Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is Vivid Sydney?
Vivid Sydney, now in its tenth year, is a 23-day festival of light, music and ideas - and is the largest festival of its kind in the world. Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

Vivid Sydney celebrates creativity and innovation and showcases the magic that can be created when art and technology meet. The program features large scale light installations and projections (Vivid Light); music performances and collaborations (Vivid Music including Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House); and creative ideas, discussion and debate (Vivid Ideas). All three celebrate Sydney as the creative hub of the Asia-Pacific.

Vivid Sydney was recently recognised by the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) and received 13 accolades at the 2017 IFEA Pinnacle Awards. Vivid Sydney was also voted Australia’s Best Event in 2013 and Best Tourism Event in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and Australia’s Best Tourism Event and Best Cultural, Arts or Music Event in 2017.

What events are on during Vivid Sydney?
You can find out all about Vivid Sydney and what events are on by visiting our website, www.vividsydney.com. You can also keep up-to-date on everything Vivid Sydney through our Vivid Sydney Facebook page or Twitter account @vividsydney. If you have a smartphone or tablet you may also download the free Vivid Sydney app from the App Store or Google Play Store from May.

Where is Vivid Sydney held?
Vivid Sydney has activations at a number of locations across the city. Luna Park will join Vivid Sydney for the first time this year, alongside The Rocks and Circular Quay, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Taronga Zoo, Chatswood and Kings Cross.

When does Vivid Sydney open and close?
You will be able to enjoy and experience Vivid Sydney across 23-days and nights from 25 May to 16 June, 2018. Please keep in mind that the festival’s busiest nights are expected to be each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night and every night of the June long weekend. Lights On occurs at 6pm, and concludes at 11pm; however some precincts have an earlier start and finish time. Visit the Vivid Sydney website for more details.

What happens if it rains?
The event will operate rain, hail or shine. Should extreme adverse weather conditions be experienced there may be restrictions on what areas are operational and we recommend keeping up to date via our facebook page.

Do I need to book or purchase tickets to see Vivid Sydney?
The Vivid Light Walk is free-of-charge.  You can purchase tickets for Music and Ideas events and to Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo. Check out the full program at Vivid Ideas and Vivid Music to find information on how to buy tickets. You can also keep up-to-date with everything Vivid Sydney through our Vivid Sydney Facebook or Vivid Sydney Twitter pages. If you have a smartphone or tablet you may also like to download for free the Vivid Sydney app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Where is the best place to stay during Vivid Sydney?
Sydney has a wonderful range of accommodation available from budget through to 5-star. To be close to the action in the city we would recommend you stay in The Rocks, Circular Quay, Sydney CBD, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont or North Sydney. Destination NSW’s websites Visit NSW and Sydney.com contain a wealth of information for you to choose your accommodation, and to find out what else is on offer in Sydney for you to enjoy during your visit. You can also find Vivid Sydney deals for accommodation, dining and lots more here.

Lost items during Vivid Sydney
If you have lost something around Circular Quay or Darling Harbour during Vivid Sydney, call or visit The Rocks Police Station on (02) 8220 6399. If you have lost something at another precinct or venue, Vivid Sydney suggests you call or visit the local police station in that area or the venue you were visiting.

What measures have been put in place for lost children?
The information booths located on the Light Walk offer wristbands to parents and guardians of children to put contact details on, in case their child becomes lost. It is also a good idea to give your child a card with your contact details on it or write a contact number on your child’s arm. Vivid Sydney volunteers and security personnel will be briefed to look out for lost children and will contact parents wherever possible or the Police if necessary.

Traffic & Transport

Can I park near Vivid Sydney?
With road closures and special event clearways in place in the city each night during the festival, access to parking will be limited and traffic will be heavy. Special event clearway parking restrictions will be in effect on most roads in the Sydney CBD each day of the festival. These clearways are strict no-parking zones, even for local residents or RMS Mobility Scheme permit holders. Check signs carefully as vehicles left in clearways will be towed and a fee applies. Parking at the Chatswood and Taronga Zoo precincts is available however spaces are limited and will be in high demand, particularly on weekends, so get there early. Special event clearways will also be in effect in these precincts.

