Vivid Sydney 2023 Arts Programme

Vivid Sydney
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

Vivid Sydney 2023 will be a feast not just for the eyes and ears, but also for the brain and the stomach.

John Olsen’s nature-inspired paintings will be illuminated onto the Opera House’s sails as part of Vivid Light, queer British thought leader Jeanette Winterson will lead the debate at Vivid Ideas, while the Vivid Fire Kitchen’s BBQ maestros will project flame grilled goodness down your gullet at the inaugural season of Vivid Food.

For over three weeks this winter, Sydney after dark will be an Instagrammer’s wonderland, as the world’s finest light artists transform the cityscape with over 50 light installations, 3D projections and ticketed extravaganzas. Kicking off with an opening night Welcome to Country featuring First Nations artists from Arnhem Land to Africa, curated by First Nations Advisor Rhoda Roberts AO, Vivid Sydney 2023 will celebrate this land’s spectacularly diverse natural environment, transform the city’s iconic architectural creations, from the Harbour Bridge to the Opera House, while offering a glimpse into the wondrous technological innovations that are just around the corner, with Written in the Stars, the biggest drone show in the Southern Hemisphere.

VividIdeas JeanetteWinterson
Jeanette Winterson

Festival goers can simply wander along the Light Walk, to be dazzled by the luminescent creations of light artists from 13 nations, or they can buy a ticket and step inside new worlds. At Bangaroo’s Vivid House, you can dive with albino Humpbacks, linger by a shipwrecked coral reef, then soar beyond the tree canopies to the tip of our snow-capped mountains in the four wonder inducing 360 degree immersive presentations, which include the work award-winning underwater photographer Craig Parry. Illustrations of endangered birds by Canberra-based conservation design studio will fly up on the Harbour Bridge, while the work of kids will be projected upon Sydney’s oldest buildings as part of Vivid Kids.

Vivid’s visual delights may awaken an awareness of the infinity of possibilities; at Vivid Ideas, those possibilities can crystalise, whether it be at the more than 20 workshops at the Vivid Ideas Exchange, the Skin Deep expert panel discussion or the Up Late immersive sessions at the Powerhouse Museum and Australian Museum.

Vivid FoodDaniel Boud
Carriageworks Night Market - Image © Daniel Boud

You can’t dine on such sensory and intellectual delights without nourishment, though.

After a successful debut in 2022, the Vivid Sydney Dinner will return, with Sydney’s Ben Greeno and Danielle Alvarez plating up at the gourmet centrepiece. Joining the menu this year, though, will be the HERE NOW basement bar and Tara Chua’s House of Naturalia, alongside Luke Mangan’s red wine and cheesebox pairings and the Carriageworks Night Market.

With an array of offerings like this, you’ll be livid if you miss Vivid in 2023.

Check out the full programme.

Vivid Sydney is on from 26 May-17 June.

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