Art festivals are aplenty, but this one uses the entire city as the canvas for creative minds and expression. Sydney’s annual Vivid festival commandeers iconic buildings, talented artistes and international musicians for an almost three-weeklong extravaganza in the Antipodean winter.
At Vivid Sydney, art, technology and commerce intersect to great effect — think outdoor lighting sculptures, installations, cutting-edge contemporary music and a spilling forth of ideas that would give the Renaissance a run for its money. This (mostly) free public exhibition invites anyone and everyone to come have a look-see. The event is divided into three categories, Vivid Light, Vivid Music and Vivid Ideas, each featuring creative minds from around the world. In Vivid Light, expect an eye-popping display of ‘light art’, as lighting artists, designers and manufacturers from around Australia and the world come together to transform Sydney’s urban spaces into a wonderland of illumination.
At Vivid Music, it’s all about the rhythm. With venues like the iconic Sydney Opera House making their way onto the programme, you can expect an eclectic array of live performances and earworm-worthy musical collaborations. At the heart of it all is Vivid LIVE, a cutting-edge musical show that takes place at the iconic Sydney Opera House itself.
The last piece of this creative triumvirate is Vivid Ideas, an annual celebration of creative ideating, innovation and community.
You’ll find everything here from technology to star t-up culture and animation, VFX and lighting.
SYDNEY CRAFT BEER WEEK
Sydneysiders are serious about their beer. Dead serious. So much so that they dedicate a whole 10 days to the city’s largest celebration of cold ones towards the end of the year. The Sydney Craft Beer Week (SCBW) features more than a hundred events across the city with unique brews, feasts fueled by beer, guests from around the world, classes and more.
NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
Sydneysiders love bringing in the new year at one of the Royal Botanical Garden’s New Year’s Eve party areas. You can choose from the family-friendly Lawn With The View, right next to the glorious Sydney Opera House, a dining experience at Midnight At The Oasis, where you can eat as much as you want before you make those new year’s weight-loss resolutions, or the colourful night market at The Point, where you can indulge in some retail therapy before the clock strikes. There is also a vintage circus-themed event, and adults-only parties where you can leave the kids at home for a night of live jazz, funk, soul and reggae beats.
NIGHT NOODLE MARKET
Revel in the sights, sounds and smells of an Asian hawker market in October, as you sample delicious food and drinks and enjoy a fantastic line-up of entertainment. The dragon dancers are the highlight of the show, complete with acrobatics, dance and lights.