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.
Cleland Bond Building, Playfair St, The Rocks – 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
Visitors are blasted out of this world in this ‘space elevator’ simulating an astronomical take off. Moving galactic images, a mirrored floor, and a ceiling and walls lit by projections set to a futuristic soundtrack transport space travellers A Light Year Ahead on the ultimate space odyssey in just a matter of seconds.
Circular Quay West – 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
Casting the essence of the moon through projection and a halo of light, Ayla demonstrates the surreal beauty of twilight’s natural light. Every night the silhouette changes as it moves in sync with the phases of the moon.
Cambridge St, The Rocks — 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
The night sky moves closer to Earth in this laneway installation of meteor showers, shooting stars and supernova. As you travel through the laneway, our solar system comes alive as galactic effects flow and swirl, stars align and red dwarfs and blue giants twinkle.
Hickson Road Reserve, The Rocks — 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
A six-meter shipping container has been transformed into a mind-bending universe. Comprised of hundreds of lights from floor to ceiling, this psychedelic galaxy bounces and reflects a multitude of colours off mirrored walls, as you’re pulled further and further into this portal to an alternate dimension.
Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay – 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
Express your creativity for all of Sydney to see and paint the skyline in whatever colours of your choosing. With a swipe and tap of a screen, you can illuminate some of Sydney’s most iconic buildings and bask in the light of your own colour genius.
Cleland Bond Building, The Rocks – 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
Based on the Resonance team’s ethos that ‘personal connections are important contributors to happiness’, this light installation beckons you to engage with others to produce your own soundtrack. Collaborate with the person next to you to design a musical masterpiece of light out of intertwined lines, shapes and particles that signify connections and relationships forged in life.
Between Piers 8/9 & 6/7, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay – 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
Uncover the gems hidden within Lightwell as you splash and scatter light-paint across brick walls at Walsh Bay. Sounds, animations, film sequences and more reveal themselves among your designs the more you create with those around you.
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.
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.
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 Origamicreates 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.
Grab 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.
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:
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.
Cadmans Cottage, Barney & Bligh Reserve, The Rocks – 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
By capturing your movements and reactions, then projecting them through colour and graphics, INTER/play reintroduces Sydney’s oldest residential building as an interactive canvas. Every person in the area becomes part of the work creating a unique image every time.
Between Piers 6/7 & 4/5, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay – 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
Using the simplicity of graphic cutouts and a single light source, Harmanto Nguyen creates a surreal world of shadowy figures that take you on a safari or travel with you into the future. Different scenes play out as you approach the work and begin to interact with this playfully mysterious installation.
Playfair St, The Rocks – 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
Monster World is an alternate universe where creatures with an affinity for dance appear out of a beam of light to mimic gestures and follow your movements. The more people who enter this world ruled by illuminated monsters, the more the inhabitants come out to play.
First Fleet Park, George St, The Rocks – 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
Who doesn’t love a good push on a swing from time to time? Let your ‘big person’ guard down and take off into the night on one of the glowing swing sets near the MCA. The higher you go, the faster you go, the more the swing changes in colour, light and sound.
First Fleet Park, George St, The Rocks – 22 May to 08 June, 6pm ‘til midnight
Tempest Technical Lighting creates a massive game of this childhood classic with a circle of illuminated drums that respond to ambient light, touch and sound. Once you’ve come within a few centimeters of the installation, the game begins.
Campbell’s Cove – 22 May to 08 July, 6pm ‘til midnight
Handcrafted entirely out of cotton rope and LED strip-lights, this giant Dolly sits three-meter high waiting for visitors to give her a hug and grab a selfie. The installation plays on childhood memories of dolls, nightlights and cuddly teddy bears, which the artist illuminates on the grand scale.