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Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the NSW Government has cancelled Vivid Sydney which was due to take place from 17 September to 9 October 2021.
Planning is underway for 2022 with the lights, music and ideas festival set to return from 27 May to 18 June 2022.
The 2021 festival would have been Vivid Sydney's twelfth outing, with 3 weeks of spectacular light displays on icons such as the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Cockle Bay Wharf.
Keep reading to find out what 2021's festival had in store and get a feel for what the festival might look like in 2022.
The Vivid Sydney 2021 program featured everything from multi-dimensional displays to projections for all the senses.
These included a Cockle Bay light and immersive sound display, the creative process of an artist in The Rocks and a 3D illumination at Circular Quay's Customs House.
You can read more about the planned displays below to get a sense of what 2022 might look like.
Image: Vivid Sydney
The Cockle Bay Ephemeral installation would have been one to see. It would have been the first time the bay was part of the festival.
200 bubble spheres were going to be placed on the water, changing between different colours of the rainbow, offering a perfect picture from all angles.
Image: Vivid Sydney
Titled Point of View, these portraits would have seen Sydney's community, past and present, illuminated from a canvas.
Robson's work has previously been displayed in Los Angeles, Berlin, Barcelona and New York.
Image: Vivid Sydney
The 3D instalment named VORAX, was developed by Ho Sheung Ning and Hong Kong's Treacle Media. Members of the public could have enjoyed a narrative that followed a thief's rise to power, exploring mind-bending dimensions as he battled with magical creatures.
New York Sunday
Patterns in Nature
One Big Backyard
The Vivid Sydney 2022 maps have not been released yet. However, these maps from previous years may give you an idea of the areas that may be included again next year.
Images from Vivid Sydney
Over 50 live shows were set to reach our ears during Vivid Sydney 2021. Traditional performances and unique experiences were planned to take place at Hyde Park Barracks, The Calyx (Royal Botanic Garden), Luna Park, The Bearded Tit and Parliament House.
The performances would have ranged from neo-soul R&B and adults-only cabaret shows to hip-hop and punk rock.
Vivid LIVE at the Opera House planned to play host to artists of all genres performing.
Highlights were to include Sampa The Great who is a Zambian-born poet, singer and visual artist as well as African-Australian singer and producer, BLESSED.
Image: Vivid Sydney
A visit to one of Australia's most acclaimed festivals requires a pit stop for dining. These are the restaurants, cafes and food trucks that pave the Vivid pathway and keep visitors well fed while enjoying the colour and lights in all their glory. Some even offer special Vivid menus and deals to make the journey through the lights that much brighter.
Where: Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay & Royal Botanic Gardens
Wherever a festival is, food trucks will follow – and Vivid is no exception to the rule. For the festival, the best variety of food trucks tend to hang around the Overseas Passenger Terminal and Circular Quay. The past has highlighted a plethora of flavours from across the world, from Eastern European delights to Asian flavours.
Additionally, before you tuck into the light show at the Royal Botanic Gardens, tuck into its smorgasbord of food options. In the past, we've seen a seafaring theme, with a bar serving up drinks like the H.M.A.S Royal Archie, which is a blue delight of Archie Rose Signature Dry Gin. Following on with this watery theme were fish and chips, fish chowders and lobster mac'n'cheese.
Bring on the 2022 selection.
Influencers from all walks of life, including filmmakers and artists, were booked to discuss ideas with other industry leaders. Highlights from 2021's planned festival included exploring self-acceptance with Jameela Jamil, the role of nature in healing with Magda Szubanski and Julia Baird, music with Nat's What I Reckon, Sarah Wilson and Dr Norman Swan on misinformation and conspiracy theories, and Sandra Pankhurst on reinvention and the need for empathy in our world.
Are you planning to visit Sydney just to see the Vivid lights? (We don’t blame you.) Or, perhaps you want to avoid the madness that is Sydney transport by making the CBD your home base for the evening? Whatever your reasons, there are some beautiful hotels in the city you can check into in 2022 to make seeing the Vivid lights that much more enjoyable.
They usually also have some great views of the lights, too. #winning
No. Due to COVID-19, the festival has been cancelled for the second year in a row. The festival had been rescheduled to run from 17 September to 9 October 2021 (pushed back from August after an outbreak in Sydney). The festival will next return from 27 May to 18 June 2022.
