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Vivid SydneyMay 26 - June 17

Each year Sydney sets the stage for the world’s biggest festival of light, music and ideas.

By Ellie Schneider

See Sydney become a canvas for brilliant light installations and projections when the Vivid festival returns in 2017. The annual event attracts more than 2.3 million visitors, and sees historic sights – including the Sydney Opera House, Customs House, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Taronga Zoo – illuminated in brilliant colour. The program also includes big-ticket music performances, creative conferences, talks and workshops. Here’s how to take it all in.



  • Where: Sydney
  • When: 26 May - 17 June
  • Price: $
Video guide: Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney Highlights


See the city lights 
The spectacle of lights stretches from the city's Circular Quay, Martin Place and Darling Harbour to Taronga Zoo, north of the harbour. Grab a camera and wander around the harbourside. The World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House can be your starting point, followed by the 30 minute walk to Darling Harbour, taking in light installations along the way. You will also see dancing water jets, full-colour lasers and fireworks during the festival.

Be blown away by a performance at the sydney opera house 
Each year the Sydney Opera House plays host to a stellar line-up of Australian and international artists as part of Vivid Live. Hot-ticket performances have included synth-pop (technopop) legends New Order, indie folk band Bon Iver, as well as Flume, Sufjan Stevens and The Pixies.

Sample local fare at the night market 
Showcasing more than 50 of Sydney’s top chefs, bars and restaurants, The Night Market at Carriageworks offers an unforgettable food experience. Previously, stalls have included renowned local eateries Porteño, Billy Kwong, Efendy, and Cornersmith, alongside Young Henrys Brewing Company and Cake Wines.The variety of food caters to all tastebuds.

Unlock your imagination at vivid ideas 
Vivid Ideas runs alongside the public light show and is an annual celebration of innovation and creativity, comprising more than 200 events and 400 speakers. The program is diverse, bringing together Australia’s creative industries – design, architecture, film, animation and advertising – to exchange ideas and mingle.


Book well in advance for a table at Bennelong, the upmarket restaurant located within the Sydney Opera House sails. With celebrated Australian chef Peter Gilmore at the helm, expect quality Australian ingredients amped up with a modern twist in indulgent surrounds.


The best way to see Vivid is by foot. Catch the train to Sydney's city stations, Town Hall or Martin Place, which are all a short walk to Darling Harbour or Circular Quay. It's a 25 minute taxi or bus ride from the city to Carriageworks, which is also a 10 minute walk from the University of Sydney.

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