Vivid Sydney 2022 will transform the Harbour City into an illuminating fusion of creativity, innovation and technology from Friday 27 May to Saturday 18 June, with more than 200+ events celebrating the essence of Sydney’s soul including its diversity, beauty, resilience, First Nations culture, and vibrant creative community.
Festival Director Gill Minervini, who will deliver her first Vivid Sydney in 2022, said this year’s program captures the essence of Sydney’s soul, exploring 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.
“The 2022 program delivers fresh and engaging content, bringing feelings of joy, excitement, wonder, inspiration and hope to all who are innately drawn to it,” said Minervini.
In 2022, 11 Sydney CBD locations will ignite, two of which are new, with Circular Quay, Sydney CBD, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Darling Square, Darling Quarter, The Goods Line, Central Station, Luna Park and Taronga Zoo, all coming to life with a mesmerising kaleidoscope of light artworks to wow visitors and locals alike.
Staged over 23 nights, the festival will deliver mesmerising art displays, 3D light projections, uplifting live music performances and deep-dive discussions from the world’s brightest minds. Plus, in a festival first, the renowned Light Walk will stretch continuously for 8km, linking the Sydney Opera House to Central Station, with more than 200 LED sculptural birds guiding the way as part of the Future Natives installation.
The Vivid Sydney 2022 Program includes:
Visitors will connect with powerful stories of Sydney’s soul after dark, as more than 50 light installations and projection artworks designed to explore and define the city’s character come to life.
Gill Minervini, who curated the 2022 Vivid Light program, said: “I am incredibly proud the Vivid Light program showcases 25 Sydney-based artists delivering a true representation of how Sydney makes us feel: vibrant, awe-inspired, mischievous, uplifted and curious,” she said.
“Vivid Sydney’s Light collection features work from a vast array of artists, from the renowned Ken Done and Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, to Luca French, an 11-year-old boy and the youngest artist ever to participate in the Light Walk. It’s very exciting to deliver a refreshed and surprising program that will enthral audiences,” said Minervini.
Revealing the various artistic interpretations of the “soul of the city” creative vision, the spectacular Light Walk will host the works of 62 light collaborators and 114 light artists from 5 countries, with street installations re-shaping old sights, surprising projection sites, large-scale immersive experiences and never-before-lit buildings adding new sparkle to the city skyline.
Works expressing their love story to Sydney include legendary Australian artist Ken Done. In collaboration with Spinifex Group, Done’s work For Sydney with Love will be projected onto the façade of landmark Customs House.
Michaela Gleave’s large-scale illuminated text work will see the phrase Endless Love arching over Circular Quay in what will be an Instagram favourite. Temple, by Leila Jeffreys, is a large-scale work in Circular Quay paying homage to Sydney’s bird life and our relationship with them.
Celebrating Australia’s rich First Nations culture, the Sails of the Sydney Opera House will be transformed into an impressive new digital artwork, Yarrkalpa – Hunting Ground, 2021 by the Martu Artists and creative technologists Curiious, with soundtrack by Electric Fields and Martu Artists (inspired by Yarrkalpa – Always Walking Country 2014).
The bold projection is inspired by the vibrant, Martumili collective painting, Yarrkalpa- Hunting Ground, Parnngurr Area, 2013, created by eight female artists of the Pilbara region.
First Light – a moving Welcome to Country ceremony and performance is another first for Vivid Sydney 2022, celebrating the Gadigal people and Country. Opening the festival on Friday 27 May, audiences will be captivated with a smoking ceremony, stunning performances by NAISDA students, a pyrotechnic display and Sharing the Same Life Essence Sydney Harbour Bridge pylon projections. Rhoda Roberts AO is the Creative Advisor for First Light.
Mandylights’ Our Connected City will shine new light on the city’s landmarks, with over 200 searchlights beaming across Sydney Harbour, CBD buildings and the Cahill Expressway, while also linking the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge in riotous colour.
Between them, at Circular Quay, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia will morph into a kinetic, visual journey of the work of acclaimed Australian artist Helen Eager, who has collaborated with artists Rico and Julian Reinhold from H0rse, to create New York Sunday. Be transported on a visual journey through Eager’s work, with colour, light, and geometric fortified by a soundtrack from electro-pop musician Paul Mac.
In two festival firsts, the waters of Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour, will dance with the showstopping Sydney Infinity by Oracle Liquid, an epic water sculpture in a scale never seen before in Australia. Featuring dynamic jets, 12 x 80m high water shooters and dramatic lighting supported by a Sydney inspired soundtrack from DJ Pee Wee Ferris, this is set to be an audience favourite.
