Vivid Sydney 2024 The Ultimate Guide

vivid sydney 2024

Vivid Sydney 2024: Everything You Need to Know

Welcome to the ultimate guide for Vivid Sydney 2024, the 14th edition of this captivating festival. Vivid turns Sydney into a vibrant canvas of light, music and ideas. This year, it runs from 24th May to 15th June. The creators of this year’s event are ready to awe you with a stacked program, including live performances, light art and in-depth talks, and Adge Hotel & Residences is proud to partner with Vivid as a Tier 2 partner this year.

Key Takeaways

  • Vivid Sydney 2024 is the 14th edition of this captivating festival in Sydney, Australia.
  • The festival runs for little more than 3 weeks in 2024. Transforming the city into a kaleidoscope of luminescent displays, laser shows, musical energy and ideas.
  • The diverse program includes live performances, light installations and thought-provoking discussions.
  • The festival is set to explore the theme of ‘Humanity’, celebrating the diversity and unity of the human experience.
  • Adge Hotels & Residences is proud to partner with Vivid Sydney 2024, offering award-winning Sydney accommodation so that you can make the most of the festival of lights.

Embrace the Brilliance of Vivid Sydney 24

Vivid in 2024 will illuminate the city of Sydney and is celebrating its 14th year, illuminating iconic parts of Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, and the Rocks to name a few. For this magical period, Sydney will showcase a world of light, sound and creativity. It turns the city we all know and love into an enchanted place of rediscovery and exploration.

With so much to see, you should consider staying in a local boutique hotel. Stay with us at ADGE Boutique Hotel, and enjoy an award-winning hotel with a proud partner of Vivid to truly make the most of this event.

23 Days and Evenings of Wonder at Vivid 24

The festival will take place across Sydney from 24th May to 15th June 2024. Offering the public a 23-day chance to see the stunning lights, shows, and talks that make Vivid Light Displays Sydney so special each year.

At Vivid this year, American artist Yvette Mattern created the masterpiece ‘Global Rainbow’ to decorate the Sydney Tower, which sees 40 km long beams shining out of lasers onto this iconic and highest structure in Sydney, bathing the whole city in light. 

A Fusion of Light, Music and Ideas

Vivid Sydney celebrates with light, music and thought-provoking talks. Sydney’s famous spots will transform into breathtaking shows. There will also be amazing food, thanks to Gill Minervini, festival director and director of food. 

As one of Australia’s most respected creative front runners, Minervini has more than 20 years of experience in creative talent and changes Sydney CBD with a variety of activities for everyone.

Vivid Sydney 2024: The Ultimate Festival of Light

Vivid in 2024 shines brightly with its celebration of light. It turns Sydney’s famous landmarks into spectacular lighting extravaganzas. Take the Harbour Bridge, which at Vivid 2023 was immersed in striking cobalt blue and royal purple lights, complemented by brightly coloured moving birds and foliage lighting up the bridge struts. 

Another of the showstoppers from earlier 2023 was a piece entitled ‘Losting’, artist James Dive gave us the deeply human feeling of literally losing yourself in nature. He represented this with a heady mix of trees and shrubs illuminated within a 3-dimensional glass cube containing moving mirrors. These mirrors change in orientation and direction, visually transporting the viewer into the natural world.

Everywhere you look in Sydney, you’ll see bright colours and fascinating shapes. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is just another example. The Opera House will light up in amazing ways too, like it did in 2023 when the sails were a fusion of form, colour, shape and nature, in John Olsens’ piece ‘Life Enlivened’. It fascinated audiences with its originality of light and motion, which changed and transformed throughout the evening.

We’re hoping this year will be equally breathtaking because this year, the creators of Vivid showcase the stunning and unique designs of 2023 Archibald Prize winner Julia Gutman. You’ll be dazzled by vibrant colours and shapes, and will get the feeling that Sydney’s most recognisable building has truly come alive.

Iconic Sydney Landmarks Illuminated

This year’s Vivid festival will light up familiar places in remarkable ways. The Sydney Tower will dazzle alongside the Opera House. These light displays are more than just pretty lights. This year, the Sydney Opera House sails will be creatively illuminated by artist Julia Gutman & Pleasant Company.

In her work entitled ‘Echo’, centuries-old fabric scenes are digitised into light and colour. Telling the story in reference to Ovids’ myth of Narcissus. Narcissus is replaced with a girl in a tee shirt, and Narcissus’ sun is swapped for deep water.

This unique retelling ponders our much-neglected need to search inside ourselves to confront that which we find uncomfortable and recognise it. This way, the artist cleverly employs lighting to push the limits of creativity, both within and without us humans. We’re truly lucky to have this experience at Vivid 2024, and it’s one of the installations we’re most excited about.

