Vivid Sydney 2016Vivid Sydney 2016

More than Lights - Vivid Sydney 2017

In the glow of the bright and beautiful installations that fill the city, visitors to Vivid often forget the festival isn’t just about lights. As the world’s biggest festival of lights, music and ideas, there’s also a whole bunch of things in those last two categories that are well worth seeing. Here’s a collection of the best music and ideas from this year’s line-up.

Iconic American artist Shepard Fairey headlines the ideas section of this year’s festival with his informative and inspiring talk, Game-Changer. Even if you haven’t heard his name, chances are you would have seen his work: he’s the man behind the now iconic Barack Obama HOPE campaign and the more recent We The People poster series. In addition to his guerrilla-style street art and political commentary, Shepard is also exhibited in some of the world’s most esteemed galleries. In short, he’s very well placed to share his thoughts on creativity and finding your voice.


Start-up culture is alive and well in Sydney and anyone thinking about going out on their own or looking to grow their current venture should make tracks to The Sunrise. There’ll be Q&As with some of Australia’s most successful founders and plenty of opportunity to network.

Lovers of classical music and sweeping landscapes should make a beeline to Mountain, a collaboration between the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Jennifer Peedom’s incredible documentary on the human obsession with climbing the world’s highest peaks. Imagine perfectly played Chopin and Vivaldi filling your ears while soaring, high altitude cinematography unfolds before your eyes. Pretty cool huh?


Robowars is one of the underground favourites of the festival, pitting robot against robot in the ultimate battle of machinery design. All bots are self-built by engineers and robotics enthusiasts across the country, ensuring scrap metal, toy parts and power tool components feature heavily.

Hidden Sydney – The Glittering Mile tantalised audiences with its unique take on immersive theatre when it came to town late last year. Back by popular demand and playing throughout Vivid, The Glittering Mile will take you back in time to the Kings Cross of old, unfolding multiple story lines over four levels of a former Sydney brothel. Get ready to be heckled by quick witted bouncers, entertained by drag queens and enticed by ladies of the night.


City Recital Hall is transforming into a one of a kind party venue this June, boasting three levels of unique acts, spaces and art installations. The Sound Bubble Sound Party is sure to be a late night affair so pack your dancing shoes and your stamina for a night club with a difference.

Thought leadership is the name of the game at Semi Permanent where you can attend a slew of workshops and interactive experiences hosted by the brains behind mega brands such as Getty Images, NIKE and Google. Whether you want to paint virtual reality, learn how to take your business global or get the down low on the next round of artificial intelligence coming our way, Semi Permanent has you covered.


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