Vivid Sydney is an annual celebration of creativity, innovation and technology which transforms Sydney for 23 days and nights. In 2023, for its 13th year, Vivid Sydney will fuse art, innovation and technology in collaboration with some of the most boundary-pushing artists, thinkers, musicians and culinary experts of our time, united by this year’s artistic direction, "Vivid Sydney, Naturally".
From 26 May to 17 June, the streets will transform with mesmerising art displays and 3D light projections, exhilarating live music performances, thought-provoking debates, and deep-dive discussions from some of the world's brightest minds. And for the first time ever at Vivid Sydney, chefs, producers and more will collaborate for the launch of Vivid Food, a program of multisensory meals that celebrate Sydney’s rich and vibrant restaurants, food culture and local produce.
Vivid Sydney is a bright star of Sydney’s events calendar supporting the entire ecosystem of the state’s visitor economy during winter, from our artistic industries to entertainment and hospitality venues, accommodation providers and retailers. The festival is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.
Vivid Sydney has been recognised by the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) and received 15 accolades at the 2019 IFEA Pinnacle Awards including gold in the Grand Pinnacle category. Vivid Sydney was also voted Australia’s Best Tourism Event in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 and Best Cultural, Arts or Music Event in 2017 and 2019 in the Australian Event Awards.
Vivid Sydney will return in 2023 for 23 nights from 26 May – 17 June.
Follow our social channels and sign up for MyVivid newsletters to stay up to date with the latest information.
Sydney has a wonderful range of accommodation available from budget options through to five-star stays. To be close to the action, we would recommend you stay in The Rocks, Circular Quay, Sydney CBD, Walsh Bay, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont or North Sydney – our Vivid Sydney blog has several suggestions.
Visit our Deals & Experiences webpage to find exclusive offers for the festival period on accommodation as well as dining options, events, activities and more.
Destination NSW’s website Sydney.com also contains a wealth of information to help you to choose accommodation, and to find out what else is on offer in Sydney to enjoy during your visit. Visit our Vivid Sydney deals and experience webpage for accommodation deals.
If you're thinking about extending your stay, why not also plan a visit to regional NSW? For inspiration, go to VisitNSW.com.
The Vivid Sydney Light Walk is free of charge, with the exception of Lightscape, a custom and timed Light experience. You can purchase tickets for these events as well as Music, Ideas and Food events, and to Wild Lights at Taronga Zoo.
Vivid Music also has a free and unticketed program called Tumbalong Nights. Catch 12 nights of live music at Tumbalong Park, with artists from Africa to Arnhem Land, as well as Sydney’s finest acts. DJs keep the vibes high from Sunday to Wednesday nights and beloved Australian children's acts kick things off before the lights turn on, every Saturday from 5pm.
Vivid Ideas also features several free talks and events, including the Powerhouse Up Late and Australian Museum x Vivid Idea events.
Check out the full program to find information on ticketed events. You can also keep up to date with everything Vivid Sydney through our Vivid Sydney Facebook or Vivid Sydney Twitter pages.
The Vivid Sydney Light Walk is very popular and attracts large numbers of people across the 23 nights of the event. Generally, Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights and the Monday public holiday night (June 12) attract the largest crowds. Those with young families and strollers should also consider coming to Vivid Sydney on weeknights when visitor numbers are expected to be lower than the weekends, and earlier in the night. Lights On are at 6pm every night.
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.
Medical Posts and Volunteer Ambassadors at 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 NSW Police Force if necessary.
Unfortunately, the Vivid Sydney app is no longer available. To keep up to date with Vivid Sydney visit vividsydney.com/events for all event information and vividsydney.com/transport for trip planning information. Consult our social channels, Vivid Sydney Facebook or Vivid Sydney Twitter pages.
Information Kiosks will be open from 6.00pm – 11.00pm daily. There will be nine Information Kiosks situated around Vivid Sydney for the public to obtain directions and information on the program.
Please refer to the interactive map for detailed locations of the Information Kiosks at Vivid Sydney:
- Central Station
- West Circular Quay
- The Goods Line South
- Tumbalong Boulevard
Light, Music and Ideas
Invigorating the city of Sydney with awe-inspiring art installations and 3D light projections, Vivid Light transforms our urban environment into a kaleidoscopic wonderland.
In 2023, Vivid Sydney's free Light Walk is a massive 8.5km adventure covering Circular Quay, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Darling Square, Darling Quarter, The Goods Line and Central Station. See the city anew with 57 light attractions, including 26 international works and our largest installation to date, The Last Ocean by American artist Jen Lewin.
In 2023, Light also takes over Taronga Zoo with Wild Lights and The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney with Lightscape, the world-famous spellbinding 2.1km experience arriving to Sydney for the very first time.
The full Vivid Light program can be found here.
Music is place-making, it's community building. It forms a thread that connects us to our natural urban environments, our families, our stories, our sense of belonging. In 2023, Vivid Music will elevate artists and truth-tellers to the world stage, shining as precious lights, beacons of togetherness and hope.
Vivid Music is proud to spotlight First Nations voices, whose songs have connected the oldest continuous living culture to Country for over 60,000 years, with acts including Yothu Yindi, Ziggy Ramo, Emma Donovan, Budjerah and many more.
