Have you ever wondered what’s hidden beneath Australia’s emerald city? Curious of what lies hidden in the deep waters of Sydney’s harbour? The theme of sustainability and the environment remains the core message behind Vivid Sydney, Australia’s most loved and awarded creative festival. It brings together the top talent in art, music, ideas and innovation. The light festival runs from 24 May to 15 June 2019 and this year the event is bigger than ever, celebrating its 11th year!
The Vivid Sydney festival spans from Chatswood and Taronga Zoo in the north to Circular Quay, The Rocks and the Royal Botanic Gardens, as well as Darling Harbour and Barangaroo to the west and south of the CBD.
Alan Chan, our Digital Marketer from the Sydney office and sculpture/installation alumnus of the UNSW Art & Design School, takes us on a Become Vivid Tour, highlighting installation top favourites, over the course of the festival. Here are Alan’s top tips to a successful visit at Vivid Sydney:
How to get to Vivid?
Public transport is definitely recommended. Take the bus or train to Martin Place, St James or Wynyard and take a short walk down from there. You can also catch the train directly to Circular Quay station on the weeknights, which will take you directly to the heart of most of the main light installations. For more information on travel: https://www.vividsydney.com/transport
What time and day is best to go?
The best time recommended to go is to arrive around 6pm, when the lights are just turning on! Go early, as crowds do increase around dinner and post-dinner times. If you prefer a quieter day and more time to experience the installations, visit Vivid on Monday to Wednesdays. The weekends will be most crowded without a doubt (unless it’s raining!)
What are your top 5 favourite installations this year?
Click here to download the map
- ‘Under the Harbour’ (number 20 on the map)
Artist: Spinifex group: Ben Alpass (Australia)
Absolutely love the projection onto the Customs House of neon sea creatures and botanical wonderlands. This installation will be sure to inspire, excite and delight the young (and the young at heart!) You’ll want to watch this at least twice, once for absorbing all the stunning visuals in and another to take photos and videos with.
- ‘Marine Turtle’ (number 19 on the map)
Artist: Ample Projects (Australia)
Highlighting the beauty and diversity of our marine life, the Marine Turtle exhibit is a top favourite this year. It raises awareness of the threats our turtles are facing and how we need to do more for the protection of their vibrant but delicate ocean habitats. Who doesn’t love turtles? They are so damn cute! Don’t forget, World Oceans Day is fast approaching on Saturday 8th June!
- Austral Floral Ballet on the Sydney Opera House (number 28 on the map)
Artist: Andrew Thomas Huang (United States) with BEMO (United States)
No visit to Sydney, would be complete without stopping by the famous white sails of the Sydney Opera House. This beautiful awe-inspiring projection of contemporary fusion dance brings our botanical curiosity to life as never seen before. If you love dance and Australian native species of plants, this is the installation for you, it is absolutely stunning! You’ll want to take more than one selfie, maybe 10… (bring your selfie stick!)
- Beetopia (number 33 on the map)
Artist: Pink Cactus: George Buchanan (Australia)
This is a glowing bee hotel with gigantic over the top colourful native bees. While a lot of the installations will say “Do not touch!” this one is interactive, and you are encouraged to touch! Installations that involve the public and our senses, always wins my heart. Participatory works are so exciting! You’ll want to run your hands on the textures of this enormous bee hotel and calmly caress the bees but remember to be gentle ;) The bees will respond back with a warming buzz!
- Firefly Field (number 39 on the map)
Artists: Toer: Castor Bours & Wouter Widdershoven (Netherlands)
One of the main highlights featured in the Botanic Gardens precinct this year. An absolutely stimulating and mesmerizing installation, this is one you don’t want to miss! Consisting of 500 flying light points which mimic the movement of fireflies. Artworks that consist of multiples or repetitions, always looks so impressive in their masses.
With so much to see, where do you start?
I would recommend, starting from The Rocks area, Circular Quay and then make your way to the Sydney Opera House and finishing at the Botanic Gardens precinct for one night. There are many lively restaurants in this area, pleasing to your eyes and your taste buds!
You can save the Darling Harbour and Barangaroo precinct for a separate night and Chatswood and Taronga Zoo for another trip. The festival is held over 23 nights, there’s no need to rush through it all in one go. Vivid Sydney is a festival for everyone, so enjoy it with your family, soak it in and take your time to experience it all! It really is an experience you don’t want to miss. Do keep an eye out on our Instagram and follow our Become Vivid Tour: www.instagram.com/become.ANZ