Vivid Sydney | Celebrating 10 Years Of Creativity And Innovation

 The world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas returns to Sydney for its 10th anniversary this May. With larger installations and a gripping music and ideas schedule, it’s set to be the most exciting year yet. 

Vivid Sydney will illuminate the state capital of New South Wales for 23 spectacular nights from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June 2018. The harbour city will once again be painted in colour and light, Sydney’s stages will be taken over by electric performances and collaborations, and the city will play host to a global forum of thought-provoking debate and creative discussion. 

This year’s exceptional programme of homegrown and international artists and speakers include Grammy award-winners St Vincent, Solange and Ice Cube, the world’s finest jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, along with a musical comedy from Orange is the New Black star Lea Delaria, conversations with film-maker, marine explorer and conservationist James Cameron and much, much more, in a truly world-class line-up. With over 400 events from the Vivid Music, Vivid Light and Vivid Ideas programmes, Vivid Sydney will be bigger, bolder and brighter than ever before – celebrating a fantastic 10 years at the very pinnacle of the creative industry.

Vivid Music 

This year’s jam-packed music programme ups the ante for 2018 with an electric line up, both showcasing international artists and celebrating the diverse and exciting local Sydney music scene. From jazz, to sonic experimentation, to soul, venues include the iconic Sydney Opera House, The City Recital Hall and Sydney Town Hall. Just some of the Vivid Music highlights include:

  • A one-night-only performance by Grammy award-winning rock-goddess St. Vincent
  • Orange is the New Black star Lea Delaria’s musical comedy and jazz interpretation show
  • Grammy award-winning artist Solange
  • An Innovators In Jazz series featuring the undisputed king, triple Grammy award-winner saxophonist Branford Marsalis and the world’s finest jazz vocalists including Kurt Elling and chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux
  • American dream-pop icons Mazzy Star, the godfather of West Coast rap Ice Cube, and acclaimed 90s indie rock singer/songwriter Cat Power

Also returning to Vivid Music in 2018 is X|Celerate, a partnership between Vivid Sydney and the City of Sydney to enliven music venues across town. Showcasing grassroots and emerging local music talent.

Vivid Light

Large-scale light sculptures will transform the Harbour City into an outdoor art exhibition, offering a totally new perspective on Sydney’s iconic buildings. The display will also extend for the first time to Luna Park with a show celebrating history, magic, creativity, fantasy and imagination. Highlights include:

  • A return to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney where visitors will follow a pathway that weaves through an exciting nocturnal environment – inspired by nature and engaging visitors in collaborative play
  • The lighting of the Sails at the World-Heritage listed Sydney Opera House, at the center of the Vivid Light Walk and created in 2018 by award-winning Australian artist Jonathan Zawada
  • A celebration of both MasterChef and Vivid Sydney’s 10th Birthday with a series of mini construction-worker chefs guiding guests on a journey of fun and wonderment through The Rocks, with the famous MasterChef clock ticking down to a final, extraordinary surprise
  • An art-meets-technology water fountain, light and laser experience that takes Darling Harbour visitors into a dream-like dive under the ocean
  • The iconic rooftop of the Australian National Maritime Museum, projected with BBC Earth and Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, exploring the fascinating world beneath the waves

Vivid Ideas

The 2018 Vivid Ideas programme will challenge, inspire and explore the future-shaping scenarios that will define our lives. A forum to workshop, collaborate and cultivate fresh thinking to drive the creative agenda across tech, design, entertainment and culture, Vivid Ideas showcases those who are leading the way. Game Changers and Creative Catalysts this year include:

  • Film-maker, marine explorer and conservationist James Cameron. In a Vivid Sydney exclusive, James will explore his passion for science and technology, and how it has influenced his work as a film director and environmentalist
  • Australian global success story Dare Jennings – founder of Mambo Clothing, Phantom Records and Deus ex Machina –who will discuss creating cult brands that cut across age and lifestyles as well the joys of throwing out the rulebook
  • Futurist and game developer, Jane McGonigal who proves games have the power to transform our real-world lives
  • Artificial Intelligence expert Kriti Sharma
  • Visual strategist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and co-founder of the Museum of Awe, Dan Goods, who joins the Vivid Ideas Creative Catalysts line-up to explore how creativity and science interplay and why NASA has a virtual strategist

Throughout the city, a series of conferences will also connect start-ups, emerging talent, practitioners and entrepreneurs. The New Horizons series explores the mega-trends and micro-developments in technology and innovation and shines a light on experts tackling the biggest issues with creativity in a bid to make our future brighter. The Vivid Ideas Exchange at the Museum of Contemporary Art also returns, boasting a diverse line-up of talks presented by creative experts covering topics including the future of work, the ethics of humanizing technology and how to become agents for change.
Photography by Vivid Sydney