Since it debuted in 2008, Vivid has cemented its position on the country’s cultural calendar – awakening Sydney’s winter night-time economy in many vibrant ways. In 2017 more than 2.3 million people attended, but it’s not just attendance that swells with each year. The festival’s geographic reach continues to expand, too.
After two years away, Vivid’s light displays, performances and talks will return to the city – spanning Darling Harbour to The Rocks and Circular Quay via Barangaroo, the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Opera House. Across the bridge, Luna Park and Taronga Zoo will have their own dedicated events. Farther out, Carriageworks will once again host some of Vivid Music's biggest acts, including performances by Perfume Genius and energetic Japanese four-piece Chai.
These precincts present the perfect chance to see different parts of the city in (literally) a new light.
Vivid lasts for 23 days this year, which allows for plenty of time to see as much as possible at your own pace. It’s best not to leave your plans for food and drinks up to chance, though; it’s usually impossible to find somewhere that isn’t packed. This guide should help get your planning started.