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Vivid Sydney 2021 — CANCELLED

After taking a year off in 2020, Vivid Sydney's annual festival of light, music and ideas will transform the city once again.
By Concrete Playground
May 25, 2021
By Concrete Playground
May 25, 2021

UPDATE: Friday, August 6, 2021 — In light of Greater Sydney's current COVID-19 situation, Vivid Sydney has been cancelled for 2021 and plans to go ahead next winter instead. For more information, visit the event's website. For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.


When winter hits in 2021, Sydneysiders can prepare to be ensconced in projections once again. After taking a year off in 2020, Vivid Sydney's annual festival of light, music and ideas will transform the city over 23 nights with a jam-packed lineup of cultural events, pop-ups and activations.

Public spaces across Sydney will be treated to Vivid's beloved light installations — including the previously announced Cockle Bay light walk and Customs House's 3D visual storytelling project. The program's line-up will sprawl across iconic Sydney buildings and open spaces in Circular Quay, The Rocks, Barangaroo and Darling Harbour.

The Sydney Opera House's sails will light up with a digital rendition of Yarrkalpa (Hunting Ground), a stunning painting created by the Martu Artists of the Pilbara region. Inside and in front of the iconic harbourside venue, Vivid Live will feature an array of boundary-pushing and fan-favourite musicians from Australia and New Zealand. Across the three-week festival, music fans can catch the world premiere of Sampa the Great's new stage show, a tenth anniversary showcase of Sydney record label Astral People, rock and jazz legends Gareth Liddiard (The Drones), Jim White (Dirty Three) and Chris Abrahams performing together, plus sets from Golden Features, Flight Facilities and Connan Mockasin.

English actor and The Good Place star, Jameela Jamil will appear as part of Vivid Ideas, discussing body positivity, social media, diet trends and mental health via a virtual talk with Australian author and podcast host Jamila Rizvi.

Away from the Sydney Opera House, cultural events will activate across the city. Carriageworks will play home to a Cantina OK! pop-up, featuring food and cocktails from the CBD bar, a roster of DJs and performances from King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and Amyl & the Sniffers. LGBTQIA+ party collective Heaps Gay will bring its Kween's Ball to Luna Park, The UTS Great Hall will host a series of talks, seminars and film screening, and the Australian Museum, Parliament House, MCA, the Powerhouse Museum and Maritime Museum will all continue with their after dark culture series Up Late.

All of this kicks off from Friday, August 6, a little later than Vivid's usual spot in the calendar, and will run until Saturday, August 28.

Top image: Destination NSW.

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