Summer is officially over. We know that not just because it's March, but because, as has become custom at this time of year, Vivid Sydney has this morning announced its program for 2018. Get ready to be ensconced in projections once again — the festival of light, music and ideas is returning for 23 days from May 25 to June 16.
The most overt (and unavoidable) aspect of the program is the lights, and this year their glow will extend across the bridge to light up Luna Park for the first time. A new precinct for 2017, it will extend the reach of the CBD's Light Walk from Circular Quay, Darling Harbour and Barangaroo with a collection of large-scale projections and a new light fit-out for the Ferris wheel. Should make good viewing from the ferry.
The Sydney Opera House's sails will this year be lit up with hyperreal images of Australian flora, fauna and natural elements from artist (and former Flume collaborator) Jonathan Zawada, and Customs House will be home to an adorable projection of May Gibbs' Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Fans of Sir David Attenborough will be able to head down to the Maritime Museum to watch scenes from Blue Planet II projected onto the building's roof, and interactive light installation Aqueous will head to the Royal Botanic Garden via Burning Man. Vivid light hotspots, Circular Quay, the MCA, Chatswood, Taronga Zoo and Martin Place will all be lit up as well.
Vivid Music is once again in fine form. Joining Solange for the Vivid Live component of the program at the Opera House will be hip hop legend Ice Cube, 90s favourite Cat Power and Mazzy Star, who will come to Australia for the very first time since forming in 1989 (if you don't know the band by name, you probably know the song 'Fade Into You'). Dreams — a new project from Silverchair's Daniel Johns and Empire of the Sun's Luke Steele — and performances from Iron and Wine, Neil Finn and Middle Kids around also on the Opera House's 20-night Vivid lineup.
Another big one is a one-off performance from St Vincent at Carriageworks, and the City Recital Hall has a solid program this year, including a musical comedy show from Orange Is the New Black's Lea Delaria.
Vivid Ideas is, of course, back for those keen to delve into creativity, science and technology — and this year it's scored James Cameron as its big-ticket speaker. Cameron will be in town to open his new exhibition at the Maritime Museum and do an in conversation with comedian Adam Spencer.