Plan Your Vivid Festival Experience


Vivid 2016

Now in its eighth year running, Vivid Sydney runs from 27 May to 18 June and  is recognised as the largest event of its kind in the world using the combination of lights, music and ideas, with world-class line-up of concert and music performances, public ideas programs, creative industry workshops and conferences.

Vivid Sydney is where art, technology and commerce intersect featuring large scale light installations and projections; music performances and collaborations; and creative ideas, discussion and debate. All three celebrate Sydney as a creative hub of the Asia-Pacific.

Vivid Sydney was voted Australia’s Best Event in 2013 and Best Tourism Event in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

VividSpend the evenings exploring Sydney and the numerous activations throughout the city including: Circular Quay and the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, Martin Place, Darling Harbour, Walsh Bay, Central Park, Chatswood, Carriageworks, on Sydney Harbour and for the first time, Taronga Zoo, The Royal Botanic Garden and The Galeries.

Visit the Vivid Sydney website for details on the programs through Vivid


Whether you are experiencing Vivid for the very first time, with friends or with your family there really is something for everyone.

New Precincts welcomed to the Vivid Festival

Vivid RBGThe Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
To celebrate its 200th Birthday the Royal Botanical Garden will explode with the illumination during Vivid. Walk through the historic Queen Elizabeth II Gates from the Opera House Forecourt, which will be brought to life with 3D-mapped projections.

Follow the illuminated sea-wall to a wonderland of trees and bushes that glow and shimmer. A central feature of Garden of Light is the Cathedral of Light, an immense arched tunnel that’s 60 m long and 8 m high, made of tens of thousands of white LEDs. From the outside, it appears to radiate gentle but brilliant light at all angles; it is even more beautiful inside, where the glowing monolith is revealed as myriad points of dazzling light.

Leave the Cathedral of Light and enter an even more extraordinary zone, where landscaped crags and giant figs have also been video-mapped and used for projections, creating a magical world where nothing is what it seems.

Then express your feelings through touch at Sentiment Cocoon, the ultimate interactive installation that seeks to express human emotion through the medium of light.

Vivid tarongaTaronga Zoo
Vivid’s wildest precinct will light up with an illuminated trail comprised of giant animal multimedia light sculptures at Taronga Zoo, which is also celebrating its Centenary in 2016.

Be the Light for the Wild will feature ten critical species from Australia and Sumatra, ranging from the magnificent Asian elephant to the brightly coloured Corroboree frogs, species that Taronga is committed to protecting.

Created by Ample Projects, with interactive lighting, sound effects and moving parts, these giant light sculptures will be among the largest and most technologically advanced lanterns ever to feature in Vivid.

Taronga’s 10 Legacy Species light sculptures will be augmented by a supporting cast of creatures including an echidna, chameleon, crocodile, cicadas and even a funnel-web spider, along with thousands of smaller lanterns made by NSW school students as part of the Zoo’s Centenary celebrations.

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo is part of an exciting Centenary Program presented by ANZ, which will celebrate Taronga’s first 100 years and launch a legacy for the future of wildlife conservation.

Vivid cruisingCruise
Vivid is Sydney’s most spectacular outdoor lighting, music and ideas festival. Experience the brilliance of the illuminated foreshore landmarks from the water. For the first time the harbour itself will become a canvas for brightly lit vessels that change colour as they cruise.  Experience the full canvas of the massive shoreside projections along the Sydney foreshore from Fort Denison, Circular Quay, The Rocks, Walsh Bay and Darling Harbour from the water.

There are several participating vessels including Captain Cook Cruises, Manly Fast Ferry, Constellation Cruises,  Shadows Charters, Fantasea Cruising, Sentational Sydney Cruises.

Vivid Dining

Rockpool Executive Chef Phil Wood has designed a four-course menu featuring a selection of  the restaurant’s most celebrated dishes, including King prawn mousse, rolled in pangrattato, on squid ink sauce. Delight in a unparalleled dining experience and be out with plenty of time to enjoy the Festival.

$105 per person. Bookings available at 6 pm and 6.15 pm only.

Spice TempleSpice Temple
Enjoy a Spice Temple $49 Vivid Banquet with delicious, regional Chinese fare and exceptional value. Head Chef Andy Evans has designed a menu that includes prawn har gao, crystal vegetable dumplings and crisp skinned chicken with ginger, shallot and black vinegar.

$49 per person.
Bookings at 6 pm, 6.15 pm and after 10 pm only.

