Vivid Has Unveiled Its Dazzling Lineup of Installations, Talks, Tunes, Parties and Dinners for 2022

More than 200 events will take over the city for Vivid's first festival in three years, including the Vivid Sydney Dinner, 50-plus light installations, and talks by Troye Sivan and Aaron Sorkin.
Sarah Ward
Published on March 16, 2022

Whenever Vivid takes over Sydney to kick off winter, the city instantly gets brighter. Unleashing a huge festival of lights and vibrant installations (and music and talks as well) will do that, of course. And, come Friday, May 27–Sunday, June 18 this year, the popular event might just beam a little stronger than usual — returning for the first time since 2019, after cancelling its 2020 and 2021 events due to the pandemic.

Vivid's just-dropped full 2022 lineup certainly boasts plenty of highlights — and more than 200 events in total. Sticking with all that eye-catching light to begin with, there'll be more than 50 luminous installations dazzling the city, including two particularly spectacular attractions by the water.

The first, Sydney Infinity by Oracle Liquid, is a water sculpture in Darling Harbour that'll feature 12 80-metre-high water shoots, plus a Sydney-inspired soundtrack by DJ Pee Wee Ferris. And the second, at Walsh Bay, will see a 100-metre floating Light Walk pop up for folks to mosey along, including more than 200 giant, bubble-esque spheres that'll hover eight metres in the air.

Mandylights, Our Connected City

There's also Endless Love from Michaela Gleave, which'll arch that phrase over Circular Quay; Leila Jeffreys' piece in the same spot, Temple, which is all about Sydney's bird life; and Yarrkalpa — Hunting Ground, which'll light up the Sydney Opera House's sails with First Nations art by the Martu Artists, as aided by creative technologists Curiious (and with a soundtrack by Electric Fields and Martu Artists).

Also, Vivid will host First Light, a Welcome to Country celebrating the Gadigal people and Country on Friday, May 27. And, Our Connected City by Mandylights will literally shine new light on the city's landmarks, setting up 200-plus searchlights beaming over Sydney Harbour, CBD buildings and the Cahill Expressway.

Plenty of Vivid's other light works were revealed back in February — such as the overall Light Walk, a certain-favourite that'll host works from 62 light collaborators and 114 light artists from five countries, and mark Vivid's longest-ever continuous Light Walk; and Ken Done's For Sydney With Love which'll be projected onto the facade of Customs House. There's also Convergence in the disused Goods Line railway tunnel at Central Station, aka Vivid's largest-scale laser exhibition ever, as well as Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran's Earth Deities.

Mike Eggert and Dan Hong, Destination NSW

In something completely new for 2022, Vivid will throw its first-ever Vivid Sydney Dinner, which'll celebrate the city in a whole heap of ways. Taking place at Merivale's Ivy Ballroom and hosted by Justine Clarke, it'll combine music, talks, food and wine — and lights, because it's Vivid — with a lineup that spans Ken Done, Julia Baird, the Vivid Sydney Brass Band, James Morrison, Ngaiire, Virginia Gay and Kate Monroe, plus food by chefs Dan Hong and Mike Eggert.

On the talks part of the program, American filmmaker Aaron Sorkin is headed to Sydney to discuss the intersection of politics and drama, as seen so often in his work — so expect everything from The West Wing and The Newsroom to The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Being the Ricardos to get a mention. Also among the big names getting chatty: musician, artist and actor Troye Sivan, who'll talk with Patrick Abboud; and US journalist Gretchen Carlson, whose story was told in the film Bombshell.

Get ready to enjoy this section of the lineup up late, too — thanks to the aptly named Vivid Ideas Up Late. It'll pop up at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Australian Museum, the Powerhouse Museum and the National Maritime Museum, hosting free nights filled with talks, performances, fashion, music and food.

And, the overall Vivid Ideas bill will also feature James Valentine and HG Nelson's the Even Greater Sydney Committee at Parliament House, as well as tales about Sydney from folks such as Jonathan Biggins, Kate McClymont, Leah Purcell and Stephen Page. Over at The Great Hall at The University of Technology Sydney, more than 60 events will also join the program, including seminars and film screenings.

Sampa the Great, Lucian Coman

Music-wise, Vivid is no slouch, either. It never is. Vivid Live at Sydney Opera House will feature Paul Kelly, Thelma Plum and Ash Naylor during a gig dubbed Time And Tide: Four Decades of Song; Sampa The Great's new show An Afro Future; and Berlin-based piano star Nils Frahm performing Music for Sydney, for starters.

Also on the lineup: Tkay Maidza in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Spiritualized at Luna Park's Big Top, three nights of live music and short films in Darling Harbour, free DJs every night at The Goods Line, and 150-plus music events in total. Included in the latter figure is Carriageworks' program of tunes, featuring Perfume Genius, CHAI, TOMM¥ €A$H, Cate Le Bon, Divide & Dissolve and more.

In some cases, the venues will be as big of a drawcard as the performers, with gigs set for Central Station's Grand Central Concourse, Tumbalong Park, Phoenix Central Park, The Calyx – Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, The Bearded Tit, Cell Block Theatre and National Art School as well.

Yes, you'd best clear your calendar for the end of May and first few weeks of June — Vivid is about to keep you mighty busy.

Vivid Sydney 2022 will run from Friday, May 27–Sunday, June 18. For further information and tickets, head to the event's website.

Top images: Convergence, Mandylands / Earth Deities, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Jessica Maurer, Kane-Sullivan.

Published on March 16, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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