Are there any traffic restrictions during Vivid Sydney?
Road closures will be in place in the city each night of the festival. On weeknights closures will be in place around Circular Quay and on weekends closures extend into the Sydney CBD. The city is no place for cars during Vivid Sydney and you can’t enjoy the installations from your vehicle. The road closures are in place to keep pedestrians safe and allow for an enjoyable Vivid Sydney experience. Vehicles are not permitted to exit a carpark or driveway onto a closed road and will have to wait until the roads have been safely reopened. Road closures will also be in place in the Chatswood precinct on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays as well as the long weekend Sunday. At Taronga Zoo, no closures will be in place however street parking restrictions will be in effect.

Anyone attending a Vivid Sydney event is strongly encouraged to leave the car at home and catch public transport as delays on roads are expected, particularly on the weekends. Detailed information on road closures, clearways and access is available at vividsydney.com/transport. For real-time traffic conditions and updates visit livetraffic.com, follow @LiveTrafficSyd or download Live Traffic NSW from the App Store or Google Play.

How do I get to Vivid Sydney?
Plenty of extra trains and buses will run on weekends to help you get to and from Vivid Sydney precincts. With extensive road closures and parking restrictions in place, it’ll be the easiest way to get there as all the precincts are easily accessible by public transport.

You can use the transportnsw.info Trip Planner to plan your trip with up-to-date train, bus, ferry and light rail information. You can also use one of the many real-time apps to track your service. Alternatively, you can call the Transport Information Line on 131 500.

You will need a valid Opal card or single-trip ticket to travel on public transport services to Vivid Sydney precincts. Top up your Opal card online ahead of time to avoid the queues. You can top up your card via the Opal Travel App, top-up machines or at more than 2,100 retailers. For details on Opal cards visit opal.com.au or call 13 67 25 (13 OPAL).

How will the construction of Light Rail in the CBD impact Vivid Sydney?
Construction of the 12-kilometre light rail route from Circular Quay to Randwick and Kingsford is underway. There are various parts of George Street that are closed for this project and may affect how you walk around the city during Vivid Sydney. Wayfinding directional signs and event staff will be on site to help you find your way. For information on road closures in place for the CBD and South East Light Rail project, visit mysydney.nsw.gov.au.

Vivid Light
Vivid Light transforms Sydney into a wonderland of 'light art' sculptures, innovative light installations and grand-scale projections for all to enjoy - for free. It is a magical celebration of light-design excellence and the world's largest outdoor 'art-gallery': a unique Vivid Sydney experience. Vivid Light engages lighting artists, designers and manufacturers from around Australia and the world to illuminate, interpret and transform Sydney’s urban spaces through their creative vision.

Where is the best place to see Vivid Light around Sydney Harbour and when do the lights come on?
Some of the best vantage points are The Rocks, Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Bradfield Park (under the Harbour Bridge at North Sydney), Luna Park, Lavender Bay, or on the harbour itself. The lights come on nightly at 6pm and end at 11pm.

What will the crowds be like?
The Vivid Light walk is very popular and attracts large numbers of people across the 23 nights of the event. Generally Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights attract the biggest crowds. So, if you have small children or need to consider accessibility for other reasons, plan your visit earlier in the week. Lights come on at 6pm every night, so head out early when it’s easier to see and move around.

Vivid Music

What is Vivid Music?
Vivid Music showcases some of the best Australian and international acts at iconic Sydney venues, including Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House featuring Solange, Ice Cube, Mazzy Star, Dreams: Daniel Johns & Luke Steele and Cat Power. Carriageworks will feature Grammy Award-winner St. Vincent, Curve Ball & Clipped. City Recital Hall will host the Innovators In Jazz series featuring Branford Marsalis, Kurt Elling, Madeleine Peyroux and Lea DeLaria. X|Celerate supports venues across the inner city to showcase both emerging and proven musical talent. A Vivid Sydney highlight is Heaps Gay Qween’s Ball at the Sydney Town Hall. Special events include a collaboration with the Art Gallery of NSW with ‘Vivid Art After Hours’ combining three Vivid Ideas talks with music from Haiku Hands, Air Land Sea, & Goldheist. View all Vivid Music events here.

Vivid Ideas
Vivid Ideas is the Asia Pacific's annual celebration of innovation, creativity and community, featuring talks by global thought leaders, innovators and futurists. At Vivid Ideas you can workshop, collaborate and cultivate fresh thinking to drive the creative agenda across tech, design, entertainment and culture. Highlights include: Deep dive with film director James Cameron into his scientific endeavours and artistic enterprise. Gamify real life and examine the consequences of AI when Jane McGonigal meets Kriti Sharma. Spin through the Deus ex Machina empire with Dare Jennings and explore the future-shaping scenarios that will define our lives in the New Horizons series and other special events. View all Vivid Ideas events here.