WBKWalsh Bay Kitchen

Located in the heart of the Walsh Bay arts district is Walsh Bay Kitchens, a stylish, cosy restaurant and bar located at the Roslyn Packer Theatre.

End your Vivid Festival expedition with a night cap at Walsh Bay Kitchen.  Open until late, they will be serving small bites and an array of drinks, menu options, including fries, cured meats, arancini, wagyu meatballs, duck salad, dark chocolate cake and more.

Bar at end of the wharf

Bar at the End of the Wharf
Start your Vivid Festival trails in the CBD and end by exploring the installations in the Rocks, the Park Hyatt and wind your way down to Walsh Bay and finish with dining experience at the Bar at the End of the Wharf.

Offering an exciting modern Australian menu with delicious share-plates and a drinks list that includes locally crafted beers, ciders; & an array of wine and cocktails.

The Glenmore

The Glenmore Rooftop
Take in the sweeping light spectacular Vivid from The Glenmore’s sensational rooftop overlooking the world’s most beautiful harbour. With a retractable roof, the rooftop is open rain, hail or shine so you can enjoy the view all year round.

The Hotel serves up a array of eats to accompany the  most magical views of Sydney. Sit back and enjoy the light show from one of Sydney’s best rooftop vantage points.

Govenors tableThe Governors Table
Open from 5 pm until late, the Governors Table is located right near Circular Quay at Museum of Sydney, perfectly positioned for you to view some spectacular Vivid installations including the luminous, breathing Electric Jellyfish – a stunning interactive light and sound experience new for this year’s festival.  Select from the à la carte menu or Vivid Prix Fixe menus, with a main course and glass of wine from $29, 2 course $35 or 3 course $45.

Young AlfredsYoung Alfreds
Stop in to Customs House at Young Alfred’s by the old owners of Arthur’s on Oxford St for a gourmet Italian feast of meatballs, heirloom salad, organic beetroot, walnut and feta salad, seared scallops with roasted cauliflower & saffron dressing; and delicious Italian inspired pizza and pasta.

Open for dinner from 5:00 pm.

ObarO Bar & Dining
O provides the perfect vantage point, 47 floors above the ordinary.  You can dine in the restaurant or just or pop into the bar for drinks and enjoy the stunning views of the city and famous landmarks for this amazing festival of lights.

A place far above the ordinary, with food at its heart and Sydney at its feet. Chef and owner Michael Moore’s menu is an unexpected journey of contemporary dining inspired by a healthy eating philosophy; as unique as it is delicious.

Order two Vivid inspired “Illuminate” cocktails and receive a complimentary tapas dish.

Lotus 2Lotus Restaurant & Dumpling Bar
If fresh house made dumplings and cocktails are on your Vivid check list, then Lotus Restaurant & Dumpling Bar in Walsh Bay could be the answer.  Tuck into classics such as duck pancakes, green beans with minced pork and steamed fish with ginger and shallots and of course the delicious dumplings – steamed, blanched or pan-fried – an absolute standout.  The dumplings include the most delicious flavours, including scallop and pork shumai, mixed mushroom dumplings and Xiao Long Bao.

Cafe Del Mar3
Cafe Del Mar

Book at table on the terrace to experience the Vivid light installation ‘Vivid Laser Fountain Water Theatre’, complete with lasers and lighting effects in Darling Harbour – the best seat in the house. Menu from $35 per person, including a glass of Chandon or Peroni.

The food and drinks offered pay homage to the Mediterranean basin with Spanish DNA, combined with light French, Italian, Moorish influences and an Aussie accent. The music flows from classic Café del Mar Balearic Chill-out to cool jazz.

UrbanFancy an early dinner before you start your Vivid Festival journey, enjoy one of Urban Purveyor Groups vast range of dining experiences from 5 pm.

Sake, The Rocks – Enjoy a beautiful, contemporary Japanese feast before or after your Vivid experience.
The Cut Bar & Grill, The Rocks – Serving up premium cuts of prime Australian meat alongside the freshest sustainable seafood all cooked to perfection.
Ananas, Darling Harbour  – Enjoy a Parisian feast this Vivid at Café Ananas overlooking Sydney Harbour.


The Star RooftopThe Star, Sky Terrace
The Sky Terrace rooftop bar takes advantage of the expansive views over Sydney Harbour and the Sydney skyline from the balcony of the state-of-the-art Event Centre.   Kick back and relax with a cocktail or two, choose from a delicious menu while DJ’s provide the perfect soundscape to the panoramic views of Vivid over the harbour and city skyline.

About the Author:

Leave A Comment