Vivid Sydney breaks all records

After attracting its highest ever visitation in its 13-year history, Vivid Sydney 2023 has set a new festival record for content using the #vividsydney hashtag, reaching more than 649 million people and delivering an 84 per cent increase year on year in social reach.

The festival’s most-shared light artwork on social media was Dark Spectrum – an immersive experience in the Wynyard Tunnels in collaboration with Vivid Sydney, Sony Music UK, Culture Creative and Mandylights.

The top 5 most shared light projections/installations* from Vivid Sydney 2023:

  1. Dark Spectrum: Unlike anything ever seen before at Vivid Sydney, the world-premiere activation transformed the abandoned Wynyard Station train tunnels into a multi-sensory experience inspired by the euphoria found on underground dancefloors. Eight rooms provided a progressive colour journey through the human condition and the ultimate Insta-worthy photo moments – continues to Sunday 16 July. For more information and tickets, visit: for details.
  2. Written in the Stars: the largest drone show in the Southern Hemisphere – which boosted festival attendance on the traditionally quieter mid-week and Sunday nights, with more than 500,000 people viewing the seven shows.
  3. Lightscape: the global sensation which has fascinated over 10 million people around the world,** activated the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. This uniquely curated journey through light and sound takes you through glowing tree canopies, neon roots, shards of light and breath-taking lightworks. And although the festival is over, visitors can still experience the magic of Lightscape in Sydney until 16 July. For more information and tickets, visit: for details.
  4. Lighting of the Sails: Life Enlivened (2023): The spectacular Sydney Opera House Lighting of the Sails: Life Enlivened (2023) showcasing the work of esteemed late Australian artist John Olsen AO OBE.
  5. Dandelion: A 4,000kg steel recreation of a dandelion’s wispy calyx with interactive hand sensors by Sydney public art collective Amigo & Amigo.

Not only did Vivid Sydney spur a social media storm over 23 nights, but also attracted some of the world’s biggest stars who enjoyed the festival. Emmy-award winning actress Jennifer Coolidge marvelled at Elemental at Darling Harbour and the drone show, Written in the Stars, as well as ventured down to the tunnels under Wynyard Station to explore Dark Spectrum.

BLACKPINK’s Jisoo explored the spectacular Lightscape, complete with a taste of a toasted marshmallow, and celebrity chef Nigella Lawson soaked in the sights at Circular Quay, including Inside Out at Customs House.

Vivid Fire Kitchen at The Cutaway, a smoke and fire themed food adventure, featured a line-up of street food vendors, restaurants and original dining concepts in Barangaroo attracting 190,000 people, including Curtis Stone, Andy Allen, Darren Robertson, Dan Hong and more.

Vivid Sydney Festival Director Gill Minervini said not only did the festival break attendance records, but with so many people sharing their experience at Vivid Sydney it reached millions across the world. “It has been a record-breaking year for Vivid Sydney,” said Gill.

“I couldn’t be prouder of what the festival has achieved in 2023 and how it highlighted our creative industries at its best. Of the 3.28 million people who attended the festival, it was great to see so many people sharing their Vivid Sydney experiences on social media during the 23-nights and showcasing Sydney.

“We’re so grateful to all our artists, performers, musicians, speakers and chefs. Without them our program would not be anywhere near as successful, and we’re so thrilled to be able to share this with millions from around the globe,” said Gill.

Vivid Sydney is Australia’s largest festival celebrating creativity, innovation and technology, and transforms Sydney into a kaleidoscope of colour and events for 23 nights. Staged for its 13th year in 2023, Vivid Sydney brings together mesmerising displays from the world’s brightest light artists, exhilarating live music performances, deep-dive discussions with thought leaders, and innovative experiences from food creatives. Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

Vivid Sydney 2023 took place across Sydney from 26 May to 17 June. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Dark Spectrum in the Wynyard Tunnels – photo courtesy of Destination NSW

Notes: * The most-shared list was compiled by Destination NSW based on assets uploaded on-feed against #vividsydney on Instagram and TikTok.  

** Melbourne, San Diego, San Antonio, Houston, Brooklyn, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Forth Worth.