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Vivid Sydney World Premiere 'Dark Spectrum' Will Fill 900 Metres of Wynyard's Railway Tunnels with Lasers

This is the first time ever that the unused subterranean spot will be opened to the public — and turned into a light show beneath the streets.
By Sarah Ward
March 30, 2023
By Sarah Ward
March 30, 2023

Vivid Sydney is no stranger to lights. In each year's program — including with 2023's set-to-dazzle lineup, complete with Lightscape in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney — filling the Harbour City with luminous installations is one of the citywide arts festival's main aims. Whether you're a local or a visitor, a wander around town in June involves stunning radiant sights awaiting at every turn. And this year, that glow will extend down to Wynyard's unused railway tunnels for the first time ever.

This is the first time ever that the subterranean spot will be opened to the public, in fact — and turned into a light show beneath the streets. Meet Dark Spectrum, the ticketed installation that's world premiering at Vivid Sydney as a just-announced addition to the 2023 program. We hope you like lasers, secret passageways, bright colours and a one-of-a-kind experience, all on offer from Friday, May 26–Sunday, July 16.

A collaboration between Vivid Sydney, Sony Music, Mandylights and Culture Creative, this underground spectacle features eight rooms, all heroing a different hue, with the entire setup inspired by raves and their dance floors. They're each meant to mimic the human experience through life, too, as helped by robotics, visual technology and a pulsating electronic dance music soundtrack.

Accordingly, Dark Spectrum will take attendees through rooms themed around separation, constriction, pressure and the unseen, then spaces that are all about reflection, the unfamiliar and connection. The last one? It serves up an end with a revelation — which will obviously need to be experienced rather than explained.

Vivid Sydney has given a few hints about what's in store, though. In Construction, 150 LED pipes will hang from the roof, while Pressure will feature 50 archways covered in lights and mirrors — and make Wynyard's tunnels look like a never-ending tunnel. Or, there's Interaction, a sea of hanging string lights and illuminated plants that respond to movement, which takes its cues from Avatar.

"We're thrilled to announce this world-first experience for Vivid Sydney 2023. Dark Spectrum is a perfect fit for this year's festival theme, exploring the intersection between human emotions, our natural environment and the urban landscape and relics of Sydney's industrial past," said Vivid Sydney Festival Director Gill Minervini.

"Diving beneath the surface of what is now one of the city's busiest railway lines, Dark Spectrum is a truly mesmerising and engaging experience for visitors to explore Sydney in a whole new way. I am excited we get to shine a light on unknown spaces across the city".

After its Sydney debut, Dark Spectrum will tour the world — so for folks outside of the Harbour City who can't make it along during Vivid, cross your fingers that it next comes your way.

Vivid Sydney 2023 will run from Friday, May 26–Saturday, June 17. For further information and tickets — including to Dark Spectrum from Friday, May 26–Sunday, July 16 — head to the event's website.

Published on March 30, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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