Sweetness and Light

It’s spectacular, enthralling and uplifting.

I’m talking, of course, about Vivid Sydney – the light festival that brings magic and sparkle to the city.

It’s the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.

If you want your breath taken away and tingles sent down your spine, you have to check out this show.

It runs for 18 days from May 22 to June 8, transforming the city and harbour into an extravaganza of light.

So what’s it all about?

Well, for a start, there’s 60 lighting installations to see.

Iconic places like the Opera House, Martin Place, Darling Harbour and Customs House are lit up like Christmas trees.

The city will dance with colour. Even skyscrapers will be illuminated.

If you’re scratching your head looking for things to do in Sydney, plan a visit to coincide with this magical Sydney light festival.

It’s a top Sydney tourist attraction and the public light shows are free!

There’s many Sydney events across the calendar, but none splash the city with colour like Vivid.

There’s a thing called “sandstone canvases”. Don’t you just love that!

These so-called canvases will be Customs House and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Stunning 3D projections will light up these impressive buildings in the heart of the city at Circular Quay.

They’re calling the Customs House light show “Enchanted Sydney”.

It’s been described as “a glorious projection of free-flowing images of Sydney’s flora and fauna”.

The artwork mixes familiar (and not so familiar) aspects of Sydney’s natural environment to create a “continually evolving and blossoming world”. Sounds good to me.

You can also see “rainbow lasers, dancing flames and fountain jets” in “water theatre shows” at Darling Harbour. What little kid (or big kid) wouldn’t love that!

At the Opera House, the “Lighting of the Sails” will once again be the event’s centrepiece.

Event organisers have promised “awe-inspiring projections” on this most iconic of Sydney buildings.

The Opera House will, quite simply, become “a living mural, with a diverse series of vibrant, hand-drawn sequences”. Can’t wait to see that!

This event isn’t just about the light ‒ there’s also music and ideas.

Silverchair legend Daniel Johns, English rock icon Morrissey and US rockers TV On The Radio are among musicians to perform at the Opera House.

Aussie legends Hoodoo Gurus will stage a one-off concert at the Powerhouse Museum, featuring modern and antique psychedelic light effects.

For TV buffs, there’s a talk with Emmy-award winning writer Matthew Weiner, famous for his work on Mad Men and The Sopranos. This is the guy who helped create Don Draper and Tony Soprano. That’s pretty cool.


By Jay Chabon

Sydney Opera House with Vivid light art on its sails
The spectacular Sydney Opera House lit up in all its glory. Credit: Universal Everything. Photo: Jack Atley