Sydney's Nights Light Up with VIVID Festival 2018.
Image c/o- VIVID Sydney Facebook page
Over ten years, VIVID has grown from a novelty festival, with installations on the harbour foreshore, to a world-famous, city-wide light extravaganza.
With a focus on Light, Music and Ideas, and a theme of Sustainability this year, VIVID caters to a wide audience. It's therefore our job at Sydney Mums Group, to narrow it all down to events that are family-friendly drawcards, with fun and activities the kids will love. And the great news is, almost all are FREE, and the other is worth paying for.
You can view the full VIVID Festival Schedulehere, and all the fun from Chatswoodhere, but for now, we've listed Our Top Picks across the three-week programme, from Friday 25th of May to Saturday 16th of June.
VIVID will light up Sydney's nights - image c/o- VIVID Sydney Facebook page
Sydney Mums Group's Top Light Installations at VIVID
The Bloom is a giant, electric, metallic flower, its petals adorned with mirrored spirals that refract and reflect light in all directions. The installation also looks beautiful in the day, when the petals flash with sunlight and reflect the faces of those that peer in — or out from its core.
Crank Zappa is a hot-tempered, electric jellyfish who will zazzle and zap you with his sting bites when you get too close. Made completely from single-use materials, Crank has come to Chatswood to tell the public what he really thinks about plastic pollution.
Harmony Valley delivers an experience of harmony, joy and happiness — but in a most unexpected way. The installation is comprised of a set of large inflatable sculptures that reference Japanese kawaii culture where the use of exaggerated cute aesthetics elicits and heightens emotions of nurture, playfulness and vulnerability.
Sky Portal at Chatswood Interchange Artist Impression by Willoughby City Council - image c/o- VIVID Sydney Facebook page
A market inspired by the architecture of shanty towns, crossed with Star Wars, teaming with the world’s finest food at your fingertips. Smell the sensational foodie delights, see the dazzling lights, touch the installations, hear the beats and taste all corners of the world.
Tumbalong Lights is a collection of four interactive-play installations, that form an inclusive and accessible Lights experience for both children and the young at heart. The four under-the-sea-themed installations, allow children and their families to interact with creative, awe-inspiring light experiences that help produce a sense of empowerment, a sense of control and a sense of community, while at the same time inspiring fun and playfulness.
A little birdie told me… engages the public in raising awareness about the threat to native bird species. The installation places silhouettes, depicting threatened and extinct species, in and around the trees near Circular Quay. They are invisible during the day but at night they come to life, illuminated in concert with their calls.
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie take centre stage at Customs House - image c/o- VIVID Sydney website and Facebook page
Exactly 100 years ago, Author May Gibbs gave Australia two iconic literary characters - Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Since then, pretty well every Australian child has grown up steeped in the adventures of these intrepid Gumnut Babies. Renowned art and animation collective Ample Projects, brings May Gibbs’ immortal characters to life on the façade of Sydney’s 1845 Customs House, with a bustling, bush adventure, not to be missed.
The Garden of Sweeties invites families and children to learn more about how solar panels, luminescent powder and mechanical energy can be used as a source of renewable energy. The installation takes a playful approach to interaction, by presenting its components in the form of sweets, lollipops and striped candy canes, scattered across a green corner of First Fleet Park.
Fugu introduces you to the notorious pufferfish, an unusual marine species containing a deadly toxin, used to defend itself against predators. VIVID's Fugu is a kinetic lighting sculpture, which captivates audiences by expanding and contracting its spiky rotating form. Fugu comes to life, his swirling body expanding, glowing and pulsating in colours inspired by the sea.
The Garden of Sweeties Artist impression by Francesco Cappuccio - image c/o- VIVID Sydney website and Facebook page
As the sun sets, Barangaroo’s waterfront becomes an illuminated promenade inspired by water, earth and fire. Welcoming you to the precinct is a giant luminescent creature, breathtaking in size. Operated by a team of performers, the creature ventures along the waterfront in a highly theatrical display of sound and light. (One for kids that are perhaps just that little bit older. The 'creature' might overwhelm very small children.)
Illuminosaurus Artist impression by Mandylights - image c/o- VIVID Sydney website and Facebook page
Take a ride on a Magic Carpet and become part of an interactive image on the bridge, next to The District, on Level Three of the Interchange. Step, lay, dance or sit on the magical mat and become immersed in another world which you control simply by moving. Bounce with bubbles, swim with fish, frolic with flowers and scatter stars in this highly responsive projection game, suitable for all ages and abilities.
Illuminosaurus is not for the feint-hearted. This awe-inspiring 3m-high dinosaur is captured in a moment of fierce pursuit. Constructed from bent laser-cut steel, Illuminosaurus has a spine lined with hundreds of individually controlled RGB pixels. The creature’s life-force ripples through its body, in dazzling colour displays emanating from its teeth, tremendous claws and bursting out of its chest and mouth. This incredible light sculpture draws inspiration from one of the better-known dinosaur species, Deinonychus.
The Spirit of Fun at Luna Park's Coney Island - image c/o- VIVID Sydney website and Facebook page
1000 Cranes is inspired by an ancient Japanese legend: if a group of 1000 origami cranes are hung in one’s home, it will act as a powerful and benevolent charm and bring good luck. VIVID at The Rocks will host a canopy of hanging origami cranes, that light up as visitors move through the space. As the crowd grows, more cranes light up until 1000 cranes are fully illuminated.
VIVID Sydney Lights For The Wild - Taronga Zoo 5.30pm - 9.30pm 25 May - 16 Jun Monday – Thursday (Ex Public Holiday): Adults $23.95 / Children $17.95
Friday – Sunday & Public Holidays: Adults $26.95 / Children $18.95
Children under 4 years: FREE
Step inside a world of scientific discovery and become a Light For the Wild. VIVID at Taronga Zoo is shining a light on conservation and the wonders of wildlife, with a spectacular display of light sculptures. Alongside the festival favourites from last year, you’ll meet a whole new mob of awe-inspiring animal light sculptures. Each of these incredible installations tells a fascinating tale about conservation. Discover the stories about these beautiful animals and learn how Taronga is working to help save 10 species from extinction over the next 10 years.
Wobbelees by Light Atelier; artist impression - image c/o- VIVID Sydney website and Facebook page
Wobbelees entices visitors into play with four oversized roly-poly toys that, when pushed, knocked or nudged off-centre, return themselves to an upright position. Visitors are invited to push a Wobbelee and watch it wobble from side to side, changing colour each time it tilts, and listen to its soft chiming sounds until it slowly comes to a stop.
Spirit of Fun is a dramatic and emotive sound and light show that celebrates the history and magic of Luna Park. Projected on Luna Park’s Coney Island, Spirit of Fun is a grand installation that brings to life the park’s artworks, characters and soul. Its story highlights Luna Park’s colourful history, and also provides a window into the future of fun at this much-loved Sydney institution.
Illuminated Harbour Bridge image c/o- VIVID Sydney Facebook page
So, that's it for our VIVID Wrap-Up this year. With more choice than ever, across urban and suburban locations, there's something for every family. The nights are getting dark early, so if you have babies and very young kids, take advantage of getting out on week nights in the early evenings, to escape the crowds. And if your kids are bigger, why not get amongst it and make a whole night of it in the City or Chatswood, with dinner and a light show, or the Fireworks at Darling Harbour on Fridays and Saturdays?
But whatever you do, have a spectacularly FUN time immersing yourselves in LIGHT!