Everything you need to know about this year’s Sydney Vivid festival

Soon the lights of Vivid will be switched on, bathing Sydney in a rush of colour, sound and flavour.

This year, trains trundling around the City Circle will be transformed into rave caves, the city’s underground tunnels will glow with light installations, and alleyways will be your ticket to cuisines from all over the world.

Sydney’s Opera House lights up on the opening night of this year’s Vivid festival.(ABC News: Keana Naughton)

Over 23 nights, the festival of “pure joy” will revolve around the theme of humanity, and a universal search for meaning and purpose.

“When I came up with the theme 12 months ago I had no idea how relevant and important it would be today,” festival director Gill Minervini said.

“Vivid Sydney is an event we always need but I think no more than this year, it is wonderful to be able to create some joy in the city and literally be able to bring some light in what has been a pretty dark time.”

Organisers are expecting crowds of about 3.5 million people — more than half of Sydney’s population.

It is being trumped as a ‘cost of living buster of a party’ for families looking for a cheap night out.

A curtain of blue lights hang in a circle creating a curtain of colour in a sydney park at night.

This installation at Hickson Road Reserve by Angus Muir explores shared humanity. (ABC News: Marcus Stimson )


How long does Vivid Sydney go for?

In its 14th year, Vivid 2024 will run for 23 days and nights from Friday, May 24 to June 15.

It will start on Friday night with a celebration of First Nations culture against the backdrop of the Opera House.

For three weeks, the city’s architecture will act as a canvas for a dynamic series of lasers, search lights and light art installations stretching from Sydney Harbour to Tumbalong Park.

For those looking to eat, The Goods Line park and pedestrian pathway in Ultimo will play host to flame-seared food from around the world.

There is also a stacked event line up in venues across the city, canvassing art, culinary creations and live music.

How much does it cost to go to Vivid Sydney, and what is happening?

A huge number of venues across Sydney are taking part in the festival.

The Vivid light walk is an eight-kilometre stretch of installations, projections and experiences from the Sydney Opera House to the Goods Line in Ultimo.

An outdoor park at night with human silhouettes lit up holding hands.

‘Embrace’ installation at First Fleet Park on the light walk. (ABC News: Marcus Stimson )

It is completely free to access, though families are with young children or prams are being encouraged to visit mid-week to avoid large crowds.

“If people want to, all they need to spend money is their bus fare or train fare and have a fabulous night with their family friends, in what can be a very affordable experience,” Ms Minervini said.

The walk includes an installation called Nest at Barangaroo reserve by bird photographer Leila Jeffreys, which features brolgas projected onto a huge transparent surface, where they appear to float in the air.

Iconic Australian artist Reg Mombassa, who famously designed for surf brand Mambo, has taken over Custom House with projections described as a “cheeky, beautiful” journey into his imagination.

A large building at night is lit up by a colourful work of art projection.

Iconic Australian artist Reg Mombassa has taken over Custom House. (ABC News: Marcus Stimson )

A ticket on the Tekno train by composer Paul Mac — which will do a lap on Sydney’s rail network — cost between $19 and $27.

The commuter train will leave from Sydney Central Station and reimagines the daily commute as a symphony of music and light, inspired by the natural rhythms and movements of trains.

The Machine Hall is to be the home of music for the festival with a huge number of acts rolling through, including a late-night dance party in the 100-year-old heritage substation by Sydney record labels Trackwork and SUMAC.

There is also a ‘Supper Club’ series hosted by comedians Rhys Nicholson and Georgia Mooney which delves into stories as told by a line-up of familiar faces including Annabel Crabb and Julia Zemiro.

opera house sails lit up with a young woman on the opening night of the vivid festival 2024

The festival will run for 23 days and nights from Friday, May 24 to June 15.(ABC News: Keana Naughton)

Getting to Vivid, getting home and road closures

During the festival there will be some major road closures and parking restrictions in the CBD from 3pm to 1am.

Transport NSW is putting on more than 2,000 extra bus, train and ferry services to cope with demand.

Services will operate on a special timetable on Friday nights and weekends.

People worried about large crowds are being encouraged to attend mid-week.

Looking back over the harbour the city of Sydney is lit up with a number of colourful lights.

There will be extra trains, buses and ferries running on Friday night and weekends to cope with the millions of people expected to flock to the CBD. (ABC News: Marcus Stimson )

Is Vivid safe?

Organisers have stressed there are no extraordinary safety concerns but have urged the public to remain safety aware, particularly of pickpocketers who they have described as being “very active” during the festival.

Police arrested five people last year for pickpocketing.

Police will be monitoring a series of live feeds across the city and emergency services will be on stand-by.

Posted , updated 

Source: abc.net.au

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