Sydney, Australia is awash with colour this evening as more than 90 light installations light up the city for the annual Vivid Sydney festival, projecting colourful art on the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and throughout the city. Vivid Sydney officially opens tonight, 27 May, and runs for 23 nights until 18 June 2016.
Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas. More than 150 artists from 23 countries have created the light installations and projections that appear in more than eight Vivid Sydney precincts spread across Sydney. Vivid Sydney also features 195 Vivid Music events and more than 500 speakers appearing at Vivid Idea talks and forums.
The New South Wales Government’s Premier Mike Baird said: “Tonight thousands of people have visited Sydney to witness the amazing Vivid ‘lights-on’ moment. For the next 23 nights, Sydney’s most iconic landmarks will be lit up in a symphony of colour and movement, attracting visitors from across the world. Vivid is a creative festival for a global audience and its popularity is evident in the 1.7 million visitors who attended last year’s festival.”
This year Vivid Sydney will celebrate Australian Indigenous culture with the Songlines projection appearing on the Sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House. The spectacular animation showcases the work of six renowned Indigenous artists: Karla Dickens, Djon Mundine OAM, Reko Rennie, Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, Donny Woolagoodja and the late Gulumbu Yunipingu. Co-curated by Destination NSW and the Sydney Opera House, Songlines speaks directly to the spirituality and culture of Australia’s First Peoples, depicting the interconnected sharing systems and the trade routes that weave through time and distance, earth and sky.
With other major 3D projections appearing on the facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and Customs House, Vivid Sydney showcases Sydney as a hub for the creative industries, with world-first technologies and design used to create the stunning spectacle of light.
Darling Harbour’s Laser-Dragon Water-Theatre features a world-first water-screen mounted on a 13m robotic arm floating high above fifty-six fountains. Laser-Dragon Water-Theatre show includes four video projected water-screens on which dancers will be projected moving to a music score created by The Presets. Visitors will be astonished by forty 20m-high vertical fountains, sixteen 25m-high moving fountains, twenty 15m-high flame jets and ten powerful lasers. In another world first at Darling Harbour, visitors will be able to scan and project their own face onto the water screen, through the use of Intel RealSense™ technology.
World-famous Sydney Harbour will be showcased to the world with the Sydney Harbour Bridge illuminated by 1,640 lighting fixtures tubes, containing 72,000 individual LEDs, and 6,700 individuals LEDS in 140 Cans as part of the Dress Circle installation which allows visitors to literally control the colour of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney Harbour Ferries will also be illuminated with up to 1,480m of LED tape to light up their journey across the Harbour.
Vivid Sydney stretches across the city with the Vivid Light Walk, starting at the Sydney Opera House, taking in the harbourside of the Royal Botanic Gardens celebrating its 200th anniversary, and following the waterfront to Walsh Bay. Illuminations and projections appear in Sydney’s Martin Place, Darling Harbour and the Australian National Maritime Museum, and Vivid Sydney’s first indoor precinct at The Galeries in the city’s CBD. The precincts of Central Park and Chatswood have also become a vibrant nighttime playground, as well as Taronga Zoo where illuminated lanterns will represent critical species to celebrate the Zoo’s 100th anniversary.
Destination NSW CEO and Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney Sandra Chipchase said: “Vivid Sydney has again delivered remarkable technical and artistic world-firsts as part of Vivid Light. Our biggest ever Vivid Sydney program will deliver an impressive line-up of music acts from punk rockers to global superstars, up-and-coming homegrown talent, cabaret legends and more. This matched by a diverse program of social trend disrupters, including Jenji Kohan, Spike Jonze, Beau Willimon and Margaret Zhang, who appear as part of Vivid Ideas talks and forum series. Vivid Sydney 2016 is truly a celebration of innovation and creativity.”
As part of the Vivid Music program, organisers have now announced an exclusive DJ performance from international pop-icon Boy George, taking place at 12 June 2016 at Cafe Del Mar in Vivid Sydney’s Darling Harbour precinct. This will be Boy George’s only DJ performance in Australia.
Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the State Government’s tourism and major events agency. In 2015 it attracted 1.7 million visitors and delivered more than $63 million in visitor expenditure to the local economy.