Vivid Sydney 2018 Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

What is Vivid Sydney?

Vivid Sydney, now in its tenth year, is Australia’s major event in winter and is recognised as the largest event of its kind in the world combining light, music and ideas. Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

Vivid Sydney is where art, technology and commerce intersect.  The program features large scale light installations and projections (Vivid Light); music performances and collaborations (Vivid Music including Vivid LIVE at the Sydney Opera House); and creative ideas, discussion and debate (Vivid Ideas). All three celebrate Sydney as a creative hub of the Asia-Pacific.

Vivid Sydney was recently recognised by the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) and received 12 accolades at the 2016 IFEA Pinnacle Awards, winning Gold in the Grand Pinnacle Category. Vivid Sydney was also voted Australia’s Best Event in 2013 and Best Tourism Event in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

What events are on during Vivid Sydney?

You can find out all about Vivid Sydney and what events are on by visiting our website, You can also keep up-to-date on everything Vivid Sydney through our Vivid Sydney Facebook page or Twitter account @vividsydney.

If you have a smartphone or tablet you may also download the free Vivid Sydney app from the App Store or Google Play Store from May.

Where is Vivid Sydney held?

Vivid Sydney has activations at a number of locations across the city including: The Sydney Opera HouseThe RocksLuna ParkDarling HarbourChatswood, Carriageworks, BarangarooKings Cross on Sydney Harbour and for the second year, Taronga Zoo and the The Royal Botanic Garden.

When does Vivid Sydney open and close?

You will be able to enjoy and experience Vivid Sydney across 23-days and nights from 25 May to 16 June, 2018. Please keep in mind that the festival’s busiest nights are expected to be each Friday, Saturday and Sunday night and every night of the June long weekend. Lights On occurs at 6pm, and conclude at 11pm; however some precincts have an earlier start and finish time. Visit for more details.

What happens if it rains?

The event will operate rain, hail or shine. Should extreme adverse weather conditions be experienced there may be restrictions on what areas are operational and we recommend keeping up to date via our facebook page.

Do I need to book or purchase tickets to see Vivid Sydney?

The Vivid Light Walk is free-of-charge.  You can purchase tickets for Music and Ideas events and to Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo. Check out the full program at and to find information on how to buy tickets.

You can also keep up-to-date with everything Vivid Sydney through our Vivid Sydney Facebook page or Twitter account @vividsydney.

If you have a smartphone or tablet you may also like to download for free the Vivid Sydney app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Where is the best place to stay during Vivid Sydney?

Sydney has a wonderful range of accommodation available from budget through to 5-star. To be close to the action in the city we would recommend you stay in The Rocks, Circular Quay, Sydney CBD, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont or North Sydney.

Destination NSW’s websites: and contain a wealth of information for you to choose your accommodation, and to find out what else is on offer in Sydney for you to enjoy during your visit.


Are there any traffic restrictions during Vivid Sydney?

Due to the size and popularity of Vivid Sydney there will be extensive road closures and special event clearways in the Sydney CBD, The Rocks and Walsh Bay to help minimise traffic congestion and keep pedestrians safe. Extra trains and buses will run, so leave the car at home.

Closer to the event you will be able to find more information on road closures, special event clearways and transport information on our website at

Alternatively keep up to date via the Vivid Sydney and Transport for NSW social media channels or download Live Traffic NSW from the App Store or Google Play Store.

How do I get to Vivid Sydney?

Plenty of extra trains and buses will be running, so leave your car at home and catch public transport.

Closer to the event you can plan your trip by using the trip planner, which helps you plan your travel by train, bus, ferry and light rail, and by downloading the travel apps at for the most up-to-date service information.

Or simply call 131 500 to speak to someone about your transport options.

Remember you don’t have to queue for transport tickets to enjoy Vivid Sydney with an Opal card. Go to or by calling 13 67 25 (13 OPAL) to order your card now. Please allow about five working days for delivery around Australia.

How will the construction of Light Rail in the CBD impact Vivid Sydney?

Construction of the 12-kilometre light rail route from Circular Quay to Randwick and Kingsford is underway and there are various parts of George Street and Circular Quay already closed for this major transformation project. There are also extensive road closures during Vivid Sydney and special event clearways in the Sydney CBD.

For information on the CBD and South East Light Rail project and any traffic restrictions relating to this project, visit for the latest news, updates and helpful maps.

Can I park near Vivid Sydney?

Due to the size and popularity of Vivid Sydney there will be extensive road closures and special event clearways in the Sydney CBD, The Rocks and Walsh Bay associated with the event to help minimise traffic congestion and keep pedestrians safe.

Therefore, we strongly advise not to drive to Vivid Sydney and instead take advantage of public transport as extra trains and buses will be running.

Is Vivid Sydney accessible?

