'Dark Spectrum' Is Returning to Vivid to Turn Wynyard's Railway Tunnels Into a Lit-Up Labyrinth for a Second Year

This year, the one-kilometre trail will feature eight chambers, 300 lasers and strobe lights, 500 lanterns, 250 search lights and 700 illuminated arrows.
Sarah Ward
April 03, 2024

Brightening up winter has always been Vivid Sydney's mission. Turning as much of the city as possible into a glowing sight has also been the festival's remit since its beginnings. Announcing its return for 2024, Dark Spectrum isn't the only example of how those aims come to fruition, but it's still a dazzling case in point. The luminous event heads into the Harbour City's depths, unleashes lasers and lights, adds electronic dance music as a soundtrack and gets attendees exploring a lit-up subterranean labyrinth.

Dark Spectrum debuted in 2023, as a world-premiere installation in Wynyard's unused railway tunnels, which was the first time ever that the spot had been opened to the public. The light show beneath the streets has now joined the 2024 program, again in the same location, but this time as Dark Spectrum: A New Journey. Just like last year, we hope that you like lasers, secret passageways and bright colours, which will all be on offer from Friday, May 24–Saturday, June 15.

As the name makes plain, this is an all-new version of Dark Spectrum, but the basic setup, of course, remains the same. A collaboration between Vivid Sydney, Sony Music, Mandylights and Culture Creative, this underground spectacle will again feature eight rooms, all heroing a different hue, with the entire concept initially inspired by raves and their dance floors. Across a one-kilometre trail — up from 2023's 900 metres — 300 lasers and strobe lights, 500 lanterns, 250 search lights and 700 illuminated arrows will make a shining impression.

Wondering which tunes accompany this maze-like experience, which tasks everyone that enters with wandering through its expanse from start to finish as lights flash and flicker, and smoke and haze effects add to the mood? Dark Spectrum: A New Journey will draw upon club-favourite tracks from the past 30 years. And yes, if you want to dance your way through the chambers and tunnels, that's allowed (and understandable).

"Vivid Sydney 2024 is exploring what makes us uniquely human, with a diverse program designed to foster connections, spark imagination and showcase the multitude of ways creativity enriches our lives. We are so excited to welcome back Dark Spectrum: A New Journey to Vivid Sydney 2024 to bring the festival theme to life with a brand-new wholly immersive experience," said Vivid Sydney Festival Director Gill Minervini.

Also adding gleaming sights to the fest's lineup: the return of Lightscape, again at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney; 40-kilometre-long laser beams shooting out of Sydney Tower; artwork by Archibald Prize winner Julia Gutman on the Sydney Opera House's sails; projected pieces on a range of buildings in the CBD; 4000 solar-powered LED candles glowing amid the sandstone blocks at Barangaroo Reserve; and Barangaroo's Stargazer Lawn welcoming a circular projection of the brolga's mating dance.

Dark Spectrum: A New Journey will run from Friday, May 24–Saturday, June 15, 2024, during Vivid Sydney 2024. For further information and tickets, head to the event's website.

Top image: Dark Spectrum 2023, Destination NSW.

Published on April 03, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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