Vivid Festival: Sydney Shows its True Colours

vivid light festival sydney opera house

I’m a lifelong Sydneysider who often stays in on the weekends due to my health. I have always been fascinated by Vivid- the 18 day festival of lights, music, art and so much more, which seems to swallow the center of Sydney whole.

Despite having the dreaded lurgy, I finally went and experienced Vivid 2015 for myself. I went to a concert at The Opera House, to see one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Sufjan Stevens. He (and his band) played a stunning 2-hour set. Being unwell, I stepped out a couple of times to get air and marveled at the boats on the harbor, lit up in beautiful, mesmeric colours. To see the Harbour Bridge turned into a platform for video projection was amazing.

The music was incredible. Sufjan Stevens deserves the cult following he has, because he is not only extremely talented, he’s humble. I was impressed with his humility, his self deprecating sense of humour, and the genuine delight he expressed at being invited to fly over from America to help headline Vivid 2015.

As we navigated our way around Circular Quay and Darling Harbour we were surrounded by crowds of people, something I usually find difficult. But this was different. What I noticed about the mass of people was the atmosphere- people were all there to enjoy different aspects of Vivid. There were families with children, older couples checking out street stalls and light shows- the mood, the atmosphere was one of joy. As I looked around me, I noticed there was very little litter. People were packed in tight but were respectful of others.

Due to us both being unwell, my friend and I cut our Vivid experience shorter than we had originally wanted. But for the time I was there, I felt like a child. Everywhere I looked there was something beautiful happening, my eyes couldn’t drink in the festivities fast enough. Next year I will be going back- preferably staying in the city and submerging myself in the spirit of Vivid. If you appreciate beauty, art, technology, music- then Vivid is something you should definitely try.

Have you been to Vivid? How did you find the experience?

Image of Vivid 2009 from Mike Brand via Flikr Creative Commons

  • http://johnanthonyjames.com/ John James

    The Rhonnifer and I did Vivid a few years ago, but once was enough… neither of us like crowds… not even family friendly crowds…

    …at least we scratched it off the bucket list! 😉