This year’s Vivid is set to shine brighter than ever when it blankets the city in colour from 27 May to 18 June.
The Sydney CBD will be twinkling across 11 locations during Vivid 2022, the bonus being you don’t have to jostle to find a good spot. Staged over 23 nights, Sydney’s favourite glow-up will include mesmerising art displays, 3D light projections, live music and stimulating discussions from some of the brightest minds on the planet.
Wander through the twinkling Light Walk, which links the Sydney Opera House to Central Station with 47 installations and projections along the 8km walk during Vivid 2022. This year’s festival is firmly plugged into the zeitgeist, connecting the NSW state capital with light artists, music makers, deep thinkers, and creatives. From restaurants and bars hosting neon nights, to the installations worth seeing, here is our guide to a few of the best places to view Vivid 2022.
Embark on a Vivid Lights Cruise
One of the best ways to admire the canvas of the city during Vivid is via a family-friendly one-hour Vivid Lights Cruise with Captain Cook Cruises to view the key Vivid precincts of Barangaroo, The Rocks, Luna Park, and Circular Quay. Book the Vivid Gold Dinner to enjoy six rainbow-bright courses over three hours. And there’s also the option to reserve lounge seating at the Cruising Cocktail Harbour Bar, which also departs from King St Wharf 1. Don’t forget to deploy the #loveSydney hashtag.
Enjoy a Vivid staycation at Pier One
Join your fellow luminaries at the Pier One Sydney Harbour Bridge’s Marquee, which will be transformed into a Vivid-themed bar during the festival with a site-specific artwork produced by the Goldberg Aberline Studio. Stay overnight in a luxe igloo at Pier One to enjoy views of Sydney Harbour Bridge, which will feature archival images projected on its pylons to celebrate its 90th birthday. Don’t miss First Light, a celebration of our First Nations culture shaped by creative advisor Rhoda Roberts from 5.40 pm until ‘lights on’.
Get in the Mode at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
The Vivid-themed menu at Mode doesn’t need LED technology. It’s dazzling enough. While agoraphobes can hole up in a Harbour View Room to enjoy a neon-lit night, those dining at Mode Kitchen and Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney will appreciate the dazzling three-course menu on offer during the City of Sydney festivities. Be prepared to elbow a few influencers out of the way to snap a shot of the In Like Flynn Koala Cocktail at Grain Bar before stepping out to admire some of the city’s fabulously fluoro activations.
Ready, steady, glow at Dean & Nancy on 22
There’s a sound and light show every night at Dean & Nancy on 22 at the A by Adina Sydney and, for that, it gets a glowing report. The classic cocktail bar is located 22 floors above the streets of Sydney and is in the vicinity of Vivid – making it a top spot for a 72-hour staycation. Download the Vivid Sydney map to plan your adventure, which should absolutely loop in the Lighting of the Sails, which will feature First Nations stories projected onto Sydney Opera House, the city’s most iconic canvas.
Head underground to the Vivid Sydney Supper Club
One of the trademarks of Vivid is its program of bright ideas, which this year includes everything from poetry slams to discussions about love, dating and sex. After seeing experimental art at Live Dreams and a performance of The Gospel According to Paul, about Paul Keating, you will need to cut loose. Enter the all-new Vivid Sydney Supper Club, a late-night costume change for Mary’s Underground in Circular Quay, which morphs into a cabaret club from 10 pm till late every Friday and Saturday night.
Embrace the vivid Vegas vibes at Maybe Sammy
Maybe Sammy was named the 11th best bar in the world at the World’s 50 Best Bar Awards, which is reason enough for the cocktail bar with the 50s’ LasVegas vibes on your radar. Named after Sammy Davis junior, the bar staff clad in pale-pink suit jackets possess a lot of pizzazz, presenting cocktails with a bit of theatre. Head here mid-Vivid for a few lurid cocktails before heading to the Opera Bar where staff from 13 of Sydney’s most innovative cocktail bars will make cameos as part of the Sydney Cocktail Festival.
Light up your life at Vivid Sydney Dinner
The word neon comes from the Greek word, neos, meaning new. The 8km-long Light Walk is new, as is the Vivid Sydney Dinner. Get your 10,000 steps in by walking from Central Station to Circular Quay ahead of the first-ever Vivid feast. Expect a fusion of light, music, ideas, and creative cuisine at the Ivy Ballroom event, curated by Merivale executive chef Dan Hong and Totti’s Mike Eggert. Stay overnight at Fraser Suites Sydney, near to Convergence which floods The Goods Line, a disused railway tunnel, with light.
Get the Quay to the city
Hinchcliff House is right in the heart of The Rocks and in the vicinity of Vivid. Housed in a former wool store, tucked in behind Customs House, the 19th-century building is a great place to base yourself during Vivid. Bounce between Bar Mammoni, Grana, bar Appolonia, luxe Italian diner, Lana, and then walk off that plate of ink tortelli with a wander to Walsh Bay, which will floating artwork, Ephemeral Oceanic.
Go wild after dark
Download the Vivid Music program to create an itinerary around performances popping up everywhere from The Bearded Tit to Luna Park. For a bit of electric boogaloo, head to Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour to see Sydney Infinity by Oracle Liquid, an epic water sculpture set to a soundtrack by DJ Pee Wee Ferris. Families can also book an overnight stay at the wildlife retreat at Taronga Zoo for the roaring return of Wild Lights,
Zoom into Zephyr
Zephyr is the luxury sky bar on top of the Hyatt Regency Sydney that offers one of the best views of the cityscape, which looks like a glittering jewellery box from above. This year, the hotel bar will be running after-dark events under the festival’s umbrella of Light, Music and Ideas. After listening to an inspiring speaker or catching a comedy show, you will be able to ogle some of the light installations from your five-star suite.
To plan your night at Vivid, check the Vividsydney.com website.