5 Days until Lights Off, Vivid Sydney


With just a week­end and a bit left of Vivid Syd­ney 2015, you’ll want to make sure you ven­ture out to see all of the lights. Not sure where to begin? Check out the only guide you’ll need for the fes­ti­val, or dis­cover my themed trails here. Whether you’re look­ing to DIY, play or travel through space, you’ll get a full help­ing of Vivid lights with these guides to the festival.

Beyond the Wharf Vivid Sydney Harbour Tour. Image by Hayley Wood

Also, tonight is the last night to get on one of Beyond the Wharf’s Vivid cruises around Syd­ney Har­bour. Rug up and jump aboard because you won’t get a bet­ter view of the fes­ti­val clas­sics than on the back upper deck of one of Sydney’s iconic yel­low and green fer­ries. Tick­ets here.

Happy Vivid­ing!

Swing Glow. Image by Hayley Wood

Rabbit, Rabbit: Luck for an Official Launch

All The Pretty Dresses by Fifi Lapin

Rab­bit, Rab­bit. White Rab­bit. Rab­bits, Rab­bits, Rabbits.

Not fol­low­ing? This tra­di­tion of stat­ing one of the above (or a vari­a­tion) upon wak­ing up on the first of the month is a super­sti­tion that’s meant to bring you good luck for the 27 to 31 days ahead. Kind of like ‘a pinch and a punch for the first of the month’, but you know, friendlier.

So I may be a tad super­sti­tious – don’t even think of open­ing that umbrella inside, and watch out if you’re stand­ing behind my left shoul­der when I spill some salt – and when the good ol’ days of Nick­elodeon taught me the tra­di­tion of say­ing “Rab­bit, Rab­bit” on the first of the month back in the 1990s, it stuck. And it’s now stuck with me for the past 15 plus years… (A scary thought for all 90s kids out there… that was over 15 years ago.)

But my ques­tion is, did Nick­elodeon actu­ally make up this tra­di­tion which has now stuck with me and those oth­ers out there who remem­ber the ‘Nick Days’? After the obvi­ous quick search on Wikipedia, it turns out that this pre­dom­i­nantly Eng­lish tra­di­tion, though not well doc­u­mented, has been around since the early 1900’s at least. Upon fur­ther research, sev­eral peo­ple around the web do dis­cuss their fam­i­lies’ tra­di­tions and vari­a­tions of this rab­bit luck. There’s even a page ded­i­cated to the super­sti­tion, ran­domly placed within an old gem­scale site that will bring you right back to the 90s – and the days of cre­at­ing your own Geoc­i­ties or Angelfire sites. Many have com­mented (most recently in 2003) on the dif­fer­ent ori­gins and vari­a­tions they grew up knowing:Rabbit Rabbit

KevinS told of a great facil­i­ta­tor for a catch up on 9/2/1997

There is a tra­di­tion in the mil­i­tary (at least in the USAF) involv­ing white rab­bit. It is a game, as well as a way to keep in touch with those with whom you were sta­tioned. When a new month begins, it is a con­test as to who can tell the other per­son ‘white rab­bit’ first; must be live comm, no answer­ing machines, let­ters, etc. Usu­ally the wager would be a drink. How­ever, like I said, it allowed you an ‘excuse’ to call peo­ple once a month and catch up.”

John-Deb dis­cussed a bit of a mean-spirited ver­sion in Oki­nawa with ori­gins in New Zealand on 25/1/1998

Here on Oki­nawa, we have friends that believe that if you say White Rab­bit to some­one else on the first of the month, you steal all their luck. They believe it orig­i­nated in New Zealand.”

Ted went into a larger his­tory of why ‘rab­bit’, and where it may have actu­ally come from on 22/1/2000 here.

Watercolor by Deidre WicksI was also inter­ested in find­ing out what other pos­si­ble ‘first of the month’ tra­di­tions existed around the world, but unfor­tu­nately couldn’t find too many for a new month. I hap­pened upon those for the new moon like Rosh Chodesh from the Hebrew cal­en­dar, the ‘pinch and a punch’ tra­di­tion, and then of course, the spir­i­tual, find-your-inner-goddess type cel­e­bra­tions with can­dles, crys­tals and intentions.

But why all this talk of rab­bits and luck and the start of the new month? Well today, on the first day of the John Wesley, Untitled (Falling Alice), 1963month, I am offi­cially launch­ing my new site Quin­ntessences, an expan­sion of my old site Quin­ntessen­tial Style, and your new weekly guide to a quin­ntessen­tial lifestyle of sorts with style, inspi­ra­tions, mus­ings and plenty of quirks.

