Nicola Billens

The Vivid Sydney 2016 line up has just been announced and it’s clear to see that it’s going to shine brighter than ever before (no pun intended).

From the Lighting of the Sydney Opera House Sails on 27 May, Vivid will enthrall visitors for 23 nights with over 80 light installations, 1,500 hours of music and 500 speakers.

In 2015 the festival of light, music and ideas generated over $63 million for the economy and attracted over 26,000 international visitors thanks to clever product packaging to markets like China, Japan and New Zealand. This year the marketing push will be even stronger and includes two new precincts (Botanical Gardens and Taronga Zoo).

At a press conference yesterday NSW Premier Mike Baird described  how “regular buildings of the city become superheros’” and we totally agree.

Here are six things we cannot wait for…


Lighting the Sails (Opera House)

Songlines sails
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived in Sydney – there can never be too much Opera House. Especially when it gets all glowy.

This year six Australian Indigenous artists from different clans light up the sails to show the connections between indigenous astronomy and the natural world. It’s going to look pretty awesome.


Be Light for the Wild (Taronga Zoo)

Taronga Zoo, Be the Light for the Wild - artist impression by Ample Projects_0

Casting a spotlight on ten critically threatened species that Taronga Zoo is committed to protecting, this precinct is one for all the animal lovers like us.

Giant Asian elephants and tigers with interactive lighting, sound effects and moving parts will be among the animals lit up, while a glowy echidna, chameleon and funnel-web spider all make an appearance.


Garden of Light (Botanical Gardens)

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney - Garden of Light - artist impression by Ample Projects_0

It’s about time Botanical Gardens were lit up like a magical world at night. This is going to look so pretty!

Plus there’s a 60-metre shimmering tunnel to walk though (the Cathedral of Light) and the interactive ‘Sentiment Cocoon’, which expresses human emotion through light.


Wild-Light – The Bio-Kinetic City (Chatswood)


Can we really get inside a dinosaur machine at Wild-Light – The Bio-Kinetic City in Chatswood? This sounds too good to be true but we’ll take our chances and follow the technology-led journey into the past.


The Laser-Dragon Water-Theatre (Darling Harbour)

Laser-Dragon Water-Theatre - artist impression by The Pulse_0

With a world-first water-screen mounted on a 13m robotic arm and floating above 56 fountains, fire eating ferocious dragons are sure to look pretty cool from one of the Harbouside bars, cocktail in hand.


Anhohni at the Opera House (Vivid Music)

Anohni - Hopelessness at Vivid LIVE_1

Just like Caityln Jenner, the former singer of Antony & the Johnsons emerges with full female force in her groundbreaking new chapter. Stretching the concept of performance by incorporating music, visuals and dance, this will be one event not to miss.


Jenji Kohna – The Game-Changers Talk Series @ Sydney Town Hall

crazy eye
Orange Is the New Black’s creator and writer will share her approach to storytelling and creating some of the coolest characters on TV (like Suzanne ‘crazy eyes’).

Are you looking forward to Vivid Sydney?