Vivid Sydney – the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas – has just announced its 2019 program. The event is spread over 23 nights (from 24 May to 15 June) and these are the things you don’t want to miss this year.
Lighting of the Sails: Austral Flora Ballet
Sydney Opera House
The illumination of this landmark’s soaring sails is always a festival highlight. This year, the creamy curves will feature a tribute to Australia’s most beautiful native flora, designed by artist-filmmaker Andrew Thomas Huang.
This bustling harbour is always the centrepiece of Vivid and this year will be no exception. The façade of Customs House will transform into an underwater scene; the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge will mark the International Year of Indigenous Languages with a projection of Eora: Broken Spear; and the exterior of the Museum of Contemporary Art will be illuminated with a cyclic projection called Let Me Down.
The illumination continues across the harbour. Throughout the festival, the ferris wheel at Luna Park will glitter and a group of street performers will roam the grounds wearing costumes adorned with tiny bulbs. The park's newest ride, Volaré, will also light up the dark thanks to more than 3500 LED lights dotted on its surface.
Lights for the Wild
North of the city, Taronga Zoo will once again be dotted with neon lanterns in the shape of animals. As well as favourites like the silverback gorillas and the weedy sea dragon, a new installation of Sumatran tiger cubs is on display to celebrate the three new cubs that joined the zoo this year.
Pixar Animation Studios at Argyle Cut
The heritage-listed sandstone tunnel will be one of the hottest festival attractions, with projections of some of Pixar’s best-loved characters, including Toy Story’s Woody and Buzz.
Royal Botanic Garden
Is this going to be the most fitting exhibition to ever grace the gardens? Spread over a three-kilometre-long path that winds its way along the harbour, Firefly Field will be a striking installation featuring 500 lights designed to move and shimmer like their namesake bugs.
Image credit: Vivid Sydney/Disney/Pixar
Vivid isn’t just about the lights. The Vivid Ideas program will be a collection of panels and workshops spread across the three-week festival designed to open up discussion and change. Highlights include a chat with director Spike Lee about filmmaking and an interview with psychotherapist and podcast host Esther Perel.