Where is Vivid Ideas located?
Vivid Ideas events take place in many venues all over Sydney. The Game Changer and Creative Catalyst Talk Series will take place at City Recital Hall in 2018. The Vivid Ideas Exchange is another key venue, where numerous events are host and is located at Level 6, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Terrace Entrance (Circular Quay West Side), Sydney. You can find out about what events are on and book tickets to Vivid Ideas here. You can also keep up-to-date on everything Vivid Sydney through our Vivid Sydney Facebook page or Twitter account @vividsydney. If you have a smartphone or tablet you may also download for free the Vivid Sydney app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

How do I become involved in Vivid Ideas?
If you are interested in becoming involved in Vivid Ideas in 2019, please contact us at vivid.ideas@dnsw.com.au.

Feedback & Involvement

How do I provide feedback?
The Vivid Sydney team welcome your constructive feedback. To do so, email us at vivid.info@dnsw.com.au.

How can I volunteer for Vivid Sydney 2018?
Applications to volunteer with Vivid Sydney 2018 have now closed. To volunteer in 2019, please express your interest here. If you have already applied to volunteer with Vivid Sydney 2018 and would like to get in touch with Vivid Sydney’s Volunteer Management contractor, please email volunteers@ineedhelpers.com By registering your interest you consent for your personal information and any information included within your expression of interest, to be disclosed to Vivid Sydney’s Volunteer Management contractor. Please refer to Destination NSW’s privacy policy for more information available here.

How can my business become involved in Vivid Sydney?
If you are interested in becoming involved with Vivid Sydney in 2019, please contact our Vivid Sydney Commercial Partnership Manager on (02) 9931 1443.

How do I become involved in Harbour Lights?
If commercial vessels are interested in taking part in Harbour Lights in 2019, please contact us by emailing your details to vivid.info@dnsw.com.au.

As an artist how can I exhibit at Vivid Sydney?
Vivid Light is curated through a public Expression of Interest (EOI) application process. registration through the EOI application process for 2019 will open mid to late this year. So, keep an eye out on the Vivid Sydney website for further information.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

How will the animals respond to the light sculptures and extended opening hours during Vivid Sydney?
Taronga’s first concern is always the welfare of the remarkable animals in its care. Fortunately Taronga has more than 20 years experience in successfully hosting after hours events, including New Year’s Eve and the Twilight at Taronga concerts. Keepers constantly monitor the animals for these events, but there has never been a problem. The locations of the lanterns and light sculptures have been carefully chosen to focus on public areas rather than animal exhibits. Taronga’s animals also have access to the comfort and shelter of their night dens and inside areas, but it’s not uncommon for certain animals to choose to remain outside during night events.

Will visitors get to see animals during Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo?
The focus of Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo will be on the amazing light sculptures and lanterns, along with Taronga’s spectacular harbour and skyline views. While many animals will be in their night dens and inside areas, visitors may see some animals, such as Asian Elephants, Giraffes and Tree Kangaroos, while exploring the illuminated trail.

What are the ticket prices and opening hours?
Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo will be open every night from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June 2018, between 5.30pm – 9.30pm.

Session Times:
5.30pm, 6.30pm, 7.30pm (start times only, approx. 2 hour experience)

Ticket prices from:
Monday – Thursday (Ex Public Holiday)
Adults: $23.95, Children: $17.95, Concession: $21.56 and Children under 4: Free .      

Friday - Sunday & Public Holidays
Adults: $26.95, Children: $18.95, Concession: $24.26 and Children under 4: Free.

For more information visit the Taronga Zoo website.

Why do visitors have to buy tickets?
Taronga is a non-profit organisation. Every ticket and purchase will help the Zoo present this remarkable light experience and continue to fund its vital wildlife conservation programs.

How will visitors get to the Zoo at night?
There are lots of transport options available for visitors to get to Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo. You can drive and park at the Zoo but there are limited spaces so the best option is to take public transport. The Zoo is located 12 minutes from Circular Quay by ferry or a short bus trip from the city or North Sydney. For more event information visit our Transport page