwork.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10579) 3 days ago
Wow, Vivid is getting bigger every year. Good to know about ones I'd never heard of before like The Last Ocean and Infinity.
by Lynne Vertannes (score: 2|144) 10 days ago
Vivid looks good this year! I'm going to Vivid at Taronga!
by Ashleigh Meikle (score: 2|268) 2 days ago
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