Also on water, Walsh Bay will come alive with a 100m floating Light Walk incorporating the largescale artwork Ephemeral Oceanic. Produced by Sydney’s own Atelier Sisu, visitors are invited to walk under more than 200 giant, bubble-like spheres hovering eight metres in the air.
Vivid Ideas brings together the world’s brightest minds and fearless global storytellers, exploring the forces that shape not only Sydney’s unique society, but all great cities around the world. With more than 85 intriguing talks and workshops on offer, Vivid Ideas explores the forces shaping our society, and starting conversations that continue long after the festival has ended.
Headlining the Ideas Program are Global Storytellers including Oscar and Emmy award-winning theatre and film director, screenwriter and playwright Aaron Sorkin, renowned for film and TV shows such as The West Wing, The Social Network, A Few Good Men and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Aaron will discuss politics and drama with renowned Australian broadcast journalist Leigh Sales at Sydney’s State Theatre.
A fearless advocate for women’s rights, American broadcast journalist, author and television personality Gretchen Carlson shares her story that inspired the blockbuster movie Bombshell with The Project’s Lisa Wilkinson. Gretchen will reveal how she helped to pave the way for the global #MeToo movement and advocated to end the silencing of harassment victims through forced arbitration and non-disclosure agreements.
Be inspired as global superstar musician, record label owner, multi-award-winning artist and actor Troye Sivan, compares notes with Patrick Abboud, the Walkley nominated journalist, TV presenter, broadcaster, and documentary maker at Sydney Town Hall. The pair will discuss new models of masculinity, non-conformity, being young and queer, as well as Troye’s creative collaborations.
Other great storytellers in Ideas program include James Valentine and H.G Nelson with their hilarious show the Even Greater Sydney Committee at Parliament House, Brigid Delaney and Ben Law talking about Sydney’s obsession with the wellness industry at the Australian Museum, and Jonathan Biggins, Kate McClymont, Leah Purcell, Stephen Page, Sara Mansour from Bankstown Poetry Slam sharing their tales of Sydney.
This year’s Vivid Ideas Exchange will see over 60 events hosted at The Great Hall at The University of Technology Sydney – with talks, seminars, film screenings and special events designed to spark debate amongst the creative community. Sessions will be presented by Audible with Marc Fennell, Melissa Doyle, and Adam Liaw and Squarespace.
For the first time, Vivid Ideas Up Late will be hosted at Sydney’s renowned cultural institutions for a series of free, playful nights that mix talks, performances, fashion, music and food at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Australian Museum, the Powerhouse Museum and the National Maritime Museum.
“Vivid Ideas brings together the greatest minds and creative leaders who set the agenda and strive for change,” said Vivid Ideas Curator Tory Loudon. “The Ideas program celebrates storytellers that are the beating heart of the city – the artists, the creatives and the innovators who bring a sense of joy and discovery to the everyday.”
“There are talks, workshops and hands on experiences where you can participate and have fun as well as being stimulated. Come and join the conversation.”
Taking a deep dive into Sydney’s diverse and dynamic music communities, Vivid Music 2022 showcases a line-up of Sydney’s most potent artist talent.
In a Vivid Music exclusive, legendary Australian music icon Marcia Hines who will enliven audiences with The Gospel according to Marcia, in a world-premiere show for two-nights only in the uplifting surrounds of St Stephen’s Uniting Church. Marcia will be joined by a 12-piece band and choir set against an atmospheric bespoke lighting backdrop, celebrating the sounds of her gospel roots.
Paying homage to artists from other great world cities, Vivid Music welcomes highly influential UK space rock band Spiritualized, delivering their unmistakable sound live at Luna Park’s Big Top, with Indie Rock cult singer Baxter Dury, making his debut Australian performance at The Metro Theatre.
Emerging New York rapper Cakes Da Killa’s fusion of hip hop, house and electronic dance music will take the Oxford Art Factory by storm.
In a festival first, Tumbalong Nights presents an astonishing line-up of free live music events and short film screenings in Darling Harbour’s Tumbalong Park. Young and old can groove the night away to Stevan, a rising young R&B multi-instrumentalist and band, True Vibenation’s party vibes and uplifting afrobeat and Donny Benet with his undeniably fun disco and funk.
DJs at The Goods Line will pay homage to Sydney’s vibrant DJ heritage, with a free line-up of DJs every night including Ebony Boadu, Stereogamous and Soul of Sydney DJs, in another new addition to the program.
