22 Enlightening Things To See At Vivid Sydney 2015

Once again, Sydney is preparing to be illuminated by the unique annual event that is Vivid. A festival of light, music and ideas, Vivid boasts dozens of bizarre, exclusive and crazy cool activities for you to experience. Here are Gizmodo's picks for what you should see at Vivid this year!

Editor's Note: Vivid is a festival that's exclusive to Sydney, but don't fret! There are cheap flights to the nation's largest and best lit city just in time for the festival. Here's how to get a cheap domestic fare so you don't miss out!


An Evening with Morrissey

One of the founders of the Britpop movement, Morrissey is an unparalleled legend. Throughout his 38-year career, Morrissey has been loved and acclaimed for his smooth baritone and romantically bleak lyrical narratives.

As part of Vivid LIVE, Morrissey will take to the stage for an Australian exclusive engagement — for four nights only, Morrissey will appear at the Concert Hall. This is an intimate, once in a lifetime experience that I certainly won’t be missing, and neither should you.

Price: from $109.00 When: 26, 27, 30 and 31 May. From 8pm. Where: The Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House

FCX: 10 Years Of Future Classics

This show has the lineup of dreams. Flume and Flight Facilities are headlining, with Seekae, Hayden James and Touch Sensitive appearing on the Friday followed by Wave Racer, George Maple and Charles Murdoch joining on the Saturday.

These artists are coming together to celebrate a decade of their label, Future Classic. This group of artists together will be nothing short of magic. And in case you needed another reason to go, these are Flume’s only Australian dates for 2015. Tickets are selling out fast.

Price: $129.00 When: 29 and 30 May. From 4pm. Where: Northern Broadwalk

Dress Up Attack! For Children & Grown Ups

Dress Up Attack is a music and arts festival for everyone. The event is crafted carefully, with the goal of creating a music festival environment that will engage and appeal to younger audiences. Vivid LIVE will turn the Sydney Opera House Theatre and the building's foyers into a mini-festival filled with high-quality musical experiences, interactive activities, book readings and creative play experiences.

The event will be hosted by author and ARIA nominee, Rhys Muldoon and will be headlined by ARIA nominees Holly Throsby and her band, The Hello Tigers. Dress Up Attack is aimed at children aged 2-8 and their carers.

Price: $29.00 When: 31 May. From 10am. Where: Joan Sutherland Theatre

Lighting The Sails

Lighting The Sails is the crowning event of Vivid. For the duration of the festival, the Sydney Opera House is stunningly illuminated by artwork which is dynamically projected onto the white sails. This year’s artwork has been created by design collective, Universal Everything — these guys have collaborated with everyone from Radiohead to London’s 2012 Olympics.

Make sure you get down to the Opera House during the festival to witness this unique event. Or take a ferry ride for the ultimate viewing vantage point.

Price: Free When: 22 May – 8 June. 6pm-12am. Where: The Sydney Opera House

Discovery - Daft Punk Tribute

Daft Punk fans are going to want to head to The Argyle during Vivid Sydney to witness the Daft Punk tribute shows. This event is part of the Fractured Fantasies series, which also feature Wonderland- and Star Wars-themed nights. Although the Fractured Fantasies nights run for the duration of the festival, the Daft Punk-themed nights are only on during 22 - 24 May. So make sure you get down to The Rocks this weekend and check it out!

Price: $20.00 When: 22- 24 May. 5pm-11pm. Where: The Argyle, Argyle Street, The Rocks.


Game ON: Meet Your Favourite Youtube Stars

An online and social showcase, Game ON features prolific YouTube stars as speakers, lives performances, workshops and e-sports competitions.

Gamers, social media addicts, vloggers and lovers of all things digital should not miss this one!

Price: $39.00 When: 22 – 24 May. 9am – 6pm. Where: Australian Technology Park, Locomotive Street, Eveleigh

Game Changers: Matthew Weiner

For anyone who didn’t know, Matthew Weiner is the guy behind Mad Men. He was also a writer on The Sopranos. Yep.

This master storyteller and Emmy winner will share his insights, anecdotes and ideas behind the creation of his works, stories and characters. Make sure you bring questions — this is a conversation, not just a lecture.

Price: $39.00 When: 31 May. 5:30 – 7pm. Where: Sydney Town Hall, 483 George Street, Sydney

The Sunrise: The Silicon Valley Myth Explained

This is your chance to talk to the founders of some of Australia’s greatest tech companies!

Do you want to know how they got started? What metrics mattered? How much did they make in the first few years? How did they develop a customer base? This conversation gives you the opportunity to find out.

Price: $34.00 for concessions, $153.00 for adults. When: 25 May. 9am – 5pm. Where: Sydney Town Hall, 483 George Street, Sydney

Hyundai’s Casey Hyun On Design Driven Brand Transformation

Casey Hyun is an Australian designer and visionary. But notably, he is one of the driving forces behind the phenomenal growth of Hyundai. As Creative Design Manager in charge of brand design strategy and vision, Casey transformed Hyundai into the fastest growing automobile brand in the world.

Anyone seeking first-hand insights into brand and business transformation should head down to the MCA for this presentation!

Price: $79.00 When: 1 June. 5:30 – 7pm. Where: Museum of Contemporary Art

Robowars Sydney 2015

Robowars is exactly what it sounds like — an epic fight between robots. People build robots out of metal, power tools and remote control toy parts and then pit them against each other in the ring!

