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Dark Spectrum

This world-premiere light show will fill 900 metres of abandoned Wynyard railway tunnels with lasers.
By Sarah Ward
May 04, 2023
By Sarah Ward
May 04, 2023

Vivid Sydney is no stranger to lights. In each year's program, including 2023's set-to-dazzle lineup, filling the Harbour City with luminous installations is one of the citywide arts festival's main aims. This year, for the first time, that glow will also extend down to Wynyard's unused railway tunnels.

This is the first time ever that the subterranean spot will be opened to the public, in fact — and turned into a light show beneath the streets. Meet Dark Spectrum, the ticketed installation that's world-premiering at Vivid Sydney as an addition to the 2023 program. We hope you like lasers, secret passageways, bright colours and a one-of-a-kind experience, all on offer from Friday, May 26–Sunday, July 16.

A collaboration between Vivid Sydney, Sony Music, Mandylights and Culture Creative, this underground spectacle features eight rooms, all heroing a different hue, with the entire setup inspired by raves and their dance floors. They're each meant to mimic the human experience through life, too, as helped by robotics, visual technology and a pulsating electronic dance music soundtrack.

Accordingly, Dark Spectrum will take attendees through rooms themed around separation, constriction, pressure and the unseen, then spaces that are all about reflection, the unfamiliar and connection. The last one? It serves up an end with a revelation — which will obviously need to be experienced rather than explained.

Vivid Sydney has given a few hints about what's in store, though. In Construction, 150 LED pipes will hang from the roof, while Pressure will feature 50 archways covered in lights and mirrors — and make Wynyard's tunnels look like a never-ending tunnel. Or, there's Interaction, a sea of hanging string lights and illuminated plants that respond to movement, which takes its cues from Avatar.

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