Vivid Sydney

Sydney’s cultural events are often overlooked but this massive light show brings the whole city out!

Note: If you live in Australia, this is hardly news but, I’m not sure how much coverage it gets overseas. So I thought I’d write a little something about my time at Sydney’s biggest event.

I’ll admit that Sydney’s cultural events – ones that you actually want to attend – are few and far between. Sure, the city puts on a few biggies but most are fairly niche. And not easy to find. But not Vivid. The 23-day event lights up the city and always has everyone talking.

Having the first clear night after four days of Sydney being battered by storms, we (my boyfriend and I) decided to hit up the event.

Most of the action happens at Circular Quay and it’s surrounds, The Rocks and the Royal Botanic Gardens. So, we started at The Rocks and worked our way around to the most impressive installations in Gardens. But holy moly, we were not prepared for the shitstorm that awaited.

Here’s an excited picture of me after realising we made it through the tunnel unscathed!

It’s the double-edged sword of Vivid. While it’s the one event that gets everyone excited about Sydney’s culture, it’s also the only event that gets everyone, and I mean everyone, out and about.

Have you ever realised people get stupider in large numbers? From the parents with uncontrollable prams to the children on scooters (seriously, which parent allowed this to happen – it’s hard enough to navigate the crowds and cobblestones as it is!) to the groups of people who insist on walking arm-in-arm and blocking the entire walkway, it’s the most frustrating stroll ever. That’s not to mention people randomly stopping. It’s not that hard to move to the side, people!

Aside from my frustrations at the hordes of idiots, Vivid actually has a lot to offer. The lights are the obvious (and free) drawcard. There’s obviously the Opera House with the ever-changing images projected onto it.


And, this year’s big winner, the so-called ‘Cathedral of Light’ in the Botanic Gardens (pictured above), which is celebrating it’s 200 year anniversary.

The city has also organised a number of music events, in the Opera House and beyond, and has brought out some speakers for their ‘Big Ideas’ talks. I’m yet to see any but apparently director Spike Jonze gave a talk a couple nights ago and casually brought people on stage to give them a haircut.

Such is the way of the weird and wonderful Vivid. So, if you can brave the crowds, I would recommend checking it out. It runs every year from the end of May til mid-way through June.

For a full run-down of the event, you can visit their website here.

And for more pictures of what to expect, you can check out this gallery!


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