Amora’s Guide to Vivid Sydney

Winter may have us in her icy grip, but Vivid Sydney is here to brighten our nights and fill our diaries with dates for must-see events. “Australia’s most exciting festival” (Forbes) is on now and runs until 18 June 2022.

After a two year Covid-induced hiatus, the festival that combines Lights, Music and Ideas bares the ‘soul of our city’ through creativity, innovation and game-changing minds. As well as the incredible light show, there are hundreds of Music and Ideas events to enjoy. It can be a tricky task combing through them all, so here’s our Amora Edit for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and final week of the festival. You’ll find top tips across Ideas that change the future and Music to make your soul sing. 

One of the best ways to see more of the festival is to stay with us! Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney’s Vivid Sydney package starts from $325 for one night’s stay in a Deluxe Tower King or Double Double Room; Breakfast for Two; a $50 bar and dining credit per room (to be used in Silo Bar and/or Croft Restaurant); a signature Vivid Sydney cocktail per adult (and mocktail for the kids) in Silo Bar. This offer is valid for stays from Friday 27 May to Saturday 18 June 2022. Be quick! Rooms are filling fast. BOOK NOW.

Sydney Infinity: the festival’s largest ever liquid and light display features cannons shooting water 80m high on Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour.

VIVID LIGHT 

This year, the festival’s world-famous Light Walk (all FREE) stretches 8km through Circular Quay and The Rocks, the CBD, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour and Darling Quarter, Central Station and the Goods Line. You can pump your step count by looping the full Light Walk in one evening, or carve it up into slices to see on the way to and from live music concerts and ideas sessions. Either way, follow 200 neon birds – Future Natives – to see all the eye-popping installations and 3D mapped projections on landmarks and buildings. 

Photo credit: DestinationNSW_Pm_003 - Vivid Sydney 2022 Sydney Harbour Lights On

Lights On! is 6pm every evening when you’ll see the city shine! For the first time, both sides of Sydney Harbour Bridge will be illuminated. Sydney’s icons blaze with colour and movement and giant beams of light splay across the sky in Our Connected City. Yarrkalpa – Hunting Ground paintings by Indigenous Martu artists light the sails of Sydney Opera House and sync with colour-changing vessels for Vivid Light on Sydney Harbour. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) quakes with the colourful geometries of Australia’s leading abstractionist Helen Eager in New York Sunday. In front of Circular Quay, the freestyle paintings and drawings of Australia’s master of colour – Ken Done – come to life across Customs House in For Sydney with Love


Photo credit: DestinationNSW_PM_008 - Vivid Sydney 2022 The Rocks Earth Deities Ramech Nithiyendran

Some of our favourite installations this year include Nura by artist Warwick Keen at Barangaroo, Ephemeral Oceanic at Walsh Bay, Earth Deities by artist Ramesh Nithiyendran at Hickson Road Reserve (picture above) and Convergence by Mandylights that fills the long-forgotten Goods Line Tunnel with laser lights.

Another winner for families – think kids young and old – is Wild Lights at Taronga where you’ll encounter giant animal lanterns illuminating your meander through the Zoo after dark. 

VIVID IDEAS 

Join award-winning actors, writers, directors and comedians including Leah Purcell and Sarah Lambert in Mavericks of Stage and Screen on Friday 10 June. Slow down, breathe and cultivate creativity at The Art of Deep Looking. Dive into Vivid Sydney Games District on Saturday 11 June and have a giggle with comedians living with disability in Are You Pulling My Leg?  Then, discover a hundred ways we can transform trash into treasure with inventor Professor Veena Sahajwalla at For the Love of Waste on Saturday 18 June.

Vivid Ideas Up Late is a series of FREE nights where talks, music, performances and art collide at The Australian Museum, Powerhouse, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Hear inspiring Sydney stories – of people, places and our city’s distinct diversity and multi-faceted histories. Think wellmania, modern love, drag, ballroom culture from Harlem NY to Sydney, fashion, food, films and more! 


Photo credit: DestinationNSW_PM_005 - Vivid Sydney 2022 Circular Quay Temple Leila Jeffreys Melvin J Montalban

VIVID MUSIC

Much-loved star Marcia Hines embraces her soulful roots in the Vivid Sydney premiere of The Gospel According to Marcia (10-11 June) accompanied by a live band and gospel choir at St Stephens Uniting Church. Buy tickets.

Saturday 11 June, catch four red-hot female artists at the epicentre of Sydney’s RnB and nu-soul scene. Ngaiire, Maina Doe, Becca Hatch and Ms Thandi command the Tumbalong Nights stage in one of the amazing FREE live music concerts at Tumbalong Park. Check out the full line up that includes Okenyo, Milan Ring + Glo, Hayley Mary (of The Jezabels fame) + Babitha and ABC Gardening Australia’s living gnome Costa Georgiadis fronting The More Please Orchestra with party starters The Regime! 


Photo credit: DestinationNSW

If you’re in the mood to dance, limber up! Vivid Sydney sets the long weekend party scene alight with Ministry of Sound’s Testament at Campbells’ Stores in The Rocks and Qweens’ Ball at Luna Park. Head into orbit with legendary British space-rock pioneers Spiritualized as Spaceman J Pierce and his band spread the swirling psych-pop wonder of their latest album Everything Was Beautiful at Luna Park Big Top on Thursday 16 June. Take an epic voyage with composer Adam Spark, the driving force behind ARIA winners Birds of Tokyo, into his atmospheric neo-classical opus Snow vs Mountain at the National Art School on Saturday 18 June. Buy tickets.

Vivid LIVE turns Sydney Opera House into a vibrant contemporary music magnet. See the stages inside the sails get taken over by the likes of Teeks (13 June), Nils Frahm (15-17 June), and Meg Mac (18 June).

Want to keep the buzz alive? Vivid Sydney Supper Club turns Mary’s Underground into the subterranean late-night place to be after a Light Walk adventure, Ideas talk or concert. Head along for nightcaps topped with jazz, soul, comedy and cabaret acts aplenty. Headliners include Ursula Yovich, Paul Capsis, Genevieve Lemon and Trevor Ashley plus a host of special guests. Buy tickets. 

Ask our friendly concierges to point you in the right direction for venues, lights, tickets, drinks and dining options to enjoy every moment of your Vivid Sydney adventures. 

We’re always happy to share our love for this incredible city with you.

Team Amora

Content: Freya Lombardo. Images courtesy of Vivid Sydney - Destination NSW.