Vivid Sydney is here again. So get those walking shoes on. The action this year extends to Barangaroo in the city and out to Chatswood across the harbour. And there’s plenty of interactive fun to be had everywhere.
Unfortunately I’m not in Sydney right now, having been designated chief house sitter for my daughter in Canberra while she’s away. So while I’m not able to go see for myself yet (I’ll be out there the minute I get back) I’ve pulled together information from a number of different sources to give you an idea of this year’s Vivid Sydney festival.
Vivid Sydney Precincts
There are many different areas of focus and all have things worth going to. So start with whatever’s closest to you or with one that particularly appeals. Bear in mind that you won’t be able to see the whole festival in a single session.
Royal Botanical Gardens
While the headline installation here is the Electric Forest, a collaboration among art, design music and animation students of NSW TAFE, you’ll also find sunflowers which recognise your passing by and other offbeat light and sound installations.
- Buildings on the Quay have always been lit up. This year, in Dreamscape, visitors can use a touch-sensitive, 3D model to control those lights and projections.
- The theme for the Opera House sails is Audio Creatures incorporating earth, water and air creatures (for all I know, fire as well) in futuristic animations.
- And the Harbour Bridge’s southern pylon is taken up with the Aboriginal Eora story of Bennelong (after whom the point is named) told through modern dance.
Lots of interactive installations here. In past years this has been one of the busiest areas. There’s Electric Hopscotch to play, letters to post in the MailboX, music to make on a MUSIC/box projected keyboard and Portholes to spy into new worlds.
The area’s industrial history is brought to life in the animations here. Part of the working harbour until relatively recently part of Barangaroo was known as The Hungry Mile in the 1930’s, when workers went looking for unobtainable work on the docks. It’s the first year this area has been included in the Vivid Sydney Festival.
Always good for a spectacular, this year Darling Harbour hosts Magicians of the Mist: projections onto a 60×40 metre wall of water. Laser lights at Tumbalong Green.
In the heart of the city you can wander through Deep Forest. Above it, Atmos, inspired by Aurora Auralis. Look for the glowing frog on Urban Tree version 2.
Across the bridge Taronga Zoo features, guess what illuminated animals (giant size). Remember, the zoo is not free so perhaps save that as a separate outing if you have a chance at a second go at the festival.
Furtherest out from the city, Chatswood has displays at the bus/rail interchange, the Mall, Chatswood Chase and the Concourse. It’s a good place to start if you’re staying on the north shore.
Vivid Sydney Highlights
- The Opera House Sails covered with futuristic animations of imaginary life forms – from undersea to outerplanetary.
- The southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with Bangarra Dance Company’s contemporary dance version of the Bennelong story.
- The Royal Botanical Gardens’ Electric Forest. If you’re of a certain age you’ll remember the opening lines of “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic” (You’ll be in for a big surprise).
- Interactive installations in The Rocks which create colour, sound and visuals based on different people’s actions and movements.
To see what’s on day to day, not just the lights but also the music and ideas programs, visit the Vivid Sydney website.
The lights, music and ideas continue until 17 June.