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art, City, Date, General, June, May

Vivid Sydney 2012 lights up the harbour city

In my first year in Sydney I vividly (see what I did there) remember getting the train over the bridge and seeing the Opera House lit up a bright green – I couldn’t help but think that it was such a great PR stunt (obviously working in the PR business by day, my mind is never off). Little did I know that it was part of something so much bigger and that this was it’s first year.

If you’re visiting or plan to be in Sydney this May/ June – you simply must make an effort to get down to Sydney Harbour and take in the amazing sight that is Vivid Sydney!

Vivid Sydney is back for its fourth year, with a program that according to Destination NSW will transform the city at night into a colourful canvas of light, music and ideas.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner today announced that the festival’s lighting centrepiece, the lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails would be designed by German light collective, URBANSCREEN.

Mr Stoner joined this year’s three Festival Directors at Sydney Opera House to announce the Vivid Sydney 2012 program.  Anthony Bastic presented the Vivid Light selections. Fergus Linehan unveiled the Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House music line-up and Jess Scully outlined an 18 day and night Vivid Ideas program.

“As the major investor in the festival, the NSW Government is committed to supporting and growing Vivid Sydney, an event that has been truly embraced by Sydneysiders and visitors alike.

“Last year Vivid Sydney attracted more than 400,000 people and in 2012 we expect up to 500,000 people will attend the festival from the 25 May – 11 June.  Destination NSW estimates Vivid Sydney 2012 will inject more than $10 million in new money for the State,” he said.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said Vivid Sydney, developed by Destination NSW, has become an international success story reinforcing Sydney’s position as Australia’s global tourism and events city.

“As the largest annual festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, Vivid showcases Sydney as the creative industries hub of the Asia Pacific.

“Vivid Sydney was recently ranked as one of the world’s top ten ideas festivals by the influential Guardian newspaper in the UK; being named alongside SXSW and TedX is a major endorsement of the festival.

“Images of the illuminated Sydney Opera House sails have been seen by tens of millions of people across the globe, in all of our key tourism markets.  Last year 45,000 interstate and overseas visitors attended Vivid Sydney,” she said.

Vivid Sydney Creative Advisor, Ignatius Jones said once again audiences would be wowed by a world-class festival program where the best, brightest and most innovative talent in the creative industries from both here and overseas come and play with light, music and ideas that will dazzle and amaze.

The festival includes free and ticketed events around Circular Quay, The Rocks, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Sydney Opera House.

The hugely popular Vivid lights will be switched on every night of the festival from 6.00pm to midnight in a free lighting display around The Rocks and Circular Quay, featuring 50 interactive and immersive light art sculptures, illuminated skyscrapers and large scale 3D mapping projections on the Sydney Opera House, Museum of Contemporary Art and Customs House.

Vivid Light Festival Director, Anthony Bastic has selected light art works from around the globe including France, Poland, Hong Kong, Scotland, USA, Brazil, Singapore and New Zealand.  Australians feature from Sydney, Western Australia, South Australia, Queensland and regional NSW from Wagga Wagga, Goulburn, Maitland and Newcastle.

Vivid LIVE at Sydney Opera House will feature a line-up of local and international artists hand selected by Festival Director, Fergus Linehan. Cutting edge, German projection artists, URBANSCREEN, have been invited to weave their creative magic across Sydney Opera House in the festival favourite, ‘Lighting the Sails’.

The astounding line-up of local and international artists, includes opening night act – the critically acclaimed English artist Florence + The Machine who will perform with the Ceremonial Orchestra taking over the Concert Hall.

The YEAH YEAH YEAHs frontwoman Karen O will present her ‘Psycho Opera’ STOP THE VIRGENS; R&B superstar Janelle Monáe will make her long awaited Australian debut with ‘The ArchAndroid Orchestra’; and New York’s finest creative minds Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and Sufjian Stevens will collaborate on a special commission for Vivid LIVE.

The theatrically lit up canvas of the city will provide the backdrop for the biggest meeting of creative industries coming to Sydney to collaborate, foster business connections and showcase new ideas.

This year’s festival has more than doubled the creative industry events with over 100 specialist and collaborative events in the Vivid Ideas program curated by Festival Director, Jess Scully.

“Vivid Ideas will attract global industry leaders alongside emerging talents, coming together over an 18 day program of discussion, debate and workshops at the new Vivid Ideas Exchange located at the Museum of Contemporary Art,” said Mr Jones.

Highlights from the Vivid Ideas program include a partnership with the Sydney Film Festival, keynote talks from Chad Dickerson, CEO of Etsy and UK fashion talent, Henry Holland, from House of Holland, and creative industry conferences X Media Lab, Song Summit, Mumbrella360 and CeBIT Australia.

Mr Stoner said I strongly encourage Sydneysiders and visitors to step out during Sydney’s mild winter and experience Vivid Sydney 2012.

“Vivid Sydney has a record number of creative industry events and we invite creative practitioners from across Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific to come to Sydney to share ideas from around the world,” he said.

Vivid Sydney is one of five signature events in the NSW Events Calendar developed by the NSW Government through Destination NSW.

The full Vivid Sydney program is available at


Vivid Sydney 2012 renders are available at

About sydneysocial

One twenty-something year old girl who has been living in Australia since Jan 2009.


6 thoughts on “Vivid Sydney 2012 lights up the harbour city

  1. Thank you for posting. Looks fab. Must go.

    Posted by Clareville | March 15, 2012, 11:59 pm
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