Vivid Sydney: A Photo Essay

Girl taking part in movement on the Sydney Opera House's sails during vivid sydney

One of the biggest events during Sydney in winter is the Vivid light festival which runs from May 25th until June 11th and this year, with thanks to Destination NSW, I had the privilege to head North and experience it for myself.
The light show, one of the biggest in the world, encompassing many of Sydney’s most recognisable buildings, turns the city from a blank canvas into a something magical as the sun goes down and the lights are turned on.

The displays – found mainly around Walsh Bay, The Rocks, and Circular Quay, include the world’s largest torch, a igloo of plastic water bottles and a harbour ghost, as well as the icing on the cake with the lighting of the Sydney Opera House!

Here is just a small sampling of the photos I took from Vivid Sydney!

Vivid Sydney Art Instillation - Umberellas

At Vivid Sydney looking at an art sculpture entitled Moonfire

Light art sculpture at Vivid Sydney

Playing with Goteye's Fractured Heart at Vivid Sydney

This piece, called Fractured Heart was used by Gotye at the 2012 ARIA awards but during Vivid you can come down and learn to play it through it’s motion sensors!

Vivid Sydney lighting up Sydney's North Shore and the Harbour Bridge

Milk bottles with lights in it as part of the art instillation of Vivid Sydney with the Opera House in the background

Overlooking circular quay lighting up for Vivid Sydney

Cool display at Vivid Sydney in Circular Quay

Digital trees, swarovski chandelier and the sydney opera house - all part of vivid sydney

Deep Sea Creature (cycles) at Vivid Sydney

The deep sea monsters are actual pedicabs which are available for hire. They are both great to look at but also an environmentally friendly way to get around the foreshore!

The Deep Sister Monster cycles at Vivid Sydney

Girl taking part in movement on the Sydney Opera House's sails during vivid sydney

Sydney CBD lit up in pink for Vivid Sydney

Pallet art at Vivid Sydney in Circular Quay

Will.i.Am and Intel created a game for Vivid Sydney to play on the side of Museum of Contemporary Arts

On the side of the Museum of Contemporary Art, or MCA as the locals call it, is will.i.am’s collaboration with Intel and Vivid. The interactive AV project allows the public to ‘play the building’ through controlling the beats on the purpose built interface and projections.

The MCA building was lit up with amazing colours during vivid sydney

The worlds largest noughts and crosses game at Vivid Sydney in circular quay

The worlds largest noughts-and-crosses game is also part of Vivid! They also have the worlds largest torch (and a pretty decent sized red carpet for people to walk) on display as well.

Lighting up customs house with an animation during Vivid Sydney

My favourite building which is part of Vivid has to be Customs house with an animated projection which uses the buildings natural features as roads and subway station pillars.

Angels on bicycles at Vivid Sydney in Circular Quay

Have you been to Vivid Sydney? What did you think?


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  • Reply
    Emma Gray
    June 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Love the pictures! Wish I had been in Sydney when this was taking place, it looks so vibrant and exciting ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Nicole, this is absolutely fascinating! Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos and a bit of background on the festival as well. I definitely can’t wait to visit this myself one day ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    • Reply
      December 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      It’s a beautiful festival. Really hope you can come and visit Sydney in Winter and experience it as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 3:35 am

    Wow, this looks so vibrant. Love all the colors!

  • Reply
    Celina G
    June 5, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Beautiful pictures! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      December 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Thanks Celina!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Absolutely love the umbrellas! This looks beautiful

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Damn, the Opera House was so much more exciting when you were there! Customs House WAS amazing though.

    • Reply
      December 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      Customs House was awesome! Hope you share your photos of the festival soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    July 1, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Wow, beautiful! I’ve seen isolated works of artistic lighting for other events, but never a whole festival of the sort! I LOVE the angel wings bicycle!

    • Reply
      December 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      You’ll have to come to Sydney and experience it, Cassie! It’s incredible.

      The bikes were super fun even though it started to rain whilst I was there – eek!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    August 10, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Eff the lights and shiny stuff! Uber cool! Nice pics dude. This event is just a different experience of sensation. Wish I were there…

    • Reply
      December 14, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Hope you get to experience it one day Dustin. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    James G Stedman
    June 10, 2013 at 6:52 am

    Terrific pictures!!! Wowee!!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Love the pictures you took! awesome!!! We were there to enjoy Vivid Sydney, but seeing yours is another different excitement;)!

  • Reply
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