Immersive Light Installations and Projections

But Vivid in 2024 is not just about famous buildings. It also offers unique light installations that challenge how you see the city. With the use of drones, thousands of meters of wiring and digital lighting techniques, lasers and even candles.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, for example, will be dressed with the brilliance of artists Reg Mombassa & Guan Wei. In their re-shaping of our thoughts on the much-loved Australian road trip, using the walls of the Customs House as their canvas. Lit upon its walls will appear neo-futuristic robots, unusual critters, and single-eyed koalas! We can’t wait to enjoy this piece, titled ‘Gumscape With Road and Creatures’; be sure to check it out.

Take a walk and you’ll find art and technology blending in surprising ways. Vivid Sydney becomes an interactive, futuristic experience for all. Connecting the human being to the earth, to each other and to a sense of holistic belonging.

Unforgettable Light Displays and Projections

The city of Sydney Harbour Bridge glows and the city fills with incredible lights at Vivid Sydney. Artists and tech wizards craft these stunning displays. They always manage to top the last one, leaving everyone amazed. 

Captivating Musical Performances

Vivid Sydney shines bright in both light and music. Its musical events, like those at the Sydney Opera House, offer something for everyone. You can enjoy classical masterpieces or the latest beats.

Take time to appreciate the musical genius of Angus Mills. With his eclectic and entrancing electronic instrumentalisation. He released ‘Alva’ last year on the Australian label ‘Moonshine’, and his style sounds like something from across the galaxy. Pulling you in and seeking connection. How very human.

Vivid Sydney 2024: A Preview of the Awaited Extravaganza

The excitement for Vivid in 2024 is growing. The festival’s director and Vivid Food curator, Gill Minervini, has given us a sneak peek. Transforming the city in this way takes more than 50 artists and almost a year to create and set up, in addition to hundreds of auxiliary assistants.

The festival director is excited to show new and thrilling parts of Vivid 24. This festival in the city’s beating heart will have the latest light displays, in-depth sharing of experiences and conversations focused on ‘Humanity’.

The Vivid Food programme, led by Minervini, is also making a comeback. It will bring unique dining moments, educational workshops and fun events. This year, they’re highlighting sustainability and locally sourced food, connecting visitors to the festival’s wider themes.

The festival’s famous light displays will again light up key spots like the Sydney Opera House. The Vivid Sydney Light Walk will treat viewers to stunning, illuminated sights.

With the days ticking down to Vivid Sydney in 2024, there’s promise of a fantastic celebration. The festival’s blend of amazing lighting shows, diverse music and engaging talks aims to make this an event to remember.

Exploring the Theme of Humanity

Vivid Sydney ’24 will explore ideas about the golden age of humanity. It celebrates the differences and connections we share. The festival will offer luminescent shows, music and discussions. These will make us think about being human and what it means today.

Celebrating Diversity and Unity

Vivid 24 focuses on what makes Sydney great. With all the wonderful things to do in Sydney, this curated program of live performances is one of the world’s best. These lighting shows will reveal how varied yet similar we all are.

Minervini keeps the focus on uniting all people. By celebrating our variety and dreams, it aims to bring people together. Inviting us to look at the world differently. About Vivid 24, Minervini encapsulates the theme for this year’s festivities, saying “Humanity is at the core of everything we do” and there will be a focus on “diving deep into what makes us uniquely human”. So be ready to see themes like celebration, understanding and interconnectedness at the forefront when you’re enjoying each installation. 

Thought-Provoking Ideas and Discussions

Alongside lights and music, Vivid Sydney ’24 has talks and workshops. These Vivid Ideas cover big issues along with creative solutions. They want us to join in and discover new views.

Ladies football team hero for the ‘Matildas’ Mackenzie Arnold as well as coach Tony Gustavsson, are part of the lineup of speakers, in which they discuss the concept of ‘Champions of Change, at Sydney Town Hall on 10th June. Here, they will uncover the often fraught alliance a coach has with his team members. The goals, the stresses and the celebrations. With writer Grace Gill of the Matildas exploring the world of women’s football.

Creative director Minervini says these talks will tackle challenges. They also highlight our potential to change for the better. Their purpose is to spark your interest and urge you to make a difference. Whether it’s the lights, music, or exchange of ideas, Vivid ’24 is set to transform you. It shows how rich and strong humanity can be.

The Vivid Sydney Light Walk: A Mesmerising Experience and a Favourite with the Kids

This incredible part of the program is a key highlight of Vivid ’24. It’s an amazing journey through the city’s glowing sights. When night falls, Sydney’s streets and pathways light up with colourful decorations. This turns the city into a breathtaking artwork.

