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Vivid's Huge 2023 Lineup Will Include the Sydney Music, Light and Ideas Festival's First-Ever Food Fest

Vivid Food will showcase culinary experiences across the Sydney CBD, spanning pop-ups, haute cuisine and everything in-between.
By Sarah Ward
February 15, 2023
By Sarah Ward
February 15, 2023

Dazzling lights brightening up the Harbour City. Must-see gigs filling venues big and intimate around town. Fascinating talks musing on ideas, innovation and technology. That's the standard Vivid Sydney format, not that there's ever anything standard about the creativity-fuelled annual festival's yearly program. In 2023, however, it'll have a brand-new addition to that trusty template: Vivid's first-ever food fest, Vivid Food.

Prepare your stomachs for a delicious time spanning both bites to eat and drinks to sip, all in an array of venues across the Sydney CBD. Today, Wednesday, February 15, marks 100 days until Vivid kicks off in 2023 — running from Friday, May 26–Saturday, June 17 — and fest organisers have started releasing a few details. If you're fond of Sydney's dining scene, Vivid Food is clearly now at the top of your must-attend list.

Vivid Sydney 2022

Vivid Food will have two main aims. Firstly, it'll activate the Sydney CBD's venues after a tough few pandemic-afflicted years — a period that saw Vivid cancelled in 2020 and 2021, in fact, before returning in 2022. And, it'll go all in on Sydney's culinary creativity and innovation, aka two of Vivid's main fascinations.

The details are still scarce, but the event will span everything from pop-up restaurants to haute cuisine, involving chefs, producers, restaurateurs and more, and including one-of-a-kind menus from renowned figures heading to Sydney for the fest. And, there'll be multi-sensory degustations, food along the returning Vivid Sydney Light Walk, and mixologists and bartenders literally getting things shaking.

Maybe Sammy, DS Oficina

"We are proud to have curated an impressive collection of local and international artists and food creatives to provide Vivid Sydney audiences with new and exciting experiences," said Vivid Sydney Festival Director Gill Minervini, announcing 2023's first highlights.

"We have expanded and evolved the festival further this year and have curated an amazing lineup for 2023. The festival offering includes some significant new and Vivid-first experiences, as well as Vivid Food to deliver world-class culinary talent, events and activations as part of the program."

Destination NSW

The theme for Vivid overall in 2023: Vivid Sydney, Naturally. Also on the bill so far: the return of that aforementioned (and understandably super-popular) Vivid Sydney Light Walk, this time with 49-plus light installations and 3D projections along its illuminated eight-kilometre stretch; Barerarerungar from First Nations artist Maree Clarke, which will be projected across the Museum of Contemporary Art; and Jen Lewin's The Last Ocean, which hits Sydney after premiering at Burning Man in 2022.

There's also light festival Lightscape — yes, a light fest within a light fest — which has proven a huge hit internationally and in Melbourne. It'll take over The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney for its Sydney debut.

The full Vivid 2023 lineup will be announced mid-March, but you can also look forward to spending time elsewhere in the Sydney CBD, Circular Quay, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, The Goods Line, Central Station, Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Museum of Contemporary Art and more — as is always the case when Vivid unfurls its wonders.

"Vivid Sydney is NSW's biggest annual event and makes a vital social and economic contribution to our state. From our creative industries to entertainment and hospitality venues, accommodation and retailers, it supports and creates jobs across the NSW economy," said NSW Minister for Tourism Ben Franklin.

"Last year Vivid Sydney was attended by over 2.5-million people and injected $119 million into the NSW economy. With internationals borders fully reopening, we're anticipating this year's festival to be our biggest and best yet. Vivid Sydney 2023 promises to be a significant driver for domestic and international visitors to travel to NSW and attend Australia's brightest event and immerse themselves in our city," Franklin continued.

Glenn Turner

Vivid Sydney 2023 will run from Friday, May 26–Saturday, June 17. We'll update you with the full lineup when it's announced in mid-March — and for further information in the interim, visit the event's website.

Top images: Destination NSW.

Published on February 15, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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