Robowars have been running Australia-wide for about a decade and have become a bit of a beloved Australian institution. So if you haven’t seen one yet, you need to.

Price: $79.00 When: 1 June. 5:30 – 7pm. Where: Museum of Contemporary Art

Human-Centred App Design Workshop

If you’re under 25, here’s an event you probably shouldn’t miss. The Human-Centred App Design Workshop will teach you how to cultivate ideas, harness the power of storytelling and design an app — all in 90 minutes. The focus here is on young people and their mental health — much of the discussion will surround improving mental health services.

Attendees under 25 (although all ages are invited to come) are eligible to enter the Adappt Big Ideas: Mental Health Competition for a chance to travel to Melbourne and witness their app to go live!

Price: Free but you need to register asap. When: 31 May. 12 - 2pm. Where: Level 6 Terrace, Museum of Contemporary Art

Home:Life: Making Smarter Choices For Liveable Cities

This conversation explores the present and future patterns of urban development. As time passes, we are accommodating more and more people in our established cities. As a result, these urban areas require increasing density without compromising liveability.

For anyone interested in the expansion of sprawling metropolises and our future living arrangements, this is sure to be an enlightening session!

Price: $19.00 When: 5 June. 8 – 10 am. Where: Level 6 Terrace, Museum of Contemporary Art

The Gin Revival: How Nanna’s Favourite Drink Became The Spirit Of The Moment

Did you know that gin consumption has risen by over 50 percent in Australia in the last five years? Gin used to be an old people drink but all of a sudden it’s #trending again. Has the drink changed? Nope. But the way we feel about gin has.

This session features talks from prominent innovators within the gin industry. They'll offer insight to what gin has done right and how others can learn from their example.

Price: $24.00 When: 30 May 4 – 5:30pm Where: The Barber Shop, 89 York St, Sydney

Science Reimagined

This session covers the conception and creative process behind the revolutionary digital textbook series, Life on Earth. Scientific animators and multimedia artists will run you through their designs and the process involved in creating this 21st-century resource.

Attendees are also invited to submit scientific artwork. You could win a 30-second flash-talk slot in the session.

Price: $29.00 When: 7 June. 7 – 8:30pm. Where: Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium, University of Sydney

MCA Zine Fair 2015

This year the MCA Zine Fair returns to Vivid Sydney! And this year it runs over the course of three days. The Zine Fair calls all zinesters to come share, discover and celebrate niche culture and the art of self-publishing. This event features talks with key industry members, interactive workshops and activities. There will also be stalls attended by both zine makers and zine distros from all over Australia.

Price: $29.00 Friday 22 May 5-9pm, Saturday 23 May & Sunday 24 May 10am - 4.30pm. Where: Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium, University of Sydney



This year, Vivid is venturing to new places and one of those is Chatswood. Vivid Sydney will illuminate the bustling hub that is the city of Chatswood with artwork and installations by Ample Projects. The moment you step off the train at Chatswood station, you’ll experience a town lit with lively, cascading, enlightening artworks inspired by the oceans.

Price: Free When: 22 May – 8 June. 6pm-11pm. Where: Chatswood

Central Park

Another first, Vivid Sydney will also be transforming Central Park. The installation entitled, Streets Ahead, features light projection alongside an original score. Drawing inspiration from the existing public artworks in the urban village, animated street art will be projected onto the brewery façade. It will feature works by Reko Rennie, acclaimed indigenous artist, and also multidisciplinary artist, Beastman.

Price: Free When: 22 May – 8 June. 6pm-12am. Where: Chatswood

The University Of Sydney

Like last year, USyd will host the Vivid Path to the Future creative program. Expect to see the quadrangle transformed by 3D mapped projections, light artworks along the promenade and interactive installations throughout. Basically the Hogwarts-esque building will become a sparkling canvas for dynamic light artworks. This is definitely worth checking out.

Price: Free When: 25 - 31 May. 6pm-11am. Where: The University of Sydney

Narrated Walks

The Trail Of Selfie Exploration

This narrated walk features nine different stops that will take you to some of the best sites Vivid has to offer. Perfect for snapping a few choice selfies. Make sure to check out these night photography tips before you go so you can get the best possible photo.

Price: Free Duration: Approximately 1 hour When: 22 May – 8 June. 6pm-12am. Where: Sydney City

Chip The Robot

This is a trail narrated by Chip The Robot, an interactive creation powered by Intel. If you’ve been to Vivid before, you’ll probably recognise Chip. This year, Chip is taking you on a tour around some of the best tech installations of the 2015 Vivid Festival.

Price: Free Duration: Approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes When: 22 May – 8 June. 6pm-12am. Where: Sydney City

Richard I’Anson

Acclaimed photographer, Richard I’Anson will guide you to some of the prime photo opportunities at the Vivid Festival. He’ll also provide you some great tips for capturing the best photos of the installations. You can also check out some night photography tips in advance here.

Price: Free Duration: Approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes When: 22 May – 8 June. 6pm-12am. Where: Sydney City

Clover Moore

Let the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, take you on a journey around some of the most iconic locations her city has to offer. This walk features seven stops and will take you past some of the awesomely-delicious pop-up food trucks.

Price: Free Duration: Approximately 2 hours When: 22 May – 8 June. 6pm-12am. Where: Sydney City

Images: Vivid Sydney

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