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From Frida 26 May to Saturday, 17 June, Sydney’s nights light up with art installations, concerts, events, and, for the first time, a whole program dedicated to showcasing innovative culinary creators. More importantly, there’s a lot that can be enjoyed for free.

The first Vivid Sydney Festival in 2009 was a humble event with a projection show on the sails of the Opera House, set to the music of Brian Eno. Since then, the festival has grown to include most of the area around Circular Quay and the CBD,stretching from the Royal Botanic Garden to the Opera House, Barangaroo Island and Central Station. In 2022, according to Destination NSW, 2.58 million people came from across NSW, Australia and faround the world to attend the festival, helping to inject $119 million  into the state’s economyW.

“We are truly proud of this year’s festival. We have raised the bar on the size and scale of the events and activated new parts of the city. Our line-up features more diverse talent across more industries,” says Vivid Sydney Festival Director Gill Minervini.

This year’s events include 57 light art installations and 3D projections, 67 gigs and concerts across 14 venues, 38 speaking events with 218 speakers, and 282 food events. Not sure what to visit? The Law Society Journal highlights three ways of making the best of the festival.


Vivid’s music program is always an eclectic mix of new sounds with traditional twists, emerging voices and established artists. Our pick is Cat Power performing Bob Dylan’s notorious “Royal Albert Hall” 1966 concert (actually recorded in Manchester). This is the famous “Judas” concert where Dylan ditched his folk roots and went electric, scandalising his fans. . Power (the alias of Chan Marshall) was lauded by UK audiences when she performed this show last November.

Other highlights include Weyes Blood touring her dreamy 2022 award-winning record And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow. Multi-instrumentalist and producer Thundercat brings his immaculate groovy vibes of fusion jazz, progressive r&b and funk. German pianist and composer Max Richter returns with Ambient after the success last year of his 8-hour epic Sleep, this time with conductor Matthew Lynch and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. And Coodjinburra singer/songwriter Budjerah makes his Sydney Opera House debut on the cusp of becoming the next RnB/pop star of Australia.


The Royal Botanical Garden traditionally hosts one of the most sought-after installations of the festival. But you need to purchase tickets to get in, and, while the price of admission is definitely worth it, there’s plenty to see for free. Take a 8.5km walk from Central Station to Circular Quay and discover how the festival transforms the city centre with stunning light installations, 3D projects and venue takeovers. There’s Monad, in Walsh Bay, a 3D display projected onto mists of water from Norwegian artist Anastasia Isachsen. The façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Australia will project Barerarerungar by Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung artist Maree Clarke. In Circular Quay, stop by Sonder, an installation of LED-made beacons from artists Michael Pinn, Joseph Emmi and Brandon Pais. And if you’re looking for something more exclusive, book tickets to Dark Spectrum, a multi-sensorial labyrinthine installation inside Wynyard Station’s abandoned railways. The experience guides you through eight different monochromatic rooms, each associated with new moods.


This year, the festival’s exciting new addition is a program around a food and dining experience from some of the best chefs in the country. There’s a five-course meal by Bundjalung chef Mark Olive on a yacht sailing on Sydney Harbour . Vivi`d Fire Kitchen is a street food festival in Barangaroo of the very best pitmasters in NSW. Or you can attend the Vivid Sydney Dinner at the Ivy Ballroom, an event hosted by Eddie Perfect, where chefs Ben Greeno and Danielle Alvarez collaborate on an inspired menu, accompanied by an immersive light show and performances from Montaigne, Julian Belbachir and Christine Anu.

Vivid Festival runs every night from 26 May to 17 June. View the complete program and purchase tickets here.