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Vivid Sydney

  • Things to do, Fairs and festivals
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  1.  Digital render of 'Jacanas', 1983 projected on the Opera House
    Photograph: SOH/Curiious | Digital render of 'Jacanas', 1983 projected on the Opera House
  2. The Sydney Opera House lit up with art by John Olsen.
    Photography: Supplied | Vivid Sydney 2023Lighting of the Sails: Life Enlivened
  3. A light installation.
    Photography: Supplied | Vivid Sydney 2023
  4. A pylon on the Sydney Harbour Bridge lit up with art.
    Photography: Supplied | Vivid Sydney 2023
  5. A light installation.
    Photography: Supplied | Vivid Sydney 2023
  6. Carriageworks Night Market - Burning Love
    Photography: Daniel Boud | Vivid Sydney | Carriageworks Night Market
  7. A light installation.
    Photography: Supplied | Vivid Sydney 2023
  8. Sydney Harbour lit up at night during Vivid.
    Photography: Supplied | Vivid Sydney 2023Sydney Harbour
  9. The word VIVID appears in the sky above Sydney Harbour, spelt out by drone lights.
    Photography: Supplied | Vivid Sydney 2023Drone Show

Time Out says

Vivid is bringing its biggest line-up yet for 2023 – and along with the lights, music and ideas, there will be a new focus on food

It's that time of year again – when Vivid literally lights up Sydney. Get your ultimate guide to Vivid (the best lights to see, what events to attend, where to eat and drink, and more), right here.

The 2023 iteration of Sydney's huge annual festival of lights, music and ideas is even huger than usual. 

Inspired by the OG creator, Mother Nature, this year's theme is 'Vivid Sydney, Naturally'. That theme will be reflected across all 300 activations and events that make up the 23-day (and nights) program, from May 26 to June 17. 

There are light installations, big music acts and a whole new yum addition to the line-up: Vivid Food. This year, they're not just stimulating our eyeballs and earholes – they're going to be filling our bellies too, with innovative food events.

Just some of the highlights on the schedule include:

1. A tribute to Australian painter John Olsen. His vibrant works done over more than 60 years will be brought to life on the Sydney Opera House for 'Lighting of the Sails: Life Enlivened'. Prior to his recent death in April at the age of 95, Olsen worked closely with the team who is bringing 15 of his famous artworks to the iconic billboard of the Opera House sails. Find out more here.

2. A spotlight on First Nations and Australian voices with Vivid Music, including a tribute to the late Archie Roach AC, and a free performance by Yothu Yindi as part of the Vivid Music Program at Tumbalong Park.

3. Vivid Ideas presenting Jeanette Winterson – the English author who has gained a cult following for her novels that explore themes of gender and sexual identity.

4. The drone show. This thousand-strong drone show will be the biggest the Southern Hemisphere has ever seen. 

The Sydney Opera House will host an unbelievable line-up of shows for its centrepiece contemporary music event, Vivid Live, including performances by Budjerah (swoon), Kimbra (also swoon), José González (eeep), Cat Power Sings Dylan (!), Devonté Hynes Selected Classical Works with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (wow!), plus loads more. Tickets for these events go on sale to the public at noon on Friday, Mar 17.

Carriageworks, another one of the Vivid venues, will have a mammoth program spanning food, music and more.

For everything you need to know about Vivid, click here.

Alice Ellis
Written by
Alice Ellis


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