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The Evolution of a Vivid Revolution in Sydney

Opera House in the Vivid Lights - Viewed from a Sydney harbour cruise

What began as a smart light festival for energy efficiency in Sydney has turned into one of the most instagrammed events in the world today. Winter in Sydney was so bleak that it was said that you could streak naked through Circular Quay and there wouldn’t be a soul out there to gawk!

But Vivid Sydney, a tourism NSW initiative, completely changed the face of May and June in Sydney. Forget streaking naked, today, you’d be battling crowds just to get hundred feet ahead.
As summer faded into winter in 2009, the inaugural Vivid Lights Festival was launched in the hope of attracting creative minds to come up with greener ways to maximize energy efficiency and to bump up winter visitor numbers. It was originally meant to incorporate four festivals in one – a harbourside light festival, a music festival, a creative talk-fest and a fire & water show that recreated the explosion of a convict ship.
What was finally executed took the shape of present-day Vivid Lights, Vivid Live and Vivid Ideas. And once the seed was sown, there was no stopping its growth. Every year since 2009, the Vivid Festival has grown in scale and audience, and its evolution has been crucial to its success.
Vivid 2012 saw an influx of over 500,000 visitors and generated an income of over $10 million for the state, while 2013 attracted over 800,000 visitors generating a whopping $20 million for the NSW economy!
With the luminous brilliance that makes Vivid what it is, Sydney’s urban spaces are adorned with outdoor lighting sculptures and installations making these common, everyday places unrecognizable to local passersby. Vivid precincts such as the Opera House, Walsh Bay, Circular Quay, The Rocks, North Sydney, Darling Harbour turn into a melting pot of music, colour, art and creativity.
Cutting-edge music events and performances by local and international artists heighten the festive atmosphere in the streets, making every Vivid night an exciting, eventful one.
Vivid Sydney is all of seven years old, but in the shortest span of time has managed to become as much a part of Sydney’s charm and persona as the world-renowned New Year’s Eve Fireworks.
Today, Vivid Sydney has catapulted itself into a global phenomenon earning the reputation of being the ultimate creative forum for free thinkers, artists and musicians of the world to showcase their brilliance through mesmerising public exhibitions. It’s a raging success, to say the least!
And, whether you’re on a Vivid Sydney Harbour Cruise or you’re exploring the delights of the Vivid Festival on foot, you are guaranteed a Sydney experience unlike any other!


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