So my rab­bitry, good luck wishes and spir­i­tual inten­tions all go toward this launch of Quin­ntessences: Your Quin­ntessen­tial Week. Here’s to the luck that lies ahead as I get my bear­ings and head down this new and excit­ing rab­bit hole… (see what I did there?)

Luck to you all.

PS With my soft launch over the week­end, I pub­lished The Only Guide You Need for Vivid Syd­ney 2015 — a well rounded guide on how to approach Vivid this year, so if you’re in Syd­ney, check it out.

Image Source: Fifi Lapin, Dei­dre WicksFred­er­icks & Freiser

The Only Guide You Need for Vivid Sydney 2015

Vivid Sydney 2015

The days may be get­ting shorter, but Sydney’s turn­ing the lights on to keep the city shin­ing bright dur­ing Vivid Syd­ney 2015.

The Vivid 2015 sea­son has begun here in Syd­ney, bring­ing its biggest pro­gram yet with an abun­dance of fes­ti­val firsts. Over the next 12 days, the fes­ti­val of light, music and ideas will splash the city in colour, spin a lively sound­track and spark the minds of Syd­neysiders and vis­i­tors alike. All will be ablaze with colour­ful light instal­la­tions and pro­jec­tions fea­tured across the city. See the glow­ing Opera House Sails, mor­ph­ing MCA façade, the lumi­nes­cent water the­atre in Dar­ling Har­bour and even the boats that dot the waters sur­round­ing Syd­ney Town. While Syd­ney is illu­mi­nated, its res­i­dents and vis­i­tors will be enlight­ened. The festival’s Vivid LIVE brings a mas­sive pro­gram of con­tem­po­rary music for its sev­enth year in a row, while Vivid Ideas hosts a slew of sem­i­nars to dis­cuss inno­va­tion, chal­lenge think­ing and bring new ideas to the table. And though the fes­ti­val has already begun, there is still a ton on offer to see, hear and do.

Only have a day to dis­cover Vivid Syd­ney 2015? Here’s your one night guide of places and events to hit while you paint the town red (and yel­low and green and brown and scar­let and black and ocher and peach and…)

Vivid Sydney 2015 at Central Park


Sydney’s new ‘urban vil­lage’, Cen­tral Park makes its Vivid debut this year as street art comes to life, mar­kets light up the night and inter­ac­tive enter­tain­ment keeps you com­ing back for more.

5:30pm aMBUSH Gallery, L3 Cen­tral Park, 28 Broad­way, Chippendale

Head up to the aMBUSH gallery space to check out Streets Ahead and immerse your­self in the world of street art and streetwear through a one-off exhibit and Vivid Ideas talks with artists, design­ers and brands at the fore­front of street cul­ture. The exhibit dis­plays works by all of the spe­cially invited inter­na­tional speak­ers includ­ing Tony Arcabas­cio, jeff­stable, Mishka, 123KLAN and L’Amour Supreme.

6pm aMBUSH Gallery, L3 Cen­tral Park, 28 Broad­way, Chippendale

After the exhibit, find your way to the New­town Hotel pop-up bar in the gallery’s event space for a drink and front-row view of the Streets Ahead light show, spark­ing up at 6pm. Watch as works by indige­nous artist, Reko Ren­nie and mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary artist, Beast­man dance across the heritage-listed CUB Brew­ery façade. The pop-up is also host­ing an eclec­tic music pro­gram chock full of DJs and bands from all over the music spec­trum. See the sched­ule here.

Color the Bridge, viewed from North Sydney. Vivid Sydney 2014.


Grab a train from Cen­tral to Cir­cu­lar Quay to the lit­er­ally beat­ing heart of Vivid. Expect crowds, but also expect to be in total awe. Explore your sur­rounds as you step into a vibrant play­ground where light instal­la­tions abound, set to a unique score of musi­cal sound­tracks and excited fes­ti­val­go­ers. Across from the sta­tion, Cus­toms House enchants as its façade blos­soms with Sydney’s flora and fauna, while next door, the New Zealand-Japan made Light Origami cre­ates a kalei­do­scopic world of over 320 origami shapes reflect­ing and refract­ing spec­trums of light through­out a mir­rored dome. But don’t go too far from the wharf though because you’ve got a boat to catch at 8pm.

