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Vivid Has Postponed Its Already-Delayed 2021 Festival From August to September

Due to Sydney's current outbreak and lockdown, the citywide arts festival has been pushed back a month.
By Sarah Ward
July 14, 2021
By Sarah Ward
July 14, 2021

In news that both sounds and feels familiar, Vivid Sydney has announced that this year's festival won't go ahead as currently planned due to Sydney's current COVID-19 outbreak and corresponding lockdown. Unlike 2020, however, the event isn't being cancelled. Instead, Vivid 2021 will now take place from mid-September.

This year's fest had already been pushed from its usual June time slot, and was due to run from Friday, August 6–Saturday, August 28. After the news today, Wednesday, July 14, that Sydney's lockdown will continue until at least Friday, July 30, Vivid's move is hardly unexpected.

In a statement, Vivid organisers advised it was rescheduling "in the interest of community health and safety". The event will now kick off on Friday, September 17 and run through until Saturday, October 9.

New South Wales Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said that "the recent outbreak has presented a new challenge for everyone, and the health and safety of our citizens and entire event community involved in Vivid Sydney is our foremost concern." He continued: "Destination NSW will continue to work with NSW Health and other agencies to deliver a COVID-safe Vivid Sydney later this year, with support from our event partners, artists, sponsors, and suppliers."

The minister did also comment that "Vivid Sydney will only proceed if it's safe to do so" — although, again, the event has been postponed at present, not cancelled.


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A post shared by Vivid Sydney (@vividsydney)

This year's Vivid was slated to feature a hefty array of light installations, cultural events, pop-ups and activations, with the full program announced back in May. Just what impact the rescheduling will have on the lineup hasn't yet been revealed, with Vivid organisers noting that details of the revised program will be released in the coming weeks after venues and event owners finalise the necessary logistics.

If you have a ticket to a Vivid event, you'll be able to transfer it to the new date, or ask for a refund via the relevant ticket agent.

When it was last held back in 2019, Vivid attracted more than two million attendees, so its postponement in the current circumstances doesn't come as a surprise — and nor did its cancellation didn't last year.

Heartbreaking, it's the second big NSW event that's been impacted by the pandemic two years running. The same thing happened with Bluesfest, which was cancelled in 2020, then scrapped a few days before it was meant to start in April this year, and then rescheduled until October.

Vivid Sydney 2021 will no longer take place from Friday, August 6–Saturday, August 28, and has instead been moved to Friday, September 17 –Saturday, October 9. 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.

Top image: Destination NSW.

Published on July 14, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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