The Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. saw the onset of Vivid Sydney 2018 in Australia. Now in its 10th year in the land Down Under’s most populous city, more than 1 million and as many as 2 million people are expected to attend over the course of the 23-day light, music and ideas festival this year, with 150,000-plus visitors pouring in on its busiest days.
Vivid Sydney, the world’s ultimate light show and Australia’s largest event of the year, is an electrifying winter festival that melds art, technology and commerce. It showcases a variety of brilliant, magical light sculptures and colorful installations throughout the capital city of New South Wales — known for its coastal cities, national parks and historic sites. This year’s event brings the festival’s largest collection of light installations to date.
Sydney’s Darling Harbour (Courtesy: Destination NSW)
Transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary, as the sun sets the city switches into an evening wonderland of vibrant color and enchantment featuring enormous illuminations, laser lights and 3D-mapping projections. The lighting of the iconic Sydney Opera House sails signifies the start of the evening’s one-of-a-kind, awe-inspiring displays of light, which run until 11 p.m.
Vivid Sydney 2018 lights up Sydney Harbour, including the city’s iconic Sydney Opera House, during the festival’s 10-year celebration. (Courtesy: Destination NSA | Photo: Hamilton Lund)
Visitors can follow a trail of innovative and interactive light art sculptures and installations throughout the city’s various districts and major attractions, including Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, the Royal Botanic Garden and Taronga Zoo, and The Rocks historic precinct.
“Synergy” presents a large plywood tree surrounded by stylized ferns. The simple scene, however, is actually a representation of a complex superorganism. Using interactive technology, it demonstrates how inconspicuous microorganisms are absorbed into a greater whole and play a key role in the survival of a greater being. (Courtesy: Destination NSW)
In addition to its amazing spectacle of light creations, the festival offers performances by an impressive lineup and diverse array — blues, classical, dance, disco, electronic, jazz, R&B, rock, soul and more — of Australian and international music artists and DJs. It also hosts Vivid Ideas, a public talks program presenting events that examine topics and issues ranging from technology for social good, to generating game-changing creative ideas, to building better futures for health.
Vivid Sydney 2018 will continue to light up the Australian nighttime until June 16.
Vivid Sydney 2018 “Phantasos,” the spirit of surreal dreams, presents a five-minute spectacle that illuminates more than 3,000 LED lights on the Luna Park Ferris wheel — the only Vivid installation you can ride. (Courtesy: Destination NSW)
Another Luna Park highlight is the “Spirit of Fun,” a dramatic and emotive son et lumière — translated as sound and light — display that celebrates the history and magic of Luna Park. (Courtesy: Destination NSW)
“Nice to Meet You” addresses the natural human desire for connection with others through the creation of four simple, stylized, interactive “telephone booths.” Inside each booth is an oversized “cup” that connects to the booth directly opposite with a string of LED lights contained in a series of pipes. The strings turn, twist and convolute into a maze of light in the center of the installation. When one person speaks into a cup, their voice sends a light signal through the string and is received by the person in the opposite booth. (Courtesy: Destination NSW)
“Fugu,” located in First Fleet Park, was designed to spark curiosity about our planet and the creatures, such as this pufferfish, that live in its most uncharted parts — the oceans. (Courtesy Destination NSA)
One hundred years ago, author May Gibbs wrote about Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, who dropped out of a gumtree and became instant superstars. Nearly every Australian child has grown up steeped in the adventures of these two characters from Gibbs’ 1916 classic book, Gumnut Babies. (Courtesy: Destination NSW)