Much of the Vivid Light Walk is accessible with ramps and access signage in place. Our accessibility map indicates all the accessible facilities and services such as special viewing platforms, accessible toilets and vehicle drop off zones. The Vivid Sydney App and website include audio descriptions of light installations, as well as transport and parking information to make planning your visit even easier. Make sure you plan your visit during the earlier part of the working week. Lights come on at 6pm every night, so head out early when it’s easier to see and move around the festival’s footprint. Visit our Access and Inclusion page to view all accessible information.


Vivid Light

Vivid Light transforms Sydney into a wonderland of ‘light art’ sculptures, innovative light installations and grand-scale projections for all to enjoy – for free. It is a magical celebration of light-design excellence and the world’s largest outdoor ‘art-gallery’: a unique Vivid Sydney experience.

Vivid Light engages lighting artists, designers and manufacturers from around Australia and the world to illuminate, interpret and transform Sydney’s urban spaces through their creative vision.

Where is the best place to see Vivid Light around Sydney Harbour and when do the lights come on?

Some of the best vantage points are The Rocks, Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, Bradfield Park (under the Harbour Bridge at North Sydney), Luna Park, Lavender Bay, or on the harbour itself. The lights come on nightly at 6pm and end at 11pm.

What will the crowds be like?

The Vivid Light walk is very popular and attracts large numbers of people across the 23 nights of the event. Generally Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights attract the biggest crowds. So, if you have small children or need to consider accessibility for other reasons, plan your visit earlier in the week. Lights come on at 6pm every night, so head out early when it’s easier to see and move around.

Vivid Music

What is Vivid Music?

Vivid Music presents a cutting-edge contemporary music program.

From local and international acts performing at the iconic Sydney Opera House, to other large venues and small bars, Vivid Sydney hosts a lively and eclectic range of live performances and ground-breaking musical collaborations.

At the heart of Vivid Music is Vivid LIVE, a program of cutting-edge music which takes place at the Sydney Opera House, Australia’s most famous building.

View all music events.

Vivid Ideas

Vivid Ideas is the Asia Pacific’s annual celebration of innovation, creativity and community, building audiences and markets for the creative industries, and offering professional development opportunities across the sector. The program truly spans the innovation and imagination sector: from technology and start-up culture to design and architecture, film and screen content to visual arts and performance, advertising and marketing to animation, VFX, lighting and events.

During the festival, Vivid Ideas brings together business and creative leaders for professional development, information updates on their industries, market opportunities and innovation: gathering all the conversations, conventions and big announcements in Sydney.

Where is Vivid Ideas located?

Vivid Ideas events take place in many venues all over Sydney. The Game Changer and Creative Catalyst Talk Series will take place at City Recital hall in 2018. The Vivid Ideas Exchanges is another key venue, where numerous events are host and is located at Level 6, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Terrace Entrance (Circular Quay West Side), Sydney.

You can find out about what events are on and book tickets to Vivid Ideas events by visiting You can also keep up-to-date on everything Vivid Sydney through our Vivid Sydney Facebook page or Twitter account @vividsydney. If you have a smartphone or tablet you may also download for free the Vivid Sydney app from the App Store or Google Play Store.


Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

How will the animals respond to the light sculptures and extended opening hours during Vivid Sydney?

Taronga’s first concern is always the welfare of the remarkable animals in its care.

Fortunately Taronga has more than 20 years experience in successfully hosting after hours events, including New Year’s Eve and the Twilight at Taronga concerts. Keepers constantly monitor the animals for these events, but there has never been a problem.

The locations of the lanterns and light sculptures have been carefully chosen to focus on public areas rather than animal exhibits.

Taronga’s animals also have access to the comfort and shelter of their night dens and inside areas, but it’s not uncommon for certain animals to choose to remain outside during night events.

Will visitors get to see animals during Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo?

The focus of Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo will be on the amazing light sculptures and lanterns, along with Taronga’s spectacular harbour and skyline views.

While many animals will be in their night dens and inside areas, visitors may see some animals, such as Asian Elephants, Giraffes and Tree Kangaroos, while exploring the illuminated trail.

What are the ticket prices and opening hours?

Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo will be open every night from Friday 25 May to Saturday 16 June 2018, between 5.30pm – 9.30pm.

Session Times:

5.30pm, 6.30pm, 7.30pm (start times only, approx. 2 hour experience)

Ticket prices are:

Adult: $20.95 + booking fee
Child (4-15 years): $16.95 + booking  fee
Child (under 4): free

For more information visit:

Why do visitors have to buy tickets?

Taronga is a non-profit organisation. Every ticket and purchase will help the Zoo present this remarkable light experience and continue to fund its vital wildlife conservation programs.

How will visitors get to the Zoo at night?

There are lots of transport options available for visitors to Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo. You can drive and park at the Zoo but there are limited spaces so the best option is to take public transport. The Zoo is located 12 minutes from Circular Quay by ferry or a short bus trip from the city or North Sydney. For more event information visit