Highlights Guide To Vivid Sydney 2021

14 June 2021
Read Time: 3.2 mins

7 highlights to see at Vivid Sydney 2021 

  • Lighting of the Sails

  • Holi

  • Bauhaus Chess Set 

  • Rissole Rampage

  • Vivid Live

  • Heaps Gay: Queen's Ball

  • Jameela Jamil: Body Politics 


Vivid Sydney runs from 6-28 August in selected locations across the city in Barangaroo, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Luna Park and The Rocks. 

Full of surprises the program is designed to encourage attendees with new ways of seeing, hearing, thinking and feeling. Expect mesmerising art displays, 3D light projections, an awesome line-up of musical acts as well as workshops and talks from some of the world's greatest minds. 

Here’s just a snapshot of some of the best bits to catch if you find yourself in Sydney Town this Vivid! 




Lighting of the Sails

Each year an internationally-renowned artist is commissioned to create an original artwork for projection onto the Sydney Opera House that captures the spirit of the iconic landmark. This year, the artwork is by First Nations artists from the Martumili collective and depicts the Parnngurr community and surrounding landscape and celebrates the Martu's intimate knowledge of the land. 

Where: Bennelong Point

When: 6-8 Aug, 6pm-11pm 

How much: Free



Inspired by the famous Hindu Festival of Colours, Holi is an interactive artwork that gives you the opportunity to spread joy and radiance through movement. Standing at a safe distance from other attendees, the shapes and patterns you make trigger motion sensors that shower millions of digital light particles through the air in an explosion of life and colour. What a delight! 

Where: The Rocks

When: 6-8 Aug, 6pm-11pm 

How much: Free


Bauhaus Chess Set 

An ode to the universal game of power, the artists behind this work have supersized the set, bringing an element of wonder to the visitors of all ages as they interact with the piece. Each gigantic chess piece is inspired by the 20th Century Bauhaus movement and looks bright, bold and brilliant! 

Where: Darling Harbour

When: 6-8 Aug, 6pm-11pm 

How much: Free

RELATED: All Of The Best Touristy Things To Do In Sydney For Locals




Rissole Rampage

If the event name itself is enough to spike your interest, then you’re in for a treat at this two-day music festival that brings together young and old music lovers in a historic Sydney venue that hosted INXS and The Go-Betweens back in the ‘80s & ‘90s. The line-up includes indie pop and rock on the friday night and the best up and coming punk, garage and psych on the saturday night headlined by cult Melbourne band Cable Ties.  

See the full line-up here.

Where: Paddo RSL, Paddington

When: 13-14 Aug

How much: Single night tickets from $34.70 / weekend pass from $55.60 via Oztix


Vivid Live 

The Sydney Opera House stage will welcome an epic line-up of Australian musicians over the course of the festival. Some big name acts include rapper and singer Sampa The Great, indie pop star G Flip and Indie rock’s Gareth Liddiard (the Drones) will perform alongside Dirty Three drummer Jim White and the Necks pianist Chris Abrahams. One of Australia’s hottest new music acts 19-year-old singer-songwriter Budjerah, a Coodjinburra man from the Bundjalung nation who has been mentored by Matt Corby and is fresh off the release of his debut EP, will make his Sydney Opera House debut. Check out the program to see the full line-up. 

Where: Sydney Opera House

When: Variety of acts and show over the festival period

How much: Various


Heaps Gay: Queen's Ball

A ‘huge dress up ball full of debauchery and twisted surprises’—get out the bedazzler and bring your most elaborate, spooky get up for a night of creepy carnival fun at Luna Park. Acts include Jess B, Okenyo and Tiktok sensation Mia Rodriguez and R’n’B diva Vetta Borne.

Where: Luna Park

When: 7 Aug, 7pm-1am 

How much: TBC, register for tickets here (there’s room for 3000 revellers when tickets go live)




Jameela Jamil: Body Politics 

Jameela Jamil is an advocate, actor, radio presenter and writer renowned for her starring role in The Good Place, but it is her wicked wit and outspoken crusade for body positivity that has attracted millions of fans worldwide. In this exclusive live appearance via video link from the United States, Jameela speaks out with fellow trailblazer author, presenter and political commentator Jamila Rizvi  about the importance of a healthy self-image that goes ‘beyond flesh and bones’, the need for greater representation of diversity on stage and screens, and tackling the conforming nature of social media.

Where: Sydney Town Hall 

When: 22 Aug, 1-2.30pm

How much: from $35*

Keen for a weekender (or more!) in Sydney this August? See our Sydney Deals!


Rachel Surgeoner

A self-confessed 'food-tourist', I take hunting for the world's greatest sandwich very seriously, my quest has taken me from Berlin to Hoboken. Stopping off only for vintage shopping, craft beers and Mediterranean sunsets.