Australia's Brightest Festival: Vivid 2023

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With Sydney Harbour and the Opera House as its canvas, there couldn’t be a more beautiful backdrop for Vivid Sydney, the city’s annual extravaganza of lights, colour and ideas. The largest light festival in the Southern Hemisphere will illuminate Sydney from May 26 to June 17, and this year it promises to be bigger and brighter than ever, as they introduce their largest installation yet.

For 23 days and nights, artists, thinkers and musicians will bare their creative souls in mesmerising light projections, thought-provoking debates and exhilarating performances in and around Sydney.

For a start, this year, the free light walk will be lighting up Sydney in 8 different central spots from Barangaroo, Central Station, Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Darling Square, Darling Quarter, and The Goods Line. With an epic 57 light attractions to discover, created by an array of artists from across the globe, light walk includes the Taronga Zoo’s Wild Lights Show and the internationally acclaimed 'Lightscape', a multi-sensory experience of light, colour, and sound, that will fully transform The Royal Botanic Garden.

Now in its 13th year, Vivid brings back old favourites like the lighting of the Opera House, but this year there’ll be new projections by iconic Australian painter, John Olsen. The Museum of Contemporary Art will be lit up with Barerarerungar, the incredible work of  Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung artist Maree Clarke. 

In more good news,Vivid will also introduce their largest installation yet titled ‘The Last Ocean’ by American artist Jen Lewin. The piece made its debut in 2022 at Burning Man’s Black Rock City. Made up of entirely reclaimed ocean plastic, the piece mimics an Antarctic ice field and allows audiences to stand on the ice without harming it.

Stop to marvel at the biggest drone show in the Southern Hemisphere to date. 'Written in the Stars' is a detailed journey through the Solar System and will be showcased above Circular Quay.

Down in the unused Wynyard Station tunnels, the 900-metre long 'Dark Spectrum' immersive experience explores eight rooms illuminated with world-class lasers, robotics, lighting and visual technology set to a dynamic soundtrack. Each room of the world premiere experience will take inspiration from a specific human experience and associated colour.

As always, the Sydney Opera House is the centerpiece of Vivid Live, this year presenting a bevy of incredible shows from over 45 artists including Cat Power, José González and Max Richter, with more live gigs taking place across the city. 

Off the back of the success of last year's Vivid Dinner, the new 'Vivid Food' is a welcome addition to the 2023 program. Expect night food market, to rooftop bars and illuminated restaurants across Sydney.

With the Harbour taking centre stage during Vivid, one of the easiest ways to enjoy the spectacle is from the comfort of a ferry or cruise vessel. Set sail with Vivid Cruises or Sydney Showboats or indulge in a gourmet dining experience with Captain Cook Cruises.

Continue the indulgence by checking into the luxe apartment hotel, A by Adina Sydney, where the rooftop bar, Dean & Nancy, has breathtaking 360-degree views of the Sydney skyline.

Rendezvous Sydney The Rocks is perfect for couples, offers has rooms with harbour views and places you in the thick of the Vivid action whilst Adina Apartment Hotel Darling Harbour has studio- and one-bedroom apartments that are ideal for couples, friends and families. Vibe Hotel Sydney Darling Harbour and Vibe Hotel Sydney are also perfectly located to catch all the Vivid action.

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