This 8km light event is mainly free but with some events ticketed. Allow yourself to meander through this lightwalk starting at the Goods Line, Circular Quay or anywhere along the route. Prior to the switching on of the lights, ‘Firstlight’ is broadcast at 5.55 pm. Where homage is paid to our First Nations and Gadigal peoples through song and dance. 

Discover the City’s Illuminated Gems

This walk guides you past famous places like the Sydney Tower. With ‘Vivid Live’ at the Sydney Opera House, you will see this amazing building in a whole new light. You’ll also see the Sydney Opera House sails wowing the crowds with the lighting of the sails.  It showcases stunning imagination and designs from artist Julia Gutman. Walking through, you feel surrounded by vibrant colours and shapes. It’s like the city is living and breathing.

You won’t want to miss the large light sculptures. And the smaller, detailed artworks are just as captivating. The Vivid Sydney Light Walk is an unforgettable event. It highlights the festival’s incredible creativity and new ideas. Make sure to include this light walk in your 2024 visit plans and you’ll rediscover the city’s hidden gems under the festival’s stunning lights.

Vivid Music Program: A Melting Pot of Genres

This year, Vivid 2024 allows you to enjoy a variety of musical genres at ‘Vivid Live’ in the Sydney Opera House. Be entranced by this festival for a celebration of art staged across Sydney. A multisensory journey of light in the heart of Sydney.

From Classical to Contemporary

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra will perform at the Opera House. Their music will move you. You’ll also hear from contemporary artists mixing different music styles, such as the avant-garde Swedish pop sounds of Fever Ray.

Local and International Talents 

Both local and international musicians will be in the spotlight. With everything from cutting-edge electronics to classical, there’s something to suit all musical tastes. The following are just two of the stunning musical performers to get you in the mood at Vivid 24.

Acclaimed Swedish music creator Karin Dreijer, more commonly known as Fever Ray, will be a unique accompaniment at Vivid. Fever Ray has worked with many established performers, such as Bjork, and will perform two shows at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall for Vivid. 

Another talented musical artiste is VV Pete; originally from Sudan, the performer is now based in Mount Druitt, serving up sharp flows over kinesthetic beats throughout Vivid celebrations. 

If you love music, you’ll find something special at Vivid 2024. Plan your trip to coincide with a favourite artist of yours, or take a chance on someone you’ve never heard of, and let the sounds of Vivid Live take you on an unforgettable journey.

Vivid Ideas: Igniting Minds and Sparking Conversations

Vivid focuses on Ideas and is a key part of the upcoming Vivid ’24 festival. It will captivate audiences with engaging talks, workshops and discussions. This year, the focus will be on ‘Humanity’, tackling global challenges and creative solutions.

Actress, writer, director and award-winner Amy Poehler will be attending Vivid this year. Amy will be in conversation with Zan Rowe at Vivid ‘Sydney Presents-In Conversation with Amy Poehler’, on 27 May 2024. Followed by scenes from the much-awaited Disney/Pixar movie ‘Inside Out 2’. The film highlights the human feelings of a child: happiness, sadness, joy and a host of other emotions, which complement this year’s theme of exploring our ‘Humanity’.

Engaging Talks and Workshops

The core of Vivids’ ethos is the free interchange of ideas. Diverse points of view are discussed freely in a series of thought-provoking talks and workshops. These bring together leading figures in various fields. They will cover everything from cutting-edge sustainable technologies to the mysteries and complexities of the human mind.

One such engaging conversation between Mark Colvin, broadcaster and Pulitzer prize winner Sebastian Smee took place at the Vivid Festival 2019. These two brilliant thinkers provoked dialogue about the value and autonomy of our inner selves in this age of digital innovation. 

Perspective-challenging questions were raised in another Vivid Conversations workshop. This time between psychologist Jocelyn Brewer and writer Holly Throsby. They questioned the concept of a person and their relationship to their net worth. This conversation was seen as a challenging and perspective-altering event.

These conversation pieces aim to spark new curiosity and perspective. You’re sure to leave feeling inspired and seeing the world around you with an array of different ideas.

Exploring Innovative Ideas and Solutions

Vivids’ concept of the Ideas program also includes panel discussions, interactive displays and workshops. They will focus on key societal issues. Topics range from future jobs to the impact of new technologies.

These interactions aim to start engaging dialogues and motivate people to find creative solutions. Dialogues that, otherwise, many of us may never contemplate. The topics for discussion at Vivid have the goal of building a more fair and sustainable future together.