Reinvigorating Sydney’s live music industry as it rebuilds, Vivid Music 2022 will flip the script on traditional performance, hosting more than 150 music events at surprising venues across Sydney to offer one-of-a-kind experiences.
In fact, Central Station’s Grand Central Concourse, Darling Harbour’s Tumbalong Park, Phoenix Central Park, The Calyx – Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, The Bearded Tit, Cell Block Theatre, National Art School and Luna Park will all pull back the curtains to host lifeaffirming musical performances.
Iconic music venue Mary’s Underground is the venue for the inaugural Vivid Sydney Supper Club, every Friday and Saturday night during the festival, featuring a variety style show incorporating musical theatre acts, cabaret, dance, drag, comedy, surprise guests, acoustic pop-ups, jazz, DJs and more. Curated by beloved actor, cabaret performer, and drag artist, Trevor Ashley, the event is headlined by talents such as Mahalia Barnes, Emma Pask, Bob Downe and Tim Freedman.
In Sydney’s urban cultural precinct at Eveleigh, Carriageworks will present its seventh Vivid Music program, bringing together artists from all four corners of the globe. Estonian rapper and visual artist Tommy Cash will excite with his raucous and wild show in a Sydney exclusive, alongside American indie Queer artist Perfume Genius, Japanese all female rock band Chai, and Perth’s Alter Boy queerlectro pop band also enlivening audiences.
“For Vivid Music 2022, we amplify what is unique and memorable about Sydney’s soul, examining the co-dependant relationship between artist and audience that sits amidst the DNA of any dynamic global city,” said Vivid Music Curator Joe Muller.
“Spanning trailblazers, icons and future local and international stars, the Vivid Music program celebrates diversity and inclusion both on stage and off, inviting a wide range of audiences to join us in a journey of discovery into the beating of heart of Sydney – our hidden spaces, our iconic stages, our city, our soul.”
VIVID LIVE AT SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
Curated by the Sydney Opera House’s Head of Contemporary Music Ben Marshall, Vivid LIVE will transform the world-famous building inside and out, celebrating artists at the forefront of their genres, with more than 70 Australian and international artists presented across seven Opera House venues.
Beloved Australian rock royalty, Paul Kelly will be joined by Gamilaraay singer-songwriter and ARIA Award winner Thelma Plum and band members Vika and Linda Bull, Bill McDonald, Peter Luscombe, Ash Naylor, Cameron Bruce and Dan Kelly for Time And Tide: Four Decades of Song live under the stars on the Northern Boardwalk. Kelly has curated a catalogue of his awardwinning songs for this special one-off event across four nights.
Zambian-born singer, poet and visual artist, Sampa Tembo – better known as Sampa The Great – will debut her long-awaited new show An Afro Future, performing the four-time ARIA award-winning debut album The Return with her epic band, dancers, singers and special guests Mwanjé, KYE and C.FIRM.
Berlin-based piano prodigy, producer and composer Nils Frahm will captivate audiences with new music in the world premiere of his new live show, Music for Sydney. Multi-faceted African Australian rock-star, rapper, singer and producer BLESSED will present Aussie Blackstar, a curated evening with appearances by Maina Doe, Baby Prince and Chirine with more to be announced.
In the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Australian-Zambian singer-rapper Tkay Maidza will make her return to the Australian stage, for a night of powerful hip-hop and soul. Meanwhile, local collective Astral People have curated a significant line-up for a decade-defining outdoor weekender on the Broadwalk featuring Hiatus Kaiyote, Barkaa, Briggs, Arno Faraji and more in an Australian exclusive that celebrates their 10 + 1 birthday.
Vivid LIVE Studio Parties also return in 2022 with Future Classic, Picnic Party and Mad Racket and Astral People presents John Talabot. There will also be performances in the Studio from Low Life, RVG and Japanese doom metal titans Boris with special guest guitarist, Toki.
THE VIVID SYDNEY DINNER
Great food, talks, music, wine and light collide at the very first Vivid Sydney Dinner – a celebration of all things Sydney. Join host Justine Clarke at Merivale’s Ivy Ballroom, which will be completely transformed into an effervescent feast for the senses on Saturday 4 June, featuring “love letters to Sydney” from renowned artist Ken Done and journalist/author Julia Baird.
With music by the Vivid Sydney Brass Band, James Morrison, Ngaiire, Virginia Gay and Kate Monroe, a NSW inspired feast created by chefs Dan Hong and Mike Eggert, and a bespoke lighting experience.
Vivid Sydney 2022 takes place across Sydney from Friday 27 May to Saturday 18 June. For more information and full program, visit: www.vividsydney.com for details.
Image: Sails of the Opera House (supplied)