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Spotlight on Vivid Sydney: Unmissable Events Week by Week

Twenty-three days of illuminating light installations, evocative music and thought-provoking events that reflect the soul of the city: welcome to Vivid Sydney 2022. 

Watch the city come alive under a sea of light, as boundary-pushing creatives explore the very soul of Sydney through illuminating installations, live music and inspiring discussions. Stroll Vivid Sydney’s longest continuous Light Walk ever, listen as breakout bands perform in hidden bars and join engaging debates that explore the secrets of the world’s greatest cities. 

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Vivid Sydney is back to bare the soul of the city over 23 inspiring days of light, music, art and innovation. Running from Friday 27 May to Saturday 18 June, this year’s event brings the biggest, brightest and most brilliant line-up yet.   

It’s time to see Sydney stand in the spotlight.  

Recurring Events: 27 May – 18 June 2022 

Whenever you decide to join the party, Vivid Sydney’s recurring events will be ready and waiting. Make sure to add these unmissable highlights to your list.  

Lighting of the Sails

The lighting of the sails at Sydney Opera House is always one of the greatest talking points of the festival, kicking the festivities off in spectacular style and remaining a shining beacon throughout. Each year, an internationally-renowned artist is invited to create original artwork to be projected on the sails – an icon of the Sydney skyline. For 2022, creative technologists Curiious are bringing to life Martu Artists’ stories through an interpretation of the painting Yarrkalpa – Hunting Ground, which conveys ancestral stories of the Parnngurr community. 

Light Walk 

Stretching continuously for 8km, from Sydney Opera House to Central Station, Vivid Sydney’s longest continuous Light Walk ever invites you to take a magical stroll through the city. Witness iconic buildings illuminated with invigorating light displays: from declarations of endless love over Circular Quay and The Rocks to colourful projections across Central Station and enticing tunnels that feel like portals to another world.  

Sydney Infinity 

Liquid and light dance and dazzle over Darling Harbour in this incredible floating installation. The largest of its kind ever seen in Australia, this eye-popping spectacular features expressive fountains, thousands of powerful LEDs and a soundtrack that delves into the soul of Sydney.  

For Sydney with Love

Ken Done’s love letter to Sydney will captivate your heart. His powerful projection on Customs House captures the joy of the city through its imaginative use of colour, showing the way his beloved Sydney informs his work.  

Week 1: Week commencing 27 May 2022 

Opening night: First Light  

Visit on Vivid Sydney’s opening night and you’ll be rewarded with the spectacular First Light celebration, a powerful acknowledgment of the city’s First Nations culture. The Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons will act as a backdrop for the Sharing the Same Life Essence display, which celebrates the Gadigal people and Country. Plus, witness the Lighting of the Sails, marking the beginning of the year’s festivities by illuminating the Sydney Opera House sails with art by creative technologists Curiious.  

Where and when: Circular Quay and The Rocks, 27 May 2022 

Vivid Ideas: Global Storytellers

Join world-famous director, screenwriter and playwright Aaron Sorkin and Australian broadcast journalist Leigh Sales for an engaging conversation about creating political dramas that mirror real life. Listen as the creator of Emmy-winning The West Wing delves into his writing process and understanding of American politics. Other events in Vivid Ideas’ Global Storytellers series include a talk on beauty, art and fluidity with singer-songwriter Troye Sivan, and an insight into the world of US journalist and women’s rights advocate Gretchen Carlson, whose story inspired the movie Bombshell.  

Where and when:  

Troye Sivan: Sydney Town Hall, 29 May 2022 

Gretchen Carlson: Sydney Town Hall, 29 May 2022 

Aaron Sorkin: State Theatre, 1 June 2022 
 

Week 2: Week commencing 3 June 2022 

Vivid Sydney Dinner 

Be treated to a feast for the senses at Vivid Sydney’s very first dinner. Light, music, ideas and cuisine collide as Mr Wong’s Dan Hong and Totti’s Mike Eggert serve a special menu that celebrates the best of Sydney. Expect fresh, seasonal produce, matching wines and world-class light projections in this spectacular foodie event, hosted by actress, entertainer, musician and TV presenter Justine Clarke. Talent including neo-soul singer-songwriter Ngaiire and jazz impresario James Morrison AM will be on hand to provide the soundtrack for your evening.  

Where and when: Merivale’s Ivy Ballroom, 4 June 2022 

The Gospel According to Marcia 

Witness Marcia Hines AM’s unmissable gospel experience at its world premiere, live in Sydney. Her incredible vocals will be complemented by a 12-member choir and live band for an extraordinary concert that will stay with you forever. Led by musical director Joe Accaria, this wonderful performance is a chance to share Marcia’s childhood memories and early experiences with gospel music as she digs deep into the faith and culture upheld in Black American churches.  

Where and when: St Stephen’s Uniting Church, 9-10 June 

Week 3: Week commencing 10 June 2022 

Spiritualized 

In an Australia mainland exclusive, legendary British space-rock act Spiritualized heads to Vivid Sydney for a hypnotic psych-pop performance. Spaceman J Pierce takes the lead, powered by his nine-piece band, who blend rock’n’roll psychedelia with gospel harmonies. Vibe along to soulful tracks from ninth album Everything Was Beautiful, which takes listeners on a journey that veers from bittersweet melancholy to heady euphoria. It might take you some time to come back down to Earth.  

Where and when: The Big Top at Luna Park, 16 June 2022 

Are You Pulling My Leg? 

Join a host of Australia’s funniest comedians as they discuss their experiences with disability and chronic illness. Between the jokes, headliner Bec Charlwood and feature acts Robyn Reynolds, John Robles, Jamal Abdul and Lily Starr (all hosted by the award-winning Madeleine Stewart) aim to highlight the lack of opportunities for comedians with disabilities. This wheelchair-accessible event is a chance to support some of Australia’s funniest talent while promoting inclusivity with captions and Auslan interpretations. 

When and where: Vivid Ideas Exchange – UTS, The Balcony Room, 16 June 2022 

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All images courtesy of Destination NSW and Vivid Sydney 2022.

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