Vivid Festival Gets Set To Light Up Sydney

29 April 2015

A river of light is set to wash over Sydney when the switch is flicked on 60 new light installations at this year’s art-meets-technology Vivid Festival on May 22.

For the first time city skyscrapers will be awash with coloured lights controlled by visitor-friendly touch pads; underwater lights will make their debut at Campbell’s Cove and an assembly of five dozen audience-operated search lights will burst from the roof of The Star at Pyrmont.

The glow from the free mega-event will this year stretch from the dress circle of Sydney Harbour into new precincts including the inner city Central Park district, Sydney University and across the Bridge to Chatswood in the city’s north.

 Artist impression of the Pyrmont & The Star Vivid Game Zone (image: Fourth Wall)

The 18-night light, music and ideas showcase, which injected $41 million into the NSW economy last year, attracted a colossal crowd of 1.43 million in 2014 – cementing its status as Australia’s largest event.

More than 90,000 people from outside of Sydney came to Vivid in 2014 with 30,000 of those visitors from overseas.

“This is the world’s largest outdoor art gallery,” said Creative Director Ignatius Jones.

“By taking art off the walls and putting it in the street we are making art accessible to everyone. And we are really lucky in that we have such a stunning setting to showcase the Festival.”

Once again the three-kilometre Light Walk from the Opera House through Circular Quay to Walsh Bay will be the key central attraction.

Installations and projections from global light artists will transform iconic Sydney landmarks like the Museum of Contemporary Art, Customs House and the Harbour Bridge.

The lighting of the sails of the world-famous Sydney Opera House will again star in the abundant city-wide program with the Universal Everything showcase promising a living mural of hand-drawn image sequences.

The big crowd-pleasers of 2015 are expected to be: the interactive Swing Glow, a classic children’s backyard swing set illuminated in First Fleet Park; Piano Stairs near the AMP Building allowing visitors to jump and play music; and Interplay, a projection installation on Cadman’s Cottage at the Quay, which can be controlled by the audience.

 Daniel Johns will be performing at Vivid LIVE (image: Harold David)

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A pop-up food and music collaboration at Martin Place will bring the city’s best restaurants together, while dancing flames, fountains and laser lights will dazzle at Darling Harbour.

Master storyteller of TV’s Mad Men and Sopranos fame Mathew Weiner will be the superstar appearance of the Vivid Ideas program, a platform for opinion influencers across 30 city venues.

Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House will feature 10 nights of performances including an exclusive event from home-grown song-writing giant Daniel Johns.

“Even in the cold weather people come in droves to Vivid,” said Sandra Chipchase, CEO of Destination NSW.

“ Vivid Sydney is an incredible public event that has seen amazing growth. It’s the largest festival of its kind in the world, and with our biggest program yet, there’s even more to love about Vivid Sydney this year.

“As Vivid Sydney expands, sending its creative energy across the city, it’s the perfect time to explore and discover Sydney’s wonderful restaurants, small bars and fantastic shopping. “

Vivid Sydney will be held between 6pm and midnight from May 22 to June 8.

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Angie Kelly

Planes, trains and cruise ships have taken Angie Kelly from sandy droplets in the Pacific to the cloud-piercing peaks of Switzerland, taking in spice bazaars, rooftop bars and roller coaster cars along the way. As a former editor of Fairfax’s Traveller on Sunday, Angie is hooked on the thrill of going places for the first time as well as finding fresh things to love and write about in favourite Aussie holiday spots.