|Source: Destination NSW. Vivid Sydney in action.|
The Lights On moment, marking the start of the festival, saw all eyes turn to the Sydney Opera House for the Lighting of the Sails, created this year by Australian artist Jonathan Zawada. The performance featured fantastical digital sculptures of everyday objects and natural specimens that evolve, dissolve, and metamorphose.
This year the lights shine bright each night at nine precincts across Sydney including Barangaroo, Chatswood, Circular Quay, The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Kings Cross, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Taronga Zoo and for the first time, Luna Park.
New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at the launch, “It’s always such a great feeling to see the city light up in a spectacular symphony of colour and movement, and we can’t wait to see all the moments that will excite and delight visitors who are coming to enjoy Vivid Sydney’s 10th anniversary celebrations over the next 23 days and nights.”
NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall said Vivid Sydney was an opportunity to showcase not only Sydney, but the entire state. “Vivid Sydney is more than just a captivating light, music and ideas festival – it drives our economy, attracting hundreds of thousands of overnight visitors to our State,” Marshall said.
“Nearly 38,000 visitors to Vivid Sydney last year chose to extend their stay in NSW and travel beyond the fringes of Sydney, staying more than 94,000 nights and injecting over A$16 million into the State’s regional economy.
“The NSW government has worked hard to ensure NSW is the tourism and events capital of Australia and Vivid Sydney showcases our global city to the world, reinforcing Sydney’s position as the home of creativity, culture and innovation.”
Creative Director for Vivid Sydney Ignatius Jones added, “Vivid Sydney is all about art meeting technology and throwing in a little magic on top of it all to entertain visitors. This year the creative visions of local and international artists have been brought to life as large-scale and interactive installations and projections that transform iconic buildings, landmarks and landscapes; from the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, to the natural canvases at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Darling Harbour. We invite everyone to join our colourful celebration of creativity and community.”
Highlights for this year’s event include:
It’s Lights On at 6 pm each night (5.30 pm at Chatswood and Taronga Zoo), as Sydney’s architecture and open spaces become the canvases for mesmerising art projections and interactive installations.
· Zawada transforms the Sydney Opera House sails into Metamathemagical, a series of kinetic digital sculptures using imagery inspired by the Australian environment.
· For the first time, Vivid Sydney includes Luna Park as a precinct, where grand light show, Spirit of Fun on Coney Island, and the Ferris Wheel will give visitors a front row seat to some of the best views of Sydney Harbour aglow.
· May Gibbs’ beloved characters Snugglepot and Cuddlepie celebrate their 100th anniversary on the façade of Customs House with a joyous adventure through the Australian bush.
· Barangaroo will host a 6 m luminescent creature venturing along the waterfront and interacting with visitors in The Liminal Hour, a theatrical display of light and sound.
· Lights for the Wild returns better than ever at Taronga Zoo, where an adventure through jungle, bush and ocean habitats awaits. New additions join festival favourites, including PJ the 20 metre Port Jackson shark, an epic 9 m goanna, a sea dragon and redback spiders.
The music programme will provide a soundtrack to the festival with a lineup of some of the world’s best local and international contemporary artists taking to stages throughout the city. Highlights include:
· Young Australian singing sensation Ruel, will take to the stage of Sydney’s iconic Metro Theatre for his first-ever solo headline performance on 16 June. This performance is already sold out.
· The soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet will be brought to life when masquerade-ball-rock-show Young Hearts Run Free revs up the Enmore Theatre on 7 June.
· Orange is the New Black’s Big Boo, Lea DeLaria, brings her musical comedy, jazz interpretation show to the City Recital Hall on 9 June as part of the Vivid Jazz series.
· Vivid LIVE takes over the Sydney Opera House again with a celebration of ambitious and innovative contemporary music. The World Heritage-listed stages will welcome international icons like Solange and Ice Cube as well as DREAMS, the electropop collaboration between former Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns and Empire of the Sun’s Luke Steele on 29 and 30 May. Californian dream pop cult duo Mazzy Star’s Australian debut from 11-13 June will close out Vivid LIVE with their trademark psychedelic-tinged guitar and charming vocals.
Australia’s most thought-provoking conversations are on the agenda with groundbreakers from technology, science, art, design and culture gathering to explore new ideas and cultivate fresh thinking through forums and workshops. James Cameron headlines the programme this year and will speak in front of a sold out crowd. Highlights not to miss include:
· Futurist and game developer, Jane McGonigal and artificial intelligence (AI) expert Kriti Sharma team up on 3 June to discuss what kind of society are we creating with technology as they delve into the latest in AI, virtual reality and gaming.
· Visual strategist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and co-founder of the Museum of Awe, Dan Goods explores the interplay between art and science that has seen his work shown in museums and in outer-space on 3 June.
· Pioneering environmental activists, surfing and skateboarding icon Peggy Oki, and marine biologist and model Laura Wells, will talk on 6 June about protecting the oceans in the war on plastic, and how you can become an agent of change by turning passion into action.
· What will our lives be like when we coexist with digital humans? An expert panel will join a computer generated digital person on stage to examine the ethical and societal implications of life with digital artificial humans in Mummy, can I Marry my Avatar? on 16 June.
The festival is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the New South Wales government’s tourism and major events agency. In 2017 Vivid Sydney attracted a record 2.33 million attendees and injected over A$143 million into NSW’s visitor economy.
Vivid Sydney runs from 25 May to 16 June 2018. For more festival details check online or download the mobile app on iOS or Android. There is a new augmented reality experience in the app, including access to a hidden art gallery at Fitzroy Gardens in Kings Cross.
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