The Ultimate Guide to Vivid Sydney 2024: How to Make the Most of Sydney’s Shiniest Time of Year

May 21, 2024

Sydney’s sparkliest festival is back in town, and Vivid Sydney 2024 is not just bigger than ever—it’s taking on a whole new dimension with a multidisciplinary program designed to interrogate the way we think about the human condition. Featuring daily panel discussions, interactive artworks, incredible drone shows, a flame-powered street kitchen, techno parties on trains, and plenty of free activities (including the iconic Vivid Light Walk), this year’s festival is set to be spectacular.

When is Vivid Sydney 2024?

Vivid Sydney 2024 will run from May 24 until June 15. During this time, it’s hard to find a corner of Sydney that isn’t touched by Vivid’s luminosity. From the Harbour to the inner city, Vivid transforms Sydney into a glowing wonderland.

Three Family-Friendly Vivid Sydney Itineraries

Every year, Vivid Sydney turns the Harbour City into a playground of activity for families. From May 24 to June 15, there will be a range of fun and kid-friendly events across Light, Music, Food, and Ideas for curious families to enjoy. Here are three location-based itineraries to help you plan your visit.

Night 1: Tumbalong Park

In the heart of Darling Harbour, Tumbalong Park promises a night of free music, awe-inspiring lights, and easy, delicious dinners for families with kids of any age.

Parking: First Parking Darling Quarter (bookings are essential).

Nearest Station: Town Hall Station (+10-min walk to Tumbalong Park).

Ages: 0+ (easy pram access).

Vibe: Enjoy new experiences and dance together under the stars.

Tumbalong Park features a vibrant mix of interactive light installations and live music performances. The park’s playground and surrounding areas are perfect for families, offering ample space for kids to run around and explore.

Night 2: The Goods Line

The Goods Line precinct offers a wonder-filled night out for families with older kids, with plenty to see, experience, and taste.

Parking: Wilsons Market City Car Park Quay St (bookings are essential).

Nearest Station: Central Train Station (+15-min walk) or Chinatown Light Rail Stop (+10-min walk).

Ages: 6+.

Vibe: A night of eye-opening adventure, new ideas, and mesmerizing fire for curious young minds.

Here, you can find a range of interactive installations and performances. The Goods Line offers a unique blend of industrial heritage and modern art, making it an exciting destination for a family night out.

Night 3: Circular Quay and The Rocks

The iconic Circular Quay offers a spectacular mix of visual and culinary fun, interactivity, and inspiration during Vivid Sydney, making it the perfect destination for families with children of all ages.

Parking: Sydney Opera House Car Park (bookings are essential).

Nearest Station: Circular Quay Train Station or Circular Quay Light Rail Stop. Note that on certain nights, trains will not drop off passengers at Circular Quay from 6pm-11pm. Use Wynyard station and continue to Circular Quay.

Ages: 0+ (easy pram access).

Vibe: Wander and wonder at the dazzling lights and sample the best global food at a bustling night market behind Circular Quay.

Circular Quay and The Rocks offer a plethora of light installations, street performances, and food stalls. The Vivid Light Walk, a perennial favorite, takes you through a journey of captivating light displays against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour.

The Best Free Things to Do at Vivid Sydney 2024

Lighting of the Sails

Where: Sydney Opera House

Seeing the Opera House light up for Vivid is one of the festival’s undeniable highlights. This year, Sydney-based artist Julia Gutman’s work will light up the sails with a powerful moving artwork inspired by the story of Narcissus, examining what it means to truly see oneself. Gutman’s piece, “Echo,” will be on display until 11pm every night.

Gumscape with Road and Creatures (and a live show from Dog Trumpet)

Where: Customs House, Circular Quay

For one night only, 1990s rock band Dog Trumpet will perform for free outside Customs House. Frontman Chris O’Doherty (Reg Mombassa) will also have his colorful, surrealist art projected onto Customs House throughout Vivid, telling a whimsical story of an Aussie road trip.

Love Is In The Air Drone Show

Where: Circular Quay

On June 8, 9, and 15, 700 drones will light up the sky above Sydney, forming symbols of love in spectacular colors and formations. This romantic and visually stunning show will start at 9:10pm, weather permitting.

Nest

Where: Barangaroo Reserve

“Nest” is a fascinating light display on the lawn at Barangaroo Reserve, offering a unique perspective on the mating dance of the native Brolga bird.

Chairwave

Where: Barangaroo Cove

This interactive light feature encourages strangers to connect. Take a seat on a luminous chair and open up a conversation with the person who sits next to you.

Window Dressing

Where: The Goods Line

“Window Dressing” is an interactive art piece that allows visitors to peek into the everyday lives of others, projected onto windows. It’s located next to Vivid Fire Kitchen, where you can enjoy fire-cooked street food.

After The Fact

Where: Rekodo, Barangaroo House

Starting on May 27, this daily event series will feature leading thinkers discussing current events, providing insights and sparking conversations about the issues of the day.

Say My Name: The Humanity of Names

Where: University of Technology Sydney

This discussion will explore the importance of names and the cultural significance of pronouncing them correctly, encouraging deeper understanding and respect for individual identities.

Tumbalong Nights

Where: Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour

Part of the Vivid music program, Tumbalong Park will host twelve nights of free music at Sydney’s new $10 million live music venue. Headliners include Mallrat, Budjerah, and Battlesnake.

Final Tips for Vivid Sydney 2024

  1. Arrive Early: Beat the crowds by starting your evening early.
  2. Plan Your Nights: Focus on one area each night to avoid tiring out little feet and ensure you have ample time to enjoy each installation.
  3. Stay Flexible: Weather and crowd conditions can change, so keep an open mind and be ready to adapt your plans.
  4. Book Parking: If driving, book your parking in advance to secure a spot close to your destination.
  5. Enjoy the Free Stuff: Take advantage of the many free events and installations to make the most of your Vivid Sydney experience.

Vivid Sydney 2024 promises to be an unforgettable festival, illuminating the city with creativity and inspiration. Whether you’re exploring with family, friends, or solo, there’s something magical waiting for you around every corner. Enjoy the lights, music, and ideas that make Vivid Sydney truly shine.

Join Indians in Sydney Facebook Group

Are you looking to connect with fellow Indians in Sydney during Vivid Sydney 2024? Join the Indians in Sydney Facebook Group for tips, meetups, and shared experiences. It’s a great way to make new friends and enhance your festival experience

Pic credit goes to NSW Government

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