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The 15 Coolest Things to See at Vivid Sydney This Year

The 15 Coolest Things to See at Vivid Sydney This Year

Picture of Hannah Lewis
Updated: 16 May 2017

It’s that time of year again and the much anticipated Vivid Festival is right around the corner. As always, there is plenty to see and do, especially when the sun goes down and the lights come on. To make the job of figuring out which shows to go to easier, we have compiled a list of the 17 coolest things to check out this year.

Harbour Lights

This is by far one of the most popular show each year. Here the harbour’s vessels, including the Manly Ferry and Captain Cook cruises, light up and create a majestic show gliding across the water.


If you want an optical illusion that will blow your mind then stop by Trapdoor, designed by Spinifex Group. They have created an incredible installation which makes it look like the ground is opening up beneath you into a subterranean world. This will be taking place at Sydney’s favourite new waterfront precinct, Barangaroo South.

Lighting of the Sails

The light show which is transposed onto the famous sails of the Sydney Opera House is the crown jewel of the festival each year. This year, the show being projected is named ‘Audio Creatures’ and is the product of a collaboration between Ash Bolland and Amon Tobin.

Landscape of the Mind

This show is a collaboration between amigo & amigo and Black Dog Institute, a foundation that helps those suffering from mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. The sculpture explores anxiety, what it feels like to have it and what helps it, too. It is set to be an incredible piece that de-stigmatises the condition.

100 Ways to Say I Love You

If you’re planning on going to Vivid with someone special, this show isn’t to be missed. Using computer aided design and manufacturing, the installation allows visitors to immerse themselves in a space that uses a 360-degree projector to communicate those famous three words in 100 different languages.


The Buchan Group will be transforming the Lloyd Rees fountain located in Martin Place into a brilliant light installation. There will be animated characters moving behind a curtain of water in the most unexpected ways.

Innovate. Why now?

Ford Australia are sponsoring this timely event which delves into why it is important to innovate now in this time of rapid technology advancements and disruption. It will be an hour long panel discussion and Q&A with a panel of industry experts.


Curvy is a three day creative women’s conference which is now in its 11th year. Over the course of the three days, there will be 18 speakers and many topics covered, including the future of creative content and breaking creative and social boundaries.

I4 Tales: Creating Brain Friendly Cultures

The i4 Tales Conference, created by the About my Brain Institute, will explore how to develop brain-friendly people and places in a variety of settings. The event is based around the i4 Neuroleader Model, a framework that helps people understand how to apply the complexity of neuroscience to everyday life.

Cake Wines — Two Up Talks

If you want to be inspired while drinking some delicious wine, then this is the event for you. This speaker series brings a mix of random experts from unrelated fields to give lectures that interweave topics together. The audience will have the opportunity to ask lots of questions while enjoying wines from the Cake Wines cellar door.

Ha Ha Ka-Ching!

This session is limited to 25 people so you will have to get in quick. It has been described as ‘yoga for communication skills’ and will use the techniques of improv comedy to improve your business skills. After the three hour session, you’re sure to leave with plenty of tricks up your sleeve.

The Future of Work is Freelance

Are you currently a freelancer or an aspiring soloprenuer? Then don’t miss this four hour session taking place in Surry Hills, which will delve into many issues all freelancers face. From chasing payments, networking, wearing many different hats each day and more, you’re bound to leave a better freelancer than when you arrived.

Colourblast Full Moon Party

This is one big party not to be missed! There is an amazing line up of music, including Social Hooliganz and DJ Sol, along with plenty of UV light and laser installations and performances to get you in the party mood. There is also a silent disco in one of the rooms in case you want to have a more chilled out experience.

The Artificial Intelligence Debate

This will be a lively debate tackling the big questions of ‘Does Creativity Require Humanity?’. There will be a panel of industry and academic experts bringing the perspective of their respective industries and a special appearance from McCann Japan’s artificial Creative Director.

Beth Orton

Beth Orton will be sharing her incredible music which blends folk and electronic on the big stage at the famous Sydney Opera House. She will be performing tracks from her latest album Kidsticks live.