Get us in your inbox

Search
A man watching the Vivid Sydney lights from across the hardbour
Photograph: Destination NSW

The best free things to do at Vivid Sydney 2024

All the best free experiences lighting up Sydney this sparkly season

Advertising

With its ever-growing program that literally lights Sydney up for three sparkly weeks every year, it’s a universally-acknowledged truth that planning out your Vivid itinerary can be overwhelming. And if the cost of living is making mapping out your plans even harder, we hear you. 

Thankfully, Vivid Sydney isn’t only for the flush – so many highlights of Sydney’s annual light festival can be experienced for free. 

We’ve put together a guide to doing Vivid on the cheap – so you can save your spare cash to spend at Vivid Food.

Keen to splash out this sparkly season? Here’s the lowdown on the program.

The best free things to do at Vivid

Where? Sydney Opera House

Seeing the Opera House light up for Vivid is one of the festival's undeniable highlights (ahem). This year, the aesthetically textural work of Sydney-based artist Julia Gutman (one of Time Out Sydney’s Future Shapers for 2024) will light up the sails: with a powerful moving artwork that nods to the story of Narcissus, interrogating what it means to truly see yourself. Gutman’s specially-commissioned work Echo will light up the sails until 11pm every night. To see the lights turn on, situate yourself with a view of the Opera House at 6pm any night between Friday, May 24 and Sunday, June 15. You can find out more over here.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106065460/image.jpg
Winnie Stubbs
Lifestyle Writer

Where? Customs House, Circular Quay

Music-lovers, this one’s for you. For one night only, the 1990’s rock band Dog Trumpet will be performing for free outside Customs House – as a musical ode to the visual display from Dog Trumpet front man Chris O'Doherty (Reg Mombassa) that will be projected onto Customs House for the duration of Vivid. Colourful, surrealist art in Mombassa’s signature playful, cartoonish style will paint a story of a classic Aussie road trip turned on its head across the walls of Customs House from May 24 until June 15, so if you miss the live musical performance, you won’t miss out entirely. You can learn more about Mombassa’s Gumscape with Road and Creatures over here.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106065460/image.jpg
Winnie Stubbs
Lifestyle Writer
Advertising
Advertising

Where? Barangaroo Cove

This interactive light feature is changing the way we interact with strangers. Take a seat on one of the luminous chairs at Barangaroo Cove, and when a seat next to you lights up and a stranger takes a pew, open up rather than turning away (or going on your phone). Learn more about Chairwave over here.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106065460/image.jpg
Winnie Stubbs
Lifestyle Writer

Where? The Goods Line

Yes, peering into a stranger’s window is technically always free, but it’s not always socially-acceptable. Window Dressing is an interactive art piece allowing visitors to catch a glimpse into the ever-fascinating world that plays out inside our homes. This one is located right next to Vivid Fire Kitchen, so you can grab some fire-cooked street food and escape into another world. Learn more about Window Dressing over here.

https://media.timeout.com/images/106065460/image.jpg
Winnie Stubbs
Lifestyle Writer
Advertising
Advertising

We’ll be sharing more guides to Vivid Sydney over the next few weeks – including reviews and round-ups of our favourite events and experiences. In the meantime, these are the key things you need to know, and you can see the full program over here.

 

Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, things to do and travel inspo, straight to your inbox.

 

Recommended
    You may also like
    You may also like
    Advertising