After two frustrating years of COVID-induced cancellations, Vivid Sydney is set to go ahead from Friday 27 May to Saturday 18 June, transforming the Harbour City into an illuminating fusion of creativity, innovation and technology with more than 200 events.
Staged over 23 nights, the festival will deliver mesmerising art displays, 3D light projections, uplifting live music performances and deep-dive discussions from the world’s brightest minds. Plus, in a festival first, the renowned Light Walk will stretch continuously for 8km, linking the Sydney Opera House to Central Station, with more than 200 LED sculptural birds guiding the way as part of the Future Natives installation.
And, in another first for Vivid, a moving Welcome to Country ceremony and performance will be another first for Vivid Sydney 2022 and will celebrate the Gadigal people and Country. The ceremony will open the festival on May 27 and will feature a smoking ceremony, stunning performances by NAISDA students, a pyrotechnic display and Sharing the Same Life Essence Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections.
The 2022 iteration will see 11 Sydney CBD locations come alive with a kaleidoscope of light artworks, including Circular Quay, Sydney CBD, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Darling Square, Darling Quarter, The Goods Line, Central Station, Luna Park and Taronga Zoo.
Some of the key events that will make up the 2022 program include:
Vivid Sydney Dinner
A festival first, the Vivid Sydney Dinner is a celebration of all things The Emerald City and will see the worlds of great food, talks, music, wine and light come together at Merivale’s Ivy Ballroom.
The June 4 event will be hosted by Justine Clarke and will feature music by the Vivid Sydney Brass Band, James Morrison, Ngaiire, Virginia Gay and Kate Monroe, a NSW inspired feast created by chefs Dan Hong and Mike Eggert, and a bespoke lighting experience.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Vivid without a spectacular light show, and visitors to the festival will be treated to more than 50 light installations and projection artworks designed to explore and define the city’s character.
Revealing the various artistic interpretations of the “soul of the city” creative vision, the spectacular Light Walk will host the works of 62 light collaborators and 114 light artists from 5 countries, with street installations re-shaping old sights, surprising projection sites, large-scale immersive experiences and never-before-lit buildings adding new sparkle to the city skyline.
Celebrating Australia’s rich First Nations culture, the Sails of the Sydney Opera House will be transformed into an impressive new digital artwork, Yarrkalpa – Hunting Ground, 2021 by the Martu Artists and creative technologists Curiious, with a soundtrack by Electric Fields and Martu Artists. The bold projection is inspired by the vibrant, Martumili collective painting, Yarrkalpa- Hunting Ground, Parnngurr Area, 2013, created by eight female artists of the Pilbara region.
Bringing together the world’s brightest minds and fearless global storytellers, Vivid Ideas will consist of more than 85 intriguing talks and workshops, designed to explore the forces shaping our society, and start conversations that continue long after the festival has ended.
In a huge win, headlining the Ideas Program will be Oscar and Emmy award-winning theatre and film director, screenwriter and playwright Aaron Sorkin, renowned for film and TV shows such as The West Wing, The Social Network, A Few Good Men and The Trial of the Chicago 7, Aaron will discuss politics and drama with renowned Australian broadcast journalist Leigh Sales at Sydney’s State Theatre.
Additionally, women’s rights advocate, American broadcast journalist, author and television personality Gretchen Carlson will share her story that inspired the blockbuster movie Bombshell with The Project’s Lisa Wilkinson. Gretchen will reveal how she helped to pave the way for the global #MeToo movement and advocated to end the silencing of harassment victims through forced arbitration and non-disclosure agreements.
And, for the first time, Vivid Ideas Up Late will be hosted at Sydney’s renowned cultural institutions for a series of free, playful nights that mix talks, performances, fashion, music and food at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Australian Museum, the Powerhouse Museum and the National Maritime Museum.
Over the course of the festival, more than 150 music events will take place at surprising venues across Sydney to offer one-of-a-kind experiences.
Emerging New York rapper Cakes Da Killa’s fusion of hip hop, house and electronic dance music will take the Oxford Art Factory by storm, UK space rock band Spiritualized will deliver their unmistakable sound live at Luna Park’s Big Top, and Indie Rock cult singer Baxter Durywill be making his debut Australian performance at The Metro Theatre.
Additionally, iconic music venue Mary’s Underground will serve as the venue for the inaugural Vivid Sydney Supper Club, every Friday and Saturday night during the festival. The Supper Club will feature a variety style show incorporating musical theatre acts, cabaret, dance, drag, comedy, surprise guests, acoustic pop-ups, jazz, DJs and more. Curated by beloved actor, cabaret performer, and drag artist, Trevor Ashley, the event is headlined by talents such as Mahalia Barnes, Emma Pask, Bob Downe and Tim Freedman.
Vivid Live at Sydney Opera House
More than 70 Australian and international artists presented across seven Opera House venues, including Paul Kelly, Sampa the Great, rapper, singer and producer BLESSED, rapper Tkay Maidza and local collective Astral People, among many others.
For the full Vivid Sydney 2022 lineup, including dates, venue and ticketing information, head to vividsydney.com.