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Vivid Sydney 2014

Home > Sydney > Festivals | Music | Performing Arts | Theatre | Workshops
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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Light up your life, share ideas & enjoy great music
Vivid Sydney is back and bigger than last year with more places lighting up. 2013 saw Darling Harbour included as well as Walsh Bay, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and North Sydney. 2014 sees Martin Place on board as well as The Star and Carriageworks at Redfern.

18 nights from 23 May to 9 June, 6pm to midnight.

Vivid Sydney 2014
A harbour cruise in 2013 saw me get some great photos including this one of the Sydney Opera House lit up

With so much to see and do from free events to ticketed events, cruises on the harbour, and walks, you could venture into the city multiple nights and this is one festival you can do every year as the lights and entertainment is ever changing. The three themes this year are Music, Ideas and Light.

Vivid Music

A huge lineup of contemporary artists from Australia and around the world will perform with musical acts including Pet Shop Boys, Pixies, and The Presets. The Sydney Opera House is the main venue for live shows and you can join a backstage tour, and visit the pop-up restaurant and bar. Hip venue Modulations at Carriageworks will complement the Opera House with some renowned and emerging DJ's and bands as well as providing panel discussions that feature music industry professionals, video artists and graphic designers. Other cool venues include the Spectrum at The Argyle in The Rocks and The Basement near the Quay.

Vivid Ideas

Turn your ideas into reality. Forums with a massive lineup of speakers sharing knowledge and expertise will take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) for you to connect and network, and learn about building a career in the creative industries. A range of workshops include 3D Printing and New Generation Technologies to A Cheat's Guide to Getting that thing off the ground.

Vivid Light

Over 50 spectacular light installations and sculptures await along with 3D mapped building projections.

They can be viewed in the following places:-

Sydney Opera House
Lighting of the Sails will be done by a London-based production company called 59 Productions and will take us on a journey through time from the birth of civilisation and architecture through to human and technological achievement.

Sydney Opera House during Vivid Sydney
Another shot of our beautiful Opera House from 2013

Sydney Harbour Bridge and North Sydney
Use a touch screen at North Sydney on the boardwalk near Luna Park to light up the bridge. Choose your own colours and sequences or perhaps do the Bridge Climb wearing a special Vivid vest where your heartbeat brightens up the summit in your own personal show of light. Also don't miss the Sea of Lanterns at Bradfield Park and the multi-media exhibition at the Olympic Pool at North Sydney.

Luna Park during Vivid Sydney
Luna Park during Vivid Sydney

Sydney Harbour
Selected ferries and vessels will be lit up on the harbour for the first time and as they enter different parts of the harbour they change colour thanks to computer controlled Intel technology and the latest sat-nav geo-positioning. Board one at either Circular Quay or King St Wharf at Darling Harbour.

Circular Quay to the Rocks and Walsh Bay
Take the Light Walk with some amazing sculptures and installations including the interactive Pool in First Fleet Park, the Geodesic Light Dome and the glowing Orb, see the MCA and Gamma World where the building morphs into a dynamic performance space, Customs House with the facade becoming a series of gigantic musical instruments that you bring to life via a touch screen and the waving of your hands, and perhaps enjoy a show at Sydney Theatre or Wharf Theatre at Walsh Bay.

Martin Place
Two light installations flank the Cenotaph and pay homage to those who have given their lives for their country. Emergence will capture the audience via a webcam and project faces and expressions into the 3D sculptured head whilst the petals of Sky Flower unfold in a moving hymn of changing colour.

Darling Harbour
The home of Vivid Aquatique Water Theatre, where water jets dance as fountains of light, is twice the size this year. There are giant water screens and video projections, lasers and marine fireworks. Also see rooftop projections on the National Maritime Museum which bring to life the world of marine animals.

Darling Harbour during Vivid Sydney
Darling Harbour

The Star
The entire facade of the Astral Tower, the Darling hotel and the Sky Terrace rooftop will be transformed into a light show for the first time and you'll be able to view highlights of Vivid Sydney from across the city in the Vivid Bar at The Star.

Plenty to do and see at this festival so plan your trip or trips and travel by public transport as there will be significant road closures and special event clearways.
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Why? For an inspiring night out
When: 6pm to midnight
Phone: Destination NSW 02 9931 1111
Where: Various locations from North Sydney, CBD to Redfern, & Darling Harbour
Cost: Free as well as various ticketed events
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