8pm Vivid Syd­ney Har­bour Tour, Wharf 4, Cir­cu­lar Quay

MCA Façade, Vivid Sydney 2014Grab yet another spec­tac­u­lar front-row view of the lights aboard one of the city’s iconic yel­low and green fer­ries dur­ing a Vivid Syd­ney Har­bour Tour. This fes­ti­val first gives you an exclu­sive, beyond-breathtaking show of Vivid Sydney’s Har­bour Lights precinct set to an orig­i­nal Vivid Music sound­track with com­men­tary pro­vid­ing the behind-the-scenes scoop on the mes­mer­iz­ing light dis­plays to be seen. Start­ing at the Opera House Sails designed this year by Uni­ver­sal Every­thing, and the Museum of Con­tem­po­rary Art’s elec­tric Mer­chan­dised Colour Assem­blage pro­jec­tion, the ferry – only at half-capacity so every­one can expe­ri­ence the dra­matic views – putt-putts along under the daz­zling Har­bour Bridge cov­ered in 100,000 LEDs. Next you’re taken to Antarc­tica on an explo­ration of the Polar Lights as they bounce and reflect atop the Mar­itime Museum’s roof. Con­tin­u­ing on towards Pyr­mont Bay Park, the night is set ablaze with an inter­ac­tive dig­i­tal fire­works dis­play, just one part of this mul­ti­sen­sory urban play­ground. Finally, as the ferry chugs its way back to Cir­cu­lar Quay, you’re taken past the Light Walk from The Rocks to the Walsh Bay Tree of Light for a finale burst­ing with even more colour and glim­mer­ing lights.

The Vivid Syd­ney Har­bour Tours are an absolute must for a totally unique per­spec­tive of the shim­mer­ing har­bour. Find out more and buy your tick­ets to board here.

Robotantic Martin Place, Vivid 2015


As a break­out favourite last year, this busy day­time stomp­ing ground for Sydney’s cor­po­rates trans­forms into an lumi­nous evening precinct, appeal­ing to all five senses. With deli­cious smells waft­ing from some of the city’s tasti­est food joints, inter­ac­tive instal­la­tions to see and hear, plus the chance to bat­tle in out in a game of drones, the Vivid party here car­ries on until midnight.

9:45pm Tran­scen­dence, Mar­tin Place

At this point, I’m sure you’re won­der­ing if any food is involved dur­ing this night out, and of course! I was just mak­ing sure you worked up a good appetite before approach­ing the foodie won­der­land of Tran­scen­dence. This archi­tec­tural media sculp­ture by UK designer Joseph Cross­ley fea­tures mes­mer­iz­ing scenes using new media art from pro­jec­tion map­ping to a computer-coded light show. Every night will see a dif­fer­ent team of hand-selected artists work­ing along­side Cross­ley to cre­ate an ever-changing visual feast. So as the lights daz­zle and dance above, your mouth will begin to water at the treats below. Delight in a selec­tion of Sydney’s trendi­est food and drink hawk­ers. Here’s just a pre­view of the nosh and tip­ples on offer:Rocks Brewing Company at Vivid Sydney 2015

  • Porteño (Argen­tin­ian): Roast pork sand­wiches & Spicy lamb sausages
  • Thiev­ery (Lebanese): Wagyu kebab & Lebanese fried chicken
  • Tsuru (Asian Street Food): Hot & spicy BBQ pork belly buns
  • Cow & The Moon (Award-Winning Gelato & Cof­fee): Affogato
  • Rocks Brew­ing Com­pany (Brew­ery): Local beers & Local spir­its by Sydney’s Archie Rose distillery
til Mid­night Mar­tin Place

After indulging in the menu at Transendence, digest a bit and have a wan­der of the other light shows in Mar­tin Place. Enter inside the 1920s cel­lu­loid film­mak­ing tech­niques and work­ings of a zoetrope at Phase Frames. Remem­ber the impor­tance of switch­ing off your tech­nol­ogy and tun­ing into the world around you with Rob­ot­an­tic’s inter­ac­tive botan­i­cal gar­den of light and sound. Feel the beat Drum Cir­cle by Aus­tralian duo Kate & Marty where the rhythm you drum out con­nects to the chang­ing lights through­out the installation.

Now if you find your­self with more time on your hands to ful­fill your Vivid needs, con­tinue read­ing to dis­cover my quin­ntessen­tial hit list for the fes­ti­val (bar­ring the instal­la­tions already men­tioned above).

You can also check out my themed Vivid trails here.

Con­tinue reading…