Your Guide to Vivid Sydney 2017

15 May 2017
Read Time: 3.5 mins

When and where: 26 May – 17 June, throughout Sydney

It’s that time of year again, when Sydney’s streets, buildings and waterways come to life with vibrant, moving images, psychedelic sounds and pungent stories. Theatres and galleries play witness to conferences and talks that interrogate modern technology and creativity, advertising, digital content and the future of the media. Vivid Sydney hosts a program of awesome art, music and discussion. Here’s what’s on our list for this year.

the avalanches band photograph This concert will be the first time The Avalanches have performed the Since I Left You LP in full since 2001. (Image: Courtesy of Vivid Sydney)

Must See Music

The Avalanches – Since I left You Block Party, 27 & 28 May, Sydney Opera House

This festival style evening will be an energetic performance of electronic dance music headed up by Melbourne based group The Avalanches. Having won three Aria awards for their LP Since I Left You in 2001, the now iconic album will be performed live in full for the first time since 2001. Special guests include DJ Shadow, Brigs, Jonti, Sampa the Great and DJ JNETT.

Air, 30 & 31 May, Sydney Opera House

Returning to Australia for the first time in nine years, Air will perform in the Concert Hall at the Opera House for two special shows. Covering their music history from the evocative LP Moon Safari in 1998, through to film scores for The Virgin Suicides and the recent retrospective Twentyyears, these performances will be a journey into the past with this eclectic electro pop duo.

Goldfrapp, 2 June, Carriagworks

The award winning musician, known for her electronic beats with sensual melodies and a hint of machine pop will perform an exclusive show in the eclectic space at Carriageworks, not to be missed.

Founder and CEO of Buzzfeed, Jonah Peretti is the king of viral content. (Image: courtesy of Vivid Sydney)

Big Ideas

John Peretti, 28 May, City Recital Hall

Founder and CEO of Buzzfeed, Jonah Peretti talks about growing Buzzfeed from a small experiment into one of the web’s best viral content producers. Head to this talk to hear insights into how he works with technology and creativity together, the importance of the human connection when producing content and the future of digital content.

Battle of Thinking, 6 June, Museum of Contemporary Art

A vibrant conversation between panellists and attendees, this event will address and question research, strategy and digital in the world of advertising and agencies. Guests include some of the most respected names in the business, from Kate Smither, CSO, Saatchi & Saatchi to Carl Ratcliff, CEO of One Green Bean and many more between.

The Sunrise Conference, 31 May, Carriageworks

Have you always wanted to know how a start-up goes from idea to success? This conference brings together founders from some of Australia’s most successful small companies, to tell their stories and share what it takes to make a start-up sing. There will be keynote talks as well as Q&As with each guest, so you can learn everything from big picture to small details.

Audio Creatures, the artwork that will grace the Opera House during Vivid is a collaboration between artist Ash Bolland, Brazilian composer Amon Tobin and Spinifex. (Image: courtesy of Vivid Sydney)

Show Stoppers

Magicians of the Mist, 26 May – 17 June, Darling Harbour

This artistic performance brings Cockle Bay to life, with electric lightning strikes through misty waves, mystical figures and music. Blurring the lines between technology and art, massive pumps throw 28 tonnes of water into the air each minute as images are projected onto a wall of water 60 metres wide and 40 metres high, moving to the beat of eclectic music.

Organic Vibrations, 26 May – 17 June, Museum of Contemporary Art

Opposite the Opera House, the Museum of Contemporary Art will be lit up with a moving image equally as enthralling. Organic Vibrations, a collaboration between Australian artist Julia Gorman and Paris-based creative Danny Rose, is a moving mutation of a series of images, inspired by the natural world, but appearing as geometric art.

Lighting of the Sails: Audio Creatures, 26 May – 17 June

One of the main drawcards of Vivid is of course the enigmatic animation to grace the sails of the Sydney Opera House. This year Audio Creatures is an artistic collaboration between art director Ash Bollard, Brazilian composer Amon Tobin and animators Spinifex. The sails will come to life from 26 May until 17 June from 6pm each night. 

Ready to explore more of Sydney? Check out the travel guide for more information

Vicki Fletcher

A writer and photographer for Flight Centre, Vicki loves road trips down unknown tracks, hiking into mountain ranges, following locals to the best food in town, and spending long afternoons people watching in city squares. She's written for publications across Australia and Europe. Top travel tip: always look up. Follow Vicki on Instagram @vickijanefletcher.