Vivid Sydney has just dropped out of its busy 2022 schedule
Vivid is back, baby. Sydney’s Festival of Lights, Music and Ideas has just dropped its full 2022 schedule and, boy, does it live up to it, even after years of anticipation.
After a two-year hiatus, Vivid Sydney is set to land in the port city from Friday May 27 to Saturday June 18. Catching up with lost time and reviving the city, Vivid’s program has a ton of festival premieres on display, such as the long continuous walk of light, free tunes in Central Station, pop-up concerts in the gardens, intimate supper clubs and even a lively Diner. And that’s on top of its usual light projections, concerts, outdoor raves, reflective panels and late-night parties. So strap in Sydney, we’re off on a wild ride.
Here are the main highlights of Vivid Sydney’s 2022 programme.
Vivid Sydney hits a lot of high notes, but the dazzling light projections are what sees people – tourists and Sydneysiders alike – flocking to the foreshore. This year, no less than 11 Sydney CBD sites light up with a kaleidoscopic display of lasers, art projections and lights.
Most notably, Vivid Sydney will be launched with first light: a welcome home and a celebration of First Nations peoples, culture and country. It takes place at 5.40pm on Vivid’s opening night on May 27 at Campbells Cove, and will feature screenings of Gadigal’s Tales on a Sydney Harbor Bridge pylon.
In other good news, the famous Light Walk has been extended and will now stretch 8 km from the Sydney Opera House to Central Station. The promenade features the works of 114 light artists and 62 collaborators, including street installations, large-scale immersive experiences and 200 LED sculptural birds as part of the Future natives installation.
One of Vivid’s biggest draw cards is the Opera House screenings, so you better bet this year’s light works will live up to the hype. Lighting the sails will be Yarrkalpa – Hunting Ground, 2021 by artists Martu de Pilbara and Sydney-based creative technology company Curiious. The epic digital artwork will light up the sails with vibrant landscapes, energy and stories of the Martu people. Not only will the work light up the sky, but it will also be accompanied by First Nations electronic duo Electric Fields and Martu Artists. On the forecourt and monumental steps, you will be dazzled by Sydney-based artist Lauren Brincat. Tutti Presto fff– a half-hour live sculptural work involving sound, performance and choreography in a reimagining of Australia’s iconic landmark.
More lights in the big city include Mandylights Our connected city, which will illuminate the Harbor Bridge and Opera House as well as 200 floodlights across skyscrapers, the harbor and the Cahill Expressway; Australian artist Helen Eager’s stunning eight-minute moving projection New York Sunday on the MCA, soundtrack by Paul Mac; an immersive illuminated tunnel at Tumbalong Park called Smudges; australia the greatest liquid and light show ever at Darling Harbour; and a 100m floating lightweight boardwalk at Walsh Bay as part of Ephemeral oceanicwhich features 150 gigantic bubble-shaped spheres.
Now on to the concerts, many of which take place at the Sydney Opera House. First, the House is bringing its concerts and parties back to the North Promenade, so you can dance under the stars while overlooking the harbor and the spectacular Vivid Lights. Particular highlights include Aussie Great Paul Kelly performs a unique series with Thelma Plum; Hermitude ignite the boardwalk with their high-octane tunes; the always fun goofy club with LGBTQIA+ anthems; and local music collective Astral People organizes a 10+1 birthday party with a lineup of local artists including Hiatus Kaiyote, Briggs, Mildlife, BARKAA, Munasib and Youngn Lipz, alongside British jazz-funk drummer Yussef Dayes and British rapper Jay1.
Inside the sails of the opera you can watch a world premiere of the German producer Nils Frahm as well as Sampa The Great’s highly anticipated show A future afro, which finally hits Sydney after Vivid Sydney was canceled last year. Other highlights include hip-hop powerhouse TKay Maidza with Maina Doe; a jazzy improvisational performance by Tangents and GODTET; a fiery set from an all-female indie band buoys; Anangu/Torres Strait Islander and ARIA Award-winning artist miiesha; Korean-Australian hip-hop outfit 1300; and Ghanaian-American soulful artist Moses Sumney who brings his moving tunes to the Chamber for one night only.
One of our biggest picks, however, is In The Mood – A love letter to Wong Kar-Wai and Hong Kong by Rainbow Chan, Eugene Choi and Marcus Whale, which is an ode to the film by the Cantonese director love mood and features ’60s-style costumes, sax-soaked versions of the film’s soundtrack, and elements of the award-winning film refracted on stage.
Want to cut out shapes on the dance floor after a few years on the couch? Then you’ll want to check out the Opera’s studio party series, featuring DJs such as Catalan electro producer John Talabot, Adi Toohey, Touch Sensitive, Ayebatonye, Simon Caldwell, Wax’o Paradiso, and many others.
Pre-sale tickets for Sydney Opera House x Vivid LIVE open at 12pm AEDT on Thursday 17 March – register here. Otherwise, general public tickets will go on sale at 9:00 a.m. AEDT on Monday, March 21. So go through it concerts around here and get ready to buy tickets when they go on sale.
Apart from the Opera, the Vivid LIVE program includes a pop-up concert series at Tumbalong Park; a supper club series it will transform Mary’s Underground into an intimate cabaret; DJs spin nails every night at a pop-up dance floor at Ultimo; and free concerts take over the Grand Concourse at Central Station.
Rounding out the epic cultural festival, Vivid Sydney’s Ideas segment features a series of thought-provoking talks, artist talks and in-depth discussions. Vivid also introduced a new program into the mix, taking over the MCA, Powerhouse Museum, Maritime Museum and Australian Museum. Double Vivid ideas until late, the free program combines talks, art and performance and will cover everything from drag and ballroom culture to fashion, food, movies and more. To verify More info here.
Vivid Ideas events we are interested in include this conversation with Troye Sivan and Patrick Abboud on beauty, art and fluidity; award-winning American screenwriter and director Aaron Sorkin talks politics and theater with iconic Australian journalist Leigh Sales; a two-night festival of ideas at the MCA; and the inauguration Lively dinner in Sydney at the ivy Ballroom, which will incorporate all the elements of Vivid with a multi-sensory feast that combines light, music, ideas and creative cuisine by celebrity chefs Dan Hong and Mike Eggert. Oh, and the epic stream also comes with paired wines.
It’s a lot, we know. Sit down, take it all and check out the Vivid website for the complete program, plus the Sydney Opera House website for its epic lineup and to purchase tickets once they go on sale.
Sydney, we’re back.
Vivid Sydney is taking over 11 Sydney locations from May 27 to June 18. For more information and the full program, go to Vivid Sydney website. For Sydney Opera House x Vivid LIVEpresale tickets open at 12 p.m. AEDT on Thursday, March 17 – register at 12 p.m.before. General public tickets go on sale at 9:00 a.m. AEDT on Monday, March 21.
Image credit: Destination NSW, Destination NSW, Prudence Upton, Destination NSW