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Your Ultimate Guide to Vivid Sydney

Your Ultimate Guide to Vivid Sydney

9 April 2024

As Sydney prepares for the award-winning Vivid Sydney festival, the city streets and landmarks are about to come to life with light and music. Celebrating creativity, innovation, and technology, this annual festival lights up Sydney for 23 days and nights. You can expect art installations and 3D light projections, complemented by inspiring talks, immersive performances, live music, and culinary delights. This year’s festival runs from May 25th to June 15th, 2024.

This year’s theme, ‘Vivid Sydney, Humanity’, focuses on our collective need for deeper connections in a rapidly changing world and emphasises the importance of love, kindness, compassion and creativity. This artistic direction invites everyone to reimagine the future without boundaries, discrimination, or inequality.

Vivid Sydney Highlights

Light installations and artworks

As the sun sets, Sydney transforms into a hypnotising wonderland of light and colour. With bright light installations and 3D projection artworks scattered across the city, there’s plenty for you to explore and marvel at. Make sure you don’t miss the Lighting of the Sails: Echo created by 2023 Archibald Prize winner, Julia Gutman, at the Sydney Opera House. You can also visit Guan Wei’s premiere light projection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and the Nest project at Stargazer Lawn where Leila Jeffreys and Melvin J. Montalban present an immersive display of brolgas in flight.

Dark Spectrum experience

One of the highlights of this year’s festival is the Dark Spectrum: A New Journey. Located in the Wynyard Tunnels beneath the city, this electronic labyrinth is a multi-sensory experience that features 300 kaleidoscopic lasers and over 750 lights and lanterns. Brought to Sydney by award-winning producers, this immersive experience guides you through a kilometre-long path with eight chambers, all set to an extraordinary soundtrack of top club songs and dance-worthy tracks. Make sure you purchase a ticket for this captivating journey in advance. Tickets start from $35.00.

Music nights at Tumbalong Park

Enjoy an incredible free music program at Tumbalong Park on the Vivid Sydney Light Walk featuring Ngulmiya and other renowned artists. Over these 23 memorable nights, the park will feature an impressive variety of international artists, local talents, and DJs. Plus, every Saturday at 5 pm, there will be special performances specifically catered towards children. Whether you’re a fan of traditional sounds or contemporary beats, there’s something for everyone to dance to and enjoy.

Insightful talks and debates

Hear from some of the best creative minds in the industry through live performances, panel discussions, walking tours, and dance pieces. Every weeknight, Tom Wright will moderate a timely discussion on current affairs and the daily news with a changing lineup of prominent change-makers, analysts, and experts. From transforming sustainability visions into reality at A New Normal, to engaging in thought-provoking debates on AI at AI Will Destroy Humanity: A Future Science Debate. Vivid Ideas offers stimulating discussions for a broad range of interests.

Flavours of Vivid

As the culinary capital of Australia, Sydney is ready to serve up one‑of‑a‑kind menus from renowned chefs, multi‑sensory degustations, and culinary pop‑ups along the Vivid Sydney Light Walk. Explore the VividPlace Food Trail behind Customs House–a night market of global cuisines with more than 20 restaurants and stalls. The Vivid Fire Kitchen also offers flame-cooked street food, celebrating the diverse food scene of NSW.

Planning your Vivid Sydney Experience

First-time visitor tips

Attending Vivid Sydney is an experience bound to leave you with lasting memories for years to come. For first-time visitors, navigating this festival can feel like wandering through a labyrinth of lights and sounds. A few words of advice: 

  • Dress comfortably for the journey, as exploring the outdoor installations often means walking through various parts of the city 
  • Keep your phone charged for capturing moments in rich detail and using digital maps to navigate 
  • Don’t rush. Each artwork and installation tells a story. Let the course of the evening guide you through this unforgettable sensory journey

Follow these tips to make the most of your Vivid Sydney visit, ensuring a comfortable and memorable experience as you explore the festival’s highlights.

How to get there?

Reaching the various venues of Vivid Sydney is relatively straightforward thanks to Sydney’s efficient public transport system. Whether you’re coming by train, bus, or ferry, services are generally increased in anticipation of the festival period to accommodate the increased visitor numbers. For those preferring to drive, be mindful that parking in the city can be scarce and expensive. Plan your trip with the event’s location in mind—Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, and Barangaroo are some of the key spots you’ll want to check out.

Accommodation options

If you’re looking to experience the best Vivid Sydney has to offer, choosing accommodation located in the heart of the city ensures you’re at the centre of all the festivities.

Meriton Suites Pitt Street places you in the bustling heart of Sydney, close to all major Vivid attractions, and Meriton Suites Sussex Street and Meriton Suites Kent Street give you great access to Darling Harbour and Barangaroo. Meriton Suites Campbell Street, and Meriton Suites World Tower also provide exceptional convenience and luxury, ensuring you’re perfectly positioned to explore everything Vivid Sydney has to offer, from dazzling light shows to engaging street performances. Additionally, Meriton Suites North Sydney offers incredible views of the harbour and the city light shows.

Maximising your visit

To make the most of Vivid Sydney, a little planning goes a long way. Begin with a clear idea of the installations and events you don’t want to miss. With so much to see and do, prioritising your list ensures you experience all the highlights. Then, strategically plan routes to each of the attractions so you can maximise your sightseeing time and minimise your time spent travelling. Also, consider visiting on weeknights to avoid the largest crowds, and if possible, extend your stay to absorb more of the festival’s offerings.

Plan Your Visit to Vivid Sydney

Discover the vibrant spectacle of Vivid Sydney, where lights and music transform the city into an extraordinary display, showcasing creativity around every corner. Vivid Sydney is an event for all ages, creating lasting childhood memories for kids and offering rich, captivating experiences for adults. It’s a chance to see Sydney in a new light, from stunning projections on the Opera House to entertaining activities all around the Sydney CBD. 

If you’re searching for places to stay that are close to Vivid Sydney, Meriton Suites provides comfortable, centrally located apartment-style accommodations. Perfect for families and solo travellers. Stay with us, and you’ll be just steps away from experiencing the best of Vivid Sydney.


Is Vivid Sydney worth seeing?

Vivid Sydney is well worth experiencing. With its diverse program, including light installations, music, ideas, and public talks, there’s something to captivate everyone’s hearts. The mix of art and technology on display against the backdrop of Sydney’s iconic architecture and harbour makes Vivid Sydney a must-see event, attracting visitors from around the world. Plus, the theme of the festival is different every year, meaning that the festival’s attractions are always unique.

What time does Vivid Sydney start?

Vivid Sydney 2024 will commence on May 24th and conclude on June 15th. For specific event and attraction times, visit the Vivid Sydney website. 

What time do the lights start in Vivid Sydney?

Vivid Sydney illuminates the city each evening, starting at 6 pm and continuing until 11 pm.

How much are tickets to Vivid Sydney?

The cost of tickets varies depending on the event you wish to attend. While the Vivid Sydney Light Walk and many other events are free, special events may be ticketed due to limited spots, so it’s best to book them in advance. For specific pricing and to find more information on ticketed events, visit the Vivid Sydney website.

What is the best way to see Vivid Sydney?

The best way to enjoy Vivid Sydney attractions is on foot along the Light Walk and from the water with harbour cruises offered by various charter vessels. For the latter, you can find tickets through direct sales, agents, or online deals, but remember to read all terms, conditions, and ticket details carefully, including departure times and locations. 

Meriton Suites is owned & operated by Meriton Property Services Pty Ltd (69 115 511 281) and is part of the Meriton Group © Copyright Meriton Suites

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