Vivid Sydney’s Culinary Delights

The teams at this year’s event have some awesome ideas about food! When the sun goes down over Sydney, the city’s food scene shines. This year, the festival’s Vivid Food section offers a feast for your senses. It mixes innovation with great food.

Indulge in the Vivid Food Program

Minervini, a well-respected culinary figure, puts together the Vivid Food program. It’s a food journey that shows off Sydney’s diverse and creative dining spots. One highlight is ‘Plates with Purpose’, featuring meals made with care for the planet. Or sample the ‘Vivid Place Food Trail’ for a taste of the city’s best-kept dining secrets.

Unique Dining Experiences

Vivid ’24 also offers the Vivid Sydney Supper Club. It’s an after-hours cabaret-style space. On 31st May the ‘Spectacular game show’ will commence, located at Mary’s Underground. Award-winning musical artist Georgia Mooney and comic genius Rhys Nicholson have seamlessly blended wonderful cuisine created by top chefs and entertainment in the form of comedy, storytelling and musical delights.

With various themes, see which appeals to you. Or wait until the last of the Vivid Sydney Supper Club season finale on 14th June, when you can partake in the ‘Up-Late Play Date’ event. Aptly described as a kids’ party for adults, with face painting, crafts, story times and games galore! And special guests OG Wiggle Murray Cook, Play Schools Abi Tucker and Emma Palmer, to name a few of line up on this special night.

These events, in different city spots, combine great food with deep conversations about food’s impact. So whether you are a gastronome or are just looking for that special night out, the Vivid Food program will make you hungry for more. Get ready to dive into Vivid Sydney’s food scene. It’s a fun mix of new ideas, creativity and delicious food. It’s an experience you won’t forget.


What dates is the Vivid Sydney 2024 program taking place?

Vivid Sydney 2024 runs from 24 May to 15th June. This year the light festival marks its 14th year.

What can visitors expect at Vivid Sydney 2024?

Visitors will see light installations, hear great music and find inspiring ideas. The city will turn into a bright, lively place. Begin the evening at Customs house and see the Gumscape with road and creatures. Our insider recommendation is to check out a display called ‘Embrace’ by the Perth artist Beamhacker, commonly known as Joshua McAuliffe, at First Fleet Park, which beckons you to reach out to one of the silhouettes and make a human connection.  

What are some of the iconic landmarks that will be illuminated during Vivid Sydney 2024?

Landmarks like the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House will light up. So will the Sydney Tower, the MCA and the Customs House. As well as luminescent displays throughout Circular Quay, Tumbalong Park, Walsh Bay, Sydney CBD and the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. This amazing event will be thrilling and thought-provoking in equal measure.

What are the highlights from past Vivid Sydney festivals?

Past events had amazing light displays and music. In 2023, the ‘Written in the Stars’ drone shows were spectacular, especially the whale drone, whilst in 2022, the Customs house showcase ‘For Sydney with love’ by Ken Done and the Spinifex group had a special resonance for post-lockdown Vivid attendees.

Cumulatively these light and music displays highlighted to the world the city’s top places of cultural and artistic relevance. Not just functional buildings and spaces. By illuminating the Sydney Opera House, where great musical works are also hosted. Plus, the program is innovative, with plenty of new events at this 14th Vivid Sydney show.

What is the theme for Vivid Sydney 2024?

This year’s theme is ‘Humanity’. It celebrates what makes us all different yet connected. The event will share ideas through talks and art and highlight the elements that make us human, our human differences, as well as the mediums in which we connect as humans.

What can visitors expect from the Vivid Sydney Light Walk?

A vivid program for the concept of Ideas will have talks and more. It focuses on the ‘Humanity’ theme. The Lightwalk, in its entirety, is an enchanted collage of artworks created using the medium of light and reflecting this year’s theme, covering important global topics and solutions. Such as ecology and sustainability globally.

Whether it’s the Sydney Opera House bathed in a fabric mosaic or a rainbow of lasers fanning out across the CBD, the lightwork artistry is second to none. Join the 8km path of the Lightwalk anywhere you choose.   

What kind of music performances can visitors expect at Vivid Sydney 2024?

The Opera House will have diverse music, from classics to new genres. It will feature stars from around the world. In an eclectic style and synthesis of various musical types. From synth pop to electronica and sharp rap, and everything else in between!

What can visitors expect from the Vivid Ideas program?

The Vivid program for the concept of Ideas will have inspiring talks and much more. It focuses on the ‘Humanity’ theme, covering important global topics and solutions.

What culinary delights will be on offer at Vivid Sydney 2024?

The food events include the Supper Club and Food Trail. They’ll highlight the city’s food scene and its connection to the community.

Image by Brian Chidlow