Sydney is set to be transformed into a glittering canvas of Lights, Ideas and Music with the wildly anticipated return of Vivid Sydney. The festival of lights which attracts millions of visitors every year had been cancelled both in 2020 and 2021 owing to the coronavirus pandemic. The festival has finally announced fresh dates and an epic program lineup from May 27 – June 18 with the theme ‘The Soul of the City,’ with over 200 events that will celebrate Sydney in all it’s glorious beauty.
This years event is looking to be a pretty memorable time for Sydneysiders, complete with brilliant art installations, exhilarating live performances, immersive experiences plus food and entertainment galore. Get excited for an 8km light walk linking Sydney Opera House to Central Station, the largest laser and water sculpture display ever seen in Sydney, a brilliant love letter to Sydney called ‘For Sydney with Love’, a huge Vivid Sydney dinner, engaging conversations with great minds like Aaron Sorkin and Gretchen Carlson along with splendid First Nations artworks and a lot more.
“Audiences will feel energised and invigorated by a number of festival firsts. This includes the longest ever continuous Light Walk winding all the way from the Sydney Opera House to Central Station, the Vivid Sydney Dinner, Vivid Sydney Supper Club and more, as well as all the innovative light-art installations, projections, eclectic music performances, and thought-provoking talks we all know and love,” Minister for Tourism and Sport, Stuart Ayres said.
Vivid Sydney 2022 program highlights
The program for 2022 is bigger and brighter than ever. Making up for the last two years, you can expect the city to be drenched in colour, lights music and then some this May and June.
An installation called Endless Love by artist Michaela Gleave will be positioned between the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House in a declaration of love for Sydney and her people.
Our Connected City will drench Sydney’s iconic architecture in striking hues including The Rocks, Circular Quay, Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
The opening night of Vivid Sydney will launch with First Night, inspired by our First Nations people, along with a Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony, and a tailored performance by NAISDA dancers choreographed by Deon Hastie.
An interactive projection called Vivid Reflections will take over Central Station transforming your movement into animated capture.
A major event to watch out for is For Sydney With Love, by artist Ken Done. The large-scale installation captures Sydney in all it’s spectacular glory, and celebrates her many icons and structures through time. From the foreshore to the harbour, watch your favourite Sydney spots sparkling in colour and light.
Also on the cards is Tomorrow’s Blossoming, a huge installation of light flowers with the input of many Sydney primary school students at Darling Quarter. Celestial in Walsh Bay will be a striking planetary sphere depicting the oneness of the Universe and how we are all fundamentally one.
A major highlight of this years event is Sydney Infinity — the largest ‘liquid and light show’ ever seen in Australia and created specially for Vivid Sydney. Hundreds of jets and water cannons will colour Darling Harbour in a spectacular display along with two choreographed shows and a soothing soundtrack which will act as an ode to the city.
And finally, Ephemeral which is set to be an immersive walkway of 200 glistening and colourful bubble-like spheres will float over the waters at Walsh Bay.
As for Vivid Ideas, a grand Vivid Sydney Dinner will take place over on Merivale’s Ivy Ballroom, acting as a love letter to our great city. The event will see music by the Vivid Sydney Brass Band, James Morrison, Ngaiire, Virginia Gay and Kate Monroe and a curated feast created by chefs Dan Hong and Mike Eggert and a lighting experience acting as a cherry on top of the cake.
Creative leaders from around the world will come together for Vivid Ideas, including Oscar-winning playwright Aaron Sorkin in an enlightening discussion on politics and drama with Australian broadcast journalist Leigh Sales at Sydney’s State Theatre.
Global megastar Troye Sivan will also take to the stage with Patrick Abboud, journalist and TV presenter at Sydney Town Hall in a soul-stirring discussion on masculinity, non-conformity and being young and queer.
Vivid Music will bring Sydney’s most talented artists front and center. On the line-up is Australian music icon Marcia Hines who will take to the stage with The Gospel according to Marcia, in a world-premiere show for two-nights only. She will be joined by a 12-piece band and choir along with a stunning light display for an unforgettable experience.
UK space rock band Spiritualized will perform live at Luna Park’s Big Top along with indie rockstar Baxter Dury in his Australian debut at the Metro Theatre. You can also groove to the sounds of New York rapper Cakes Da Killa’s at the Oxford Art Factory.
Another major highlight to watch out for is the Tumbalong Nights which will feature a stellar line-up of free live music events and short film screenings in Darling Harbour’s Tumbalong Park.
Other names include Estonian rapper and visual artist Tommy Cash, queer artist Perfume Genius, all-female rock band Chai, Perth’s Alter Boy queerlectro pop band and many others.
This years Vivid Music program invites a diverse audience and artist line-up to celebrate and journey through both hidden and celebrated corners of the city.
The Opera House will also be in on the celebration with Vivid Live at Sydney Opera House featuring a sprawling line-up including over 70 Australian and international artists. Australian legend Paul Kelly will be joined by Thelma Plum and band members Vika and Linda Bull, Bill McDonald, Peter Luscombe, Ash Naylor, Cameron Bruce and Dan Kelly for Time And Tide: Four Decades of Song live on the Northern Boardwalk.
Nils Frahm, Belgian based producer and composer will present his show Music for Sydney in a world premiere along with Zambian-born singer, poet and visual artist Sampa The Great who will also debut her long-awaited new show An Afro Future.
There are over 200 brilliant events set to take over the city in a cultural festivity unlike any other especially in recent times.
Whether you want to walk around town taking in all the sights and sounds of the immersive installations and artworks, prefer engaging in intellectual conversation with like-minded people or just want to throw down to some live music — there’s something for everyone. Find the full program for Vivid Light, Vivid Ideas and Vivid Music and start clearing your calendar ASAP.
Find more details on the Vivid Sydney website and watch this space for more events and updates as we get closer to the program.