sydney’s winter festival of light: vivid sydney 2011

[Check out my quick guide to Vivid Sydney 2012 here]

It’s back! Vivid Sydney, the festival of light, music and ideas is back for its third year in 2011.

Did you know that Vivid Sydney was initially established to get Sydneysiders out of the house and into the City in the Wintertime? Now it has become an annual spectacle that many look forward to.

After a spectacular first year in 2009, and a somewhat disappointing showing last year, hopefully 2011 will bring back the original freshness and excitement that characterised its first year.

Where: Sydney CBD, focused around Circular Quay and The Rocks

When: 27 May 2011 to 13 June 2011

Light Sculptures
From 6pm every night, over 40 sculptures around Circular Quay and The Rocks will awaken your senses including “an enormous sketchpad where you can draw your own light art, a giant crystal spiderweb shimmering in the dark (located in The Rocks), a social network of friendly fireflies (located near the Overseas Passenger Terminal) that that react to torch light and a group of rainbow life-size men (near Dendy Cinemas)”.

New this year, over 200 shopfronts across the city will be illuminated, as will several prominent city skyscrapers. The facades of the AMP building, Circular Quay station, Gateway, Sydney Harbour Marriott and Four Seasons Hotel Sydney will form a giant canvas for a regular 20 minute light show.

Along the western forecourt of Circular Quay at Vivid Sydney 2011 (Events NSW)

The official map for the Walk of Light had been released. Find it here inside the Vivid Sydney official program (PDF document). [link updated]

From my personal experience, the walk can be done within 2 hours. I recommend beginning at Campbell’s Cove and working backwards along the numbers to the Opera House. Don’t forget the hopscotch near Dendy Cinemas, which is a lighted staircase controlled with sensors. It’s a hidden treat that many people walk past.

Hopscotch at Vivid Sydney 2011 (Flickr)

Customs House
Art image projection will transform Customs House into “glass, mercury, paper and water” with a series of 3D mapped animation sequences. I have to say that this was truly awesome and is a must see. The projection cycle lasts for about 10 minutes.

Customs House in 3D at Vivid Sydney 2011 (Flickr)

Lighting the Sails
Many consider the illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails to be the highlight of the festival. This year, Superbien, the French curator and his team is expected to push lighting of the sails to a new dimension.

They have not disappointed this year. The Opera House becomes the backdrop for a vibrant animated light show. You must check it out.

Lighting the sails of the Opera House at Vivid Sydney 2011 (Events NSW)

If you can’t make it in person to see the Opera House during Vivid Sydney, here is a quick time lapse of this year’s Lighting of the Sails.

FireDance at Campbell’s Cove
Forty flame projectors controlled by the electronics used to synchronise Sydney’s new year’s eve celebrations will be employed to produce Sydney’s largest and most complex fire show. Be sure to sit near the front to feel the heat as flames shoot over 10 metres into the air.

The show will happen five times a night on the hour from 7pm. There are two FireDance different shows set to Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ and Stravinsky’s Firebird suite that will play back to back throughout the night.

FireDance at Vivid Sydney 2011 (Flickr)

Vivid LIVE at the Sony Lounge
The Sony Lounge on the western forecourt of the Sydney Opera House will be the centre of Vivid LIVE, the musical element of Vivid Sydney.

The line up for Vivid Live includes 2manydjs, Architecture in Helsinki, The Avalanches, Azari & III, Bat for Lashes, Chris Cunningham, Club Kooky, The Crystal Ark, Cut Copy, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Leave Them All Behind, OFWGKTA, Sneaky Sunday, Sonny Rollins, Spiritualized, Tame Impala, Tom Kuntz, Wu Lyf and Yo Gabba Gabba. Also this year, Vivid LIVE will collaborate with Triple J to take the festival around Australia.

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One response to “sydney’s winter festival of light: vivid sydney 2011

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