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What to Expect from Vivid Sydney 2015

What to Expect from Vivid Sydney 2015

15 May 2015

Vivid Sydney is an event like no other. Each year since 2009 the city has come alive with light, due to incredible immersive light installations and projections that happen right across the CBD.
Held over the course of three weeks between May and June, Vivid Sydney keeps getting better and better – and 2015 looks set to be something spectacular. It’s not just the light displays getting bigger, however, with last year’s crowd pulling in more than 1.4 million people and over $10 million in income for the state.

Vivid Sydney, this year from 22 May – 8 June, is all about light, music and ideas. Featuring an outdoor gallery of extraordinary lighting sculptures, a cutting-edge music program and a long-list of creative industry forums, there’s something for every festival-attendee to enjoy.

At the heart of it all is the Sydney Opera House, which famously has its sails draped in unforgettable illumination.

What Vivid Sydney says about Australia

Vivid Sydney cements that Australia is at the hub of creativity. The Vivid Ideas Exchange is innovative and important, the music contemporary and, for 18 whole days, creative practitioners, corporate professionals, families and people of all generations come together. It has become creative inspiration on a grand scale, and is one of the few global events that brings the world’s most creative minds together.

Vivid Light transforms Sydney into a wonderland of ‘light art’ sculptures for all to enjoy free of charge. It engages lighting artists, designers, and manufacturers from around the globe to illuminate, interpret, and transform urban Sydney.

Vivid Music presents both local and international acts in various locations, and hosts eclectic live performances along with ground-breaking musical collaborations. For the biggest music action you can’t go past the Opera House, which showcases a cutting-edge contemporary music program for the duration of the event to complement the lights on the sails.

Held at the same time, Vivid Ideas is Asia Pacific’s annual celebration of the innovative community, and offers professional development opportunities across the sector. Forums cover a wide range of subjects, from design and architecture to film and screen and visual arts. Vivid Ideas  offers up-to-date information on a selection of industries, and gathers all the latest conversations and market opportunities.

What to expect in 2015

2015 will be bigger and better than ever ,and it is expected that more than 1.5 million people will attend. Highlights predicted for 2015 include:

Lights (6:00 – Midnight)

  • Vivid Light Walk

Where: Various locations, Sydney CBD

Starting at the Sydney Opera House, this year’s magical light journey through the city comes complete with huge Siamese fighting fish, a bright red pulsating heart, light origami, and a giant Rococo pig. You can become a DJ by rearranging a series of lit-up cubes, and can learn how your brain works via Intel Galileo boards that reproduce the brains neurons and synapses.

  • Vivid Laser-Fountain Water Theatre

Where: Darling Harbour

Featuring dynamic jets and spirals of water, full-colour lighting and rainbow-coloured lasers, the Vivid Laser-Fountain Water Theatre is beautifully choreographed to present an audiovisual symphony. Watch as jets shoot water 100m across the harbour and more than 30 metres into the night sky, sweeping and twisting with bursts of flames that appear to dance to the music.

  • Harbour Lights

Where: Sydney Harbour, NSW

2015 will see 32 Hundred Lighting light up many harbour vessels using brilliant LED lights that change colour as they travel into different harbour zones. Computer-controlled, these amazing light displays will be viewable from both on the harbour and from the harbour foreshore. Participating vessels include Sydney’s First Fleet Ferries, Oz Jet Boating, Sydney Princess Cruises, and Manly Fast Ferries.

  • Robotanic

Where: Martin Place, NSW

An interactive installation, Robotanic reminds us that in a world dominated by technology it’s important to tune our senses back to nature. It invites festival goers to experience a botanical garden, and reconnect with the essence of the natural world.

  • Vivid Path to the Future

Where: University of Sydney, NSW

As part of a week-long creative program at Australia’s oldest university, the University of Sydney will once again be transformed into a glittering canvas of light, live performances, and inspiring ideas. 2015 highlights include 3D-mapped projections, light art along the main promenade, and Sea of Hands, an interactive installation which will grow throughout the festival.


  • Sufjan Stevens

When: 8:00pm 22 May

Where: Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay

Making his solo return a decade after the critic-certified classic Illinois, Sufjan Stevens brings his seventh album Carrie & Lowell to the Sydney Opera House. Opening proceedings, he will complete a four-night stand before returning to overseas obligations.

  • Fractured Fantasy

When: 22 May – 8 June

Where: The Argyle, Argyle St, The Rocks

As the strip of land where modern Sydney essentially began, it’s highly appropriate that The Rocks play a huge part in Vivid Live. For 18 nights, The Argyle will host three themed Fractured Fantasies: Discovery, Wonderland, and Star Wars. DJs are on rotation, music is futuristic, and the cocktails are Vivid-inspired.

  • Daniel Johns

When: 8:00pm 28 May

Where: Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay

Nicknamed ‘Young Modern’ by iconic arranger Van Dyke Parks, Daniel Johns of Silverchair and Dissociatives fame will deliver his first solo album at Vivid Live, eight years after he first began writing it.

  • 10 Years of Future Classic

When: 4:00pm 29 & 30 May

Where: Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay

In a first for Vivid Live, the Sydney Opera House’s outdoor northern peninsula will be the setting of Future Classic’s 10th birthday celebrations. Over two nights, vinyl lovers can enjoy sounds from Flight Facilities, Seekae, George Maple, Hayden James, Touch Sensitive, and Charles Murdoch in what is bound to be deemed the party of the year.

  • Modulations: A Kooky Motorik Pelvis Party

When: 2:00pm 7 June

Where: Carriageworks, 245 Wilson St, Eveleigh

Modulations is bringing together three of Sydney’s best club nights across three rooms, and ticket holders can enjoy acts such as Trevor Jackson and Daniel Wang.


  • The Story of Light – The Astronomers Perspective

When: 2:00pm – 4:00pm 24 May

Where: Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris St, Ultimo

A panel of professional astronomers will be telling their audience “The Story of the Light”, inspired by the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies 2015.

The astronomers will describe to their audience how light plays a role in the Universe, and how they are using light-based technologies to uncover new mysteries of the Universe.  Targeted for a general audience, the panel will be happy to answer any questions you might have about the Universe.

  • Creating and Innovating in the Classroom – with Gary Stager

When: 2:00pm – 4:00pm 25 May

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St, The Rocks

As one of the world’s most progressive and engaging educators, Gary Stager will keynote this high-energy panel session featuring some of Australia’s most innovative teachers. Learn how to introduce and create new technologies rather than just consume them.

  • Game Changers: Matthew Weiner

When: 5:30pm – 7:00pm 31 May

Where: Sydney Town Hall, Sydney CBD

Television veteran and multi-Emmy winning writer, Matthew Weiner is the series creator and executive producer of Mad Men and formerly executive producer and writer on the Sopranos. In this exclusive event, Weiner will share how to make iconic characters and unforgettable stories, as well as how to set trends in the media.

  • Sydney Film Festival

When: 6:00pm – 10:00pm 3 – 14 June

Where: Various locations, Sydney CBD

One of the world’s longest-running film festivals, the Sydney Film Festival will screen a wide variety of feature films, documentaries, short films and animation from around the world in various locations. The hub lies at Town Hall, where you can get a full program of events, discount tickets, and enjoy a bar, meeting place, exhibitions, talks and entertainment.

For a full program of Vivid Sydney events, visit

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