Sydney Of Lights

Sydney Of Lights
The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House during the festival, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Here's a three-week festival worth travelling for

Uttara Gangopadhyay
April 08 , 2019
04 Min Read

Do not miss the mesmerising outdoor lighting sculptures and cutting-edge contemporary music at the Vivid Sydney 2019, if you happen to be Down Under between May 24 and June 15 this year. Said to be Australia’s largest festival, it is the meeting ground of art and technology. The Festival also public talks by renowned thought leaders, industry seminars, conferences and creativity workshops, all celebrating Sydney’s place as the creative industries hub of the Asia-Pacific.

What is Vivid Sydney?


A 23-day festival of light, music and ideas, owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, Australia’s New South Wales Government’s tourism and major events agency. It celebrates creativity and innovation and has three main parts – large scale light installations and projections (Vivid Light), music performances and collaborations (Vivid Music including Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House); and creative ideas, discussion and debate (Vivid Ideas). The programmes are held across the city, including Luna Park Sydney, The Rocks and Circular Quay, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Taronga Zoo, and Chatswood.

Vivid Lights

At 6 pm every evening (at 5.30pm at Taronga Zoo and Chatswood), the light installations come to life and can be seen until 11pm. The Vivid Light walk stretching from The Rocks around Circular Quay and deep into the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is free of charge. Lighting the Sails unfurls across the Sydney Opera House. Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Luna Park Sydney, Chatswood and Taronga Zoo are some of the other places to enjoy the illumination.

Vivid Music

Enjoy live musical performances and musical collaborations ranging from local and international artists at the iconic Sydney Opera House to other large venues and small bars. At the heart of Vivid Music is Vivid LIVE, a program of cutting-edge music, which takes place at the Sydney Opera House, Australia’s most famous building.

Vivid Ideas

See technology build a vivid world by fusing creative and innovative ideas. From technology and start-up culture to design and architecture, film and screen content to visual arts and performance, advertising and marketing to animation, VFX, lighting and other events form the core of this Asia Pacific annual celebration.

Vivid Sydney 2019 highlights

  • As part of the Gamer Changer Series, listen to Academy Award winning director Spike Lee talk about Films, Politics and Race or hear what renowned psychotherapist and bestselling author Esther Perel has to say about love in contemporary times.
  • iCurve Ball at Carriageworks is an electronic and indie warehouse party featuring Hayden James, Mallrat and more
  • Purple Speakers take listeners through emerging club music from around Australia and the world at the Lansdowne Hotel
  • Installations and projections by Pixar Animation Studios on the Argyle Cut celebrating 30 years of animation, and Samsung, which will use the latest technology to light up First Fleet Park.
  • Circa is a twelve-part light sculpture made up of rings that present circannual light levels on earth's surface.

A few things to remember

  • Being a global event, the festival draws a large audience. While the Light Walk and some public programmes are free, others require paid entry. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday night and every night of the June long weekend are expected to be heavily crowded. Traffic regulations will be in force during the entire duration of the festival.
  • According to the organisers, with road closures and special event clearways in place in the city each night during the festival, access to parking will be limited and traffic will be heavy. Clearways are strict no parking zones. So plan to arrive early or consider public transport options. You can use the Trip Planner to plan your trip with up-to-date train, bus, ferry and light rail information.

For more details on the festival, see here.  

If you’re travelling from interstate or overseas, consult and to plan your trip and for latest travel deals.

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