Yes, Vivid Sydney's displays are completely free to access. However, if you'd like to join a cruise or bridge climb, you'll need to pay for admission to those attractions.
Yes, organisers are still organising the logistics but ticketholders for Vivid events will be able to request a refund via the relevant merchant.
The highly anticipated event can be found across Sydney's CBD. Exhibits can usually be found in the following places:
The Vivid Sydney light displays turn on at 6pm each night during the festival.
The festival usually runs for 23 days.
Being a free event throughout Circular Quay, The Rocks, Barangaroo and Darling Harbour (with smaller displays in other parts of the city), Vivid is like a giant open-air gallery. It's a free event where you can walk around and check out light-based displays and illuminations created by a range of artists. There are guides available and each attraction is signposted and explains what it is you're looking at and who created it.
Many roads leading toward Circular Quay and The Rocks will be closed or restricted during the event. Given those limitations, and the road closures throughout the city, it's recommended to take public transport to Vivid. There will be increased public transport services available during the event, and the ferries will be illuminated each night from 6pm.
Vivid Sydney has been lighting up the Sydney foreshore since 2009. It began as a light festival promoting energy efficiency with light paintings displayed on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
Yes! The twilight and night-time Bridge Climbs are available during Vivid and offer panoramic views of the harbour displays.
If night photography isn't your forte, consider joining a night photography class prior to the festival or even during the festival to try and capture the best images.
Keep in mind that not all streets will be open to vehicles. Below you'll find the closest parking lots to the attractions, but public transport is advised. We will update this list as more information on road closures becomes available.
For Darling Harbour and Barangaroo access
For Circular Quay access
The use of drones is prohibited in many areas of Sydney Harbour. Although there is limited information for Vivid specifically, we imagine the rules will remain the same.
The official COVID-19 safety plan for Vivid Sydney 2022 is yet to be released. We will update this section as soon as more information becomes available.
With dozens of cruises sailing on the harbour, waterside restaurants with views of the lights or themed menus, hotel rooms overlooking the displays and so much more, there are endless ways to make the most of Vivid Sydney's 3-week run time.
Luckily, enjoying the brilliant displays doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. These deals will help you make the most of Vivid for less.
Up to 42% off things to do in Sydney
Available on activities including soccer classes, driving experiences, hot air balloon flights, skydives, kayak tours, quad biking tours, whale watching cruises, jet boat rides and more.
Up to 60% off things to do in Sydney
Available on activities until December 2022 including hop-on hop-off tours, wine tours, sightseeing cruises, zoo and animal interactions, hot air balloon flights, jet boat rides and more.
Get $10 off activities with code
Available on select dates on destinations including Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and more. Minimum spend of $300 required. Activities include hot air balloon flights, skydives, high teas and more. T&Cs apply.
$15 off all Australian activities with code
Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $100. Activities include hot air balloon flights, skydives and attraction passes. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane and more. Exclusive for new members. T&Cs apply.
Up to 81% off things to do in Sydney
Available on select dates. Activities include skydiving, tours, cruises, diving, whale watching and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 48% off Australia experiences + an extra 10% off with code
Available on activities including skydives, whale watching cruises, day tours, getaways and more. Must purchase 2 or more vouchers. Destinations include Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and more. T&Cs apply.
$75: Taronga Zoo ticket with hop-on hop-off explorer cruise
Available every Saturday from June 2021 - March 2022, including through Vivid Sydney.
Up to 68% off Sydney go karting
Available until 25 February 2022 for a 15-minute race.
Up to 41% off Australia Day cruise w/ lunch or dinner
Available on 26 January 2022 in Sydney Harbour with Magic Cruises.
Up to 60% off Australia sightseeing tours
Available on select travel dates in 2022. Destinations include Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and more.
Up to $20 off skydiving with code
Get $20 off per person when you book for 4 or more. Destinations include Sydney, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Cairns, Brisbane and more.
Up to $40 off skydiving with code
Get $40 off per person when you book for 8 or more. Destinations include Sydney, Byron Bay, Newcastle, Cairns, Brisbane and more.
Get $5 off activities with code
Available when you spend a minimum of $250 on activities such as hot air balloon flights, rally driving, skydives, high teas and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 40% off Sydney and Blue Mountains attraction pass combo
Available from 8–31 January 2022 for a triple entry pass to Scenic World Blue Mountains, Sydney Zoo and BridgeClimb Pylon. T&Cs apply.
