Vivid Sydney 2022: The Must-See List at This Year’s Hot Winter Event

Vivid Sydney 2022: The Must-See List at This Year’s Hot Winter Event
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Sydney has been a little less colourful the last couple of years, as the city had to cancel its beloved Festival of Lights, Music and Ideas – Vivid – because of that nasty COVID-19.

This year, we’re excited to see the city light up once again with the return of Vivid Sydney for 2022. If you’re planning to take advantage of the stellar event, here’s everything you need to know.

When is Vivid Sydney 2022?

Vivid Sydney 2015, Media Preview at Customs House 21/5/2015. Photo Credit – James Horan/Destination NSW

We’ll see the event return to its usual early winter slot this year with the event taking place over 23 nights from May 27 – June 18, so get your calendars ready.

What is scheduled for this year?

Vivid Sydney 2021
Ephemeral, Credit: Atelier Sisu/Vivid Sydney

In a statement on the show’s lineup for 2022, Festival Director of Vivid Sydney Gill Minervini said this year’s program is designed to capture the essence of Sydney’s soul and display what makes the city so unique.

“Vivid Sydney tells a compelling story of creativity, innovation, and technology through light, music, and ideas that is distinguishably Sydney yet authentically universal,” she said.

Eleven different Sydney CBD locations are involved in the festivities this year including Circular Quay, Sydney CBD, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Darling Square, Darling Quarter, The Goods Line, Central Station, Luna Park and Taronga Zoo.

Here are some of the highlights from the Vivid program in 2022

Vivid Light

Vivid is known for the incredible light displays that pop up around town. 2022 is no different with more than 50 different light displays.

A wide variety of artists are contributing to the light displays this year including Ken Done who will have a display at Customs House, Michaela Gleave’s and Leila Jeffreys’ work will be illuminated in Circular Quay and Martu artists will have work illuminated on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

Two festival firsts include the Sydney Infinity water sculpture in Cockle Bay Darling Harbour and the large scale artwork Ephemeral Oceanic in Walsh Bay (which is pictured earlier in this article).

Details here.

The Vivid Sydney Dinner

Date: Saturday, June 4

A new event in 2022 is the Vivid Sydney Dinner – a collision of good food, conversation, music and wine.

Justine Clarke will host the event at Merivale’s Ivy Ballroom which will include love letters to Sydney from Ken Done and Julia Baird as well as music from Sydney Brass Band, James Morrison, Ngaire, Virginia Gay and Kate Monroe. Food will be provided by chefs Dan Hong and Mike Eggert.

Details here.

Vivid Sydney X ELVIS

Date: June 5

For the first time ever, Vivid Sydney will be hosting a film premiere – and not just for any film, for Baz Lurhmann’s ELVIS. Stars Tom Hanks, Austin Butler and Olivia DeJonge along with Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin are set to greet fans on the red carpet at The State Theatre on Sunday, June 5.

Additionally, TV host and podcaster Marc Fennell will also speak with Luhrmann as part of Vivid Idea’s Global Storytellers series in the afternoon prior to the premiere. The Business of Baz talk will kick off at 3:00 pm.

Details for The Business of Baz here.

Vivid Climb

Date: May 27 – June 18

Description via BridgeClimb.

Running from Thursday to Monday throughout the festival period, the first Vivid Climb departing each afternoon will reach the Summit in time to witness Sydney’s soul come alive with a dazzling display of colour.

Details here.

Vivid Ideas – Aaron Sorkin

Date: June 1

ABC 7:30 presenter Leigh Sales interviews Hollywood director/screenwriter Aaron Sorkin in this Vivid Ideas segment. Sorkin, known for his work on The West Wing, The Social Network and The Newsroom amongst many others, will discuss his illustrious career and how his work combines both drama and politics.

Details here.

Audible Live: Stories Made To Be Heard

Dates: June 1, June 8, June 15

Podcasting platform Audible is bringing a series of intimate conversations with incredible speakers to Vivid this year.

On June 1, audiences can hear MasterChef winner Adam Liaw discuss his new Audible Original How Taste Changed the World. On June 8 Melissa Doyle will discuss her new Audible series Age Against the Machine which unpacks the world views around the ageing process of women, and on June 15 filmmaker Laura Nagy and journalist Marc Fennell will take the stage to discuss their podcasts Pillow Talk and It Burns.

Details here.

Vivid Music – Baxter Dury

Date: June 4

British musical raconteur Baxter Dury brings his indie croon-come-disco swagger to Vivid Sydney in his first Australian tour after a career spanning two decades. In that wry self-deprecating way of West Londoners, Baxter describes himself as ‘a guy in an ill-fitting ’80s suit singing over a synthesiser’.

What he delivers is louche sardonic music fuelled by late-night London snapshots. Baxter’s chamber pop, shuffling basslines and comedown disco vibes all juxtapose a seedy bleakness with a sweet love for humanity.

Details here.

Vivid Ideas – Troye Sivan

Date: May 29

Singer-songwriter, global superstar, arts lover, and fashion maverick Troye Sivan reveals his take on beauty, creativity, and queer politics in a live intimate conversation with journalist and TV presenter Patrick Abboud.

Details here.

Vivid Music – Nils Frahm

German composer Nils Frahm’s sonic alchemy of neo-classical soundscapes, ambient textures and atmospheric electronica has made him a breathtaking, unpredictable live performer.

Returning for the first time since 2019, Frahm will appear in the Joan Sutherland Theatre for the world premiere performance of his forthcoming global tour, where he’ll debut the never-before-heard Music For Sydney.

Details here.

Vivid Music at Central Station

Date: From June 4

Description via Vivid

Vivid Music 2022 flips the script on traditional performance, hosting events at surprising venues across Sydney to offer one-of-a-kind experiences. Don’t miss the free program of live music on Central Station’s Grand Central Concourse, which will pull back the curtains to host life-affirming musical performances including The Morrisons, Lolo Lovina and Cope St Parade.

Vivid Ideas Up Late

Description via Vivid

A series of free events at Sydney’s museums and galleries celebrating the creatives and artists at the beating heart of the city. Hear from storytellers such as Ben Law, Brigid Delaney, Stephen Page and Sara Mansour at the Australian Museum or join fun interactive nights at the Powerhouse celebrating Sydney’s Queer history and Sydney’s unique fashion and style with talks by designers such as Romance Was Born.


There’s all this and much (MUCH) more going on at Vivid Sydney this year. Make sure to head on down and check it out if you can to support our local artists and the city’s culture.

This article has been updated since its original publish date. 

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