We will embrace our urban and natural environments, with 23 nights of free live music at Tumbalong Park, roaming artists across the Light Walk, DJs at The Goods Line and shows across our iconic venues and landmarks, including Carriageworks and, as part of their Vivid LIVE series, the Sydney Opera House. Ticketed gigs include late night cabaret at the Vivid Sydney Supper Club at Mary’s Underground, A Bend in the River: A Tribute to Archie Roach AC and international acts José González, Yaeji and Cat Power.
The full Vivid Music program can be found here.
Human beings are capable of great brilliance, innovation and creativity and yet we are in turbulent times. We need to re-think our relationship with the natural world and build a more sustainable future. Vivid Ideas returns to 2023 to challenge our ‘natural’ ways of thinking, whether by shining a spotlight on underrepresented communities and those using their creativity for positive change, offering cultural counterpoints to the mainstream, or creating one-of-a-kind immersive experiences. We will shine a spotlight on what really matters – community, authenticity, respect, love and what we can learn from the natural world.
The 2023 Ideas program features iconoclast and renowned author Jeanette Winterson, experimental psychologist Jesse Bering and many more.
The full Vivid Ideas program can be found here.
Vivid Sydney is proud to add a new pillar in 2023 – Vivid Food. Food is an integral part of our culture and the perfect complement to our program of Light, Music and Ideas. As the culinary capital of Australia, Sydney has world-class hatted chefs, restaurants, producers and venues and Vivid Food is all about celebrating those that make our food scene so special.
The full Vivid Food program can be found here.
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, Walsh Bay, Barangaroo, or on the harbour itself.
Various charter vessels will be undertaking harbour cruises during Vivid Sydney 2023. You can view all operators here.
Some operators may be offering services via agents, direct sales and online deal websites. We kindly suggest you read all terms and conditions and relevant information before making a purchase. Also please read all information on your ticket including departure times, locations and other conditions.
Please note that Vivid Sydney does not operate any harbour cruises. If you have any questions about a cruise, please contact the operator directly.
There will be three locations for accessible viewing:
- Circular Quay - Museum of Contemporary Arts Australia
- Walsh Bay - Hickson Road Reserve
- Darling Harbour - Tumbalong Park
More information on our accessibility facilities and services can be found here.
Download the Accessibility Map.
Travel and Transport
Extra trains and buses will run on weekends to help you get to and from Vivid Sydney locations. With extensive road closures and parking restrictions in place, it’ll be the easiest way to get to the festival as all locations are easily accessible by public transport.
You can use the transportnsw.info Trip Planner to plan your trip with up-to-date metro, 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 locations. 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 transportnsw.info
Alternatively, if you have an American Express, Mastercard or Visa debit or credit card which displays the contactless payment symbol, or a card-linked device, you can use it to pay for your travel by tapping on and off at Opal card readers on all public transport services. Adult Opal fare pricing applies, and you will receive Opal benefits, including daily and weekly fare caps. For more details visit transportnsw.info
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. Some car parks in the Sydney CBD will be inaccessible while roads are closed and special event clearway parking restrictions will be in effect on most major roads each day of the event. These clearways are strict no-parking zones for all vehicle types and apply even for local residents or Mobility Scheme permit holders. Check signs carefully as vehicles left in clearways will be towed and a fee applies. If your vehicle is towed, it will be relocated to the nearest available parking space, call the Traffic Information Line on 132 701 to speak to an operator and find its location. For more details on special event clearways and their locations during Vivid Sydney, visit livetraffic.com
People with accessible requirements are encouraged to contact the Vivid Sydney access and inclusion team at email@example.com for guidance on how best attend Vivid Sydney or check out the accessibility webpage vividsydney.com/accessibility.
Road closures will be in place in the city each night of the event. On weeknights closures will be in place around Circular Quay and on weekends closures extend into the Sydney CBD and Walsh Bay.
Anyone attending a Vivid Sydney event is strongly encouraged to leave their car at home and catch public transport as delays on roads are expected, particularly on the weekends. 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. It is an offence to drive on or exit a carpark or driveway onto a closed road until the road has been safely reopened.
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.
We have several maps that are available to be downloaded including an Accessibility Map and a map of the Light Walk. You can find them all here.
Feedback and Involvement
The Vivid Sydney team welcome your constructive feedback. To do so, head to Contact Us.
Vivid Sydney wouldn’t be possible without the support of its incredible team of volunteers. Click here to express your interest in Vivid Sydney 2023.Applications are due to open in April 2023.
If you are a restaurateur, bar or café owner, hotelier, retailer, entertainer, museum or gallery owner, tour provider or run a local attraction, get involved in Australia’s biggest and brightest festival with the Vivid Sydney Local Business Program. The Vivid Sydney Location Business Program for 2023 is now closed but you can pre-register your interest for 2024 on the Work With Us page.
Expressions of Interest for Vivid Sydney Light, Music, Ideas, Food and Cross-Art Form are currently closed. Keep an eye on the Vivid Sydney website and social media channels for updates about opportunities to be involved in the Vivid Sydney program or register your interest for 2024, please visit the Vivid Sydney Work With Us page
From time-to-time Destination NSW does seek quotations for the supply of goods and/or services relating to Vivid Sydney for each of the contract opportunities, please visit the Vivid Sydney Work With Us page.
Applications are closed for Vivid Sydney 2023. For expressions of interest for Vivid Sydney 2024 please visit our Work With Us page.