Up to 42% off activities for kids
Available on select dates for activities like whale watching, go karting, sightseeing tours, attraction passes and more. Destinations include Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra and more.
Get 10% off Australia activities and experiences
Available on select dates, including Christmas and New Year's Eve, and activities including V8 racing, tandem skydives, scenic helicopter flights and jet boat rides. Destinations include Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Brisbane and more. Minimum spend of $350 required. T&Cs apply.
Australia skydives from $219 + free $20 merchandise voucher
Available on jumps from 7,500 ft to 15,000 ft. Destinations include Sydney, Hunter Valley, Cairns, Melbourne, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 50% off Australia experiences
Available on select dates, including Christmas and New Year, for activities such as skydiving, hot air balloon flights, bridge climbing, high teas and more. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne and more.
Up to 42% off things to do in Sydney + extra $5 off with code
Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include hot air balloon flights, skydives, whale watching cruises, dining, high teas, spas, getaways and attraction passes. T&Cs apply.
Up to 70% on local deals
Shop for dining experiences, attractions and more for up to 70% off. Destinations include Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and more.
Up to 43% off things to do in Australia
Available on select travel dates across Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast and more. Activities include day tours, zoo and animal interactions, tandem skydives, hot air balloon flights, jet boat rides and more.
Up to 40% off things to do in Australia
Available on select dates and activities including hot air ballooning, skydiving, sightseeing cruises, whale watching cruises and dining. Destinations include Sydney, Cairns, Perth, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane and more.
Up to 15% off local activities
Available on select dates on activities including day tours, skydiving, hot air ballooning, attraction passes and cruises. Destinations include in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Cairns, Canberra, Brisbane, Hobart and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 23% off flying experiences plus an extra $5 off with code
Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include hot air ballooning, skydiving, helicopter scenic flights. Destinations include Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hunter Valley, Sydney and more. T&Cs apply.
Get $20 off classes with code
Available until 18 October 2022 on classes including cooking, painting, candle making, pottery and more. Minimum spend of $250 required. Destinations include Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Perth and more. T&Cs apply.
Taronga Zoo entry + return ferry combo from $65
Available for travel on select dates in 2020-2022. Sample price is for an entry in Sydney Harour. Includes ferry ride and more. T&Cs apply.
Taronga Zoo Sydney experience from $25
Valid for travel on select dates. Includes sightseeing to over 350 animal species inhabiting the zoo and more. T&Cs apply.
Sydney: $10 off round-trip in Rocket Ferry, Taronga Zoo and Sky Safari
Valid for travel on select dates. Includes round-trip transfers in Circular Quay, Watsons Bay, or Darling Harbor with rocket ferry from Captain Cook. T&Cs apply.
WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo entry from $36.80
Available for travel until 16 December 2022. T&Cs apply.
Up to 49% off Sydney Taronga Zoo entry tickets
Available from 5 January – 31 May 2022 when you use your Dine & Discover vouchers. T&Cs apply.
Up to 51% off Sydney attraction passes
Available until March 2022 to attractions including WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Tower Eye and Madame Tussauds Sydney.
Sydney attractions combo pass from $85
Available on select dates from October 2021 - February 2022 for 4 attractions including Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney, Sydney Tower Eye and Madame Tussauds.
$46: WILD LIFE Sydney admission tickets
Available for general admission on select dates in January 2022.
Up to 39% off Sydney attraction passes
Available for 2 single entry attraction passes to WILD LIFE Sydney, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Tower Eye or Madame Tussauds Sydney.
Up to 20% off WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo tickets
Available from 5 November 2021 – 31 March 2022.
Up to 39% off Sydney attraction pass combo
Available until April 2022 on 2, 3 or 4 passes to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Madame Tussauds, Sydney Tower Eye and WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo.
Up to 10% off Sydney attraction pass combo
Available until May 2023 to 5 attractions including Madame Tussauds Sydney, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower Eye & 4D cinema, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo and more.
Up to 37% off Sydney Harbour cruise w/ food and drinks
Available on Australia Day on 26 January 2022 and includes food and drinks.
Up to 35% off Sydney go karting rides
Available until 14 April 2022 for a 30-minute experience.
Up to 55% off Australia Day cruise in Sydney
Available on 26 January 2022 and includes canapes and drink.
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