This year’s Vivid is tipped to be bigger, bolder and brighter than ever before and, after looking at the line-up, you’ll see why. New precincts, more displays and top-of-their-game names fill up the schedule from start to finish, providing one excellent option after the other. With so much on offer there’s never been a handier time for a ‘best of’ list so you can make informed decisions about how to spend your time. Being the helpful and dedicated bunch that we are, we’ve pored through the program, spoken with the organisers and had many heated debates in order to bring you just that.
Let’s be honest. The Sydney Opera House was always going to be at the top of our list. There’s something extra special about seeing Sydney’s most iconic landmark adorned with luminous art and this year’s Audio Creatures display sounds utterly wonderful. Acclaimed cinematographer and graphic designer Ash Bolland’s exhibition will feature a collection of imaginary creatures finding homes among the sails, interacting with each other and the landscape as they do so. Part art, part animation and all light, this is where you should start your Vivid experience.
The magical Royal Botanic Gardens are taking on a distinctly avian theme this year, lining their paths with glowing kiwis and giant mechanical birds which will happily dip in and out of ponds as they change colour. The garden precinct was one of Vivid’s best last year with its otherworldly feel and it sounds like this year will follow firmly in that tradition.
Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, is gracing the Opera House with his presence during the festival. Expect new tunes alongside old favourites and – if his last visit to Sydney is anything to go by – sold out crowds.
Combining 50-metre-high jets of water, building-size projections, lasers and fireworks, Magicians of the Mist in Darling Harbour is set to be the most exciting display of the festival. The scale, energy and coordination involved will be jaw-dropping and well worth lengthy observation.
Always wanted to see the Southern Lights? Then chances are you’ll love Atmos in Martin Place. Created to mimic the real thing, the rippling floating lights will transfix you in no time and if it wasn’t for the high rise buildings around you, you might swear you’d landed in Antarctica. As an added bonus, some of Sydney’s best restaurants will serving up Vivid goodies right underneath the display, making it a perfect spot for a late-night picnic.
Has there ever been a better phrase than David Bowie Cabaret? Promising a mix of burlesque, circus magic, pop iconography and (of course) a David Bowie impersonator, we can’t wait to see what this talented group of performers will create.
Bangaroo is joining Vivid for the first time this year and is set to wow visitors with the optical illusion that is Trapdoor. Prepare for the ground to open up under your feet as your transported to a subterranean world to experience parts of the site’s history.
MUSICbox is every performer’s dream, providing the opportunity for you – yes, you – to see what your music looks like in light form. Step onto one of the four stages, play the keyboard and see your tune projected onto historic Cadman’s Cottage in the bustling heart of The Rocks.
Goldfrapp will be playing her trademark mix of pop and electronica at Carriageworks on June 2. The performance will be a Sydney exclusive so buy tickets early and prepare for an invigorating and exclusive evening.
Taronga Zoo will be turning on the charm throughout Vivid with an awe-inspiring installation of interactive animal light sculptures. Learn about animal conservation from a swarm of tiny buzzing bees and a giant Port Jackson shark and revisit some of last year’s favourites like the charming purple rhino.