One of the hottest events in Sydney’s calendar: Vivid Sydney brings all the excitement of lights, music, speakers, and ideas to the city for Australia’s largest festival.

The family-friendly festival is celebrating its 10th year of creativity, and 2018 is set to be the biggest one yet.

The Vivid dates are set and over three glorious weeks: 25 May–16 June, over 200 events will take place to inspire, educate, and entertain young and old.

Both the Opera House and Darling Harbour, as well as other hotspots like Martin Place and Customs House, will be lit up in their full glory for most evenings of the event, so be sure not to pay those a visit for the classic Vivid experience. However, there’s so much going on, you definitely don’t want to skip some of the other happenings!

The full Vivid program can be found here, but if you can’t decide which events to hit up, we’ve done the hard work for you and put together a list of the ultimate Vivid events you simply cannot miss.

Lights for the Wild

Taronga Zoo

25 May–16 June

219 spectacular light sculptures will illuminate Taronga Zoo Sydney showcasing a range of endangered wildlife from various habitats. A giant Port Jackson shark greets visitors from the facade of Taronga’s heritage entrance while ferocious jungle cats follow the trail to the Taronga Centenary Theatre where a multi-award winning 270-degree animated film experience can be enjoyed beneath a canopy of twinkling stars.

The captivatingly interactive experience will focus on the conservation of our wildlife, encouraging those who hold the key to our future, our children, to get involved in the educational experiences.

Vivid World of Virtual Reality

University of Newcastle, Sydney Campus

25 May & 7 June

No doubt VR/AR are hot topics in our world right now. This interactive workshop delves into how such technologies are penetrating our lifestyles and will influence the way we interact, communicate and do business in the future.

Visitors will be immersed in the world of virtual and augmented reality through various hands-on examples, case studies, and apps. The instructor-led lecture, group and individual activities will aim to enlighten us about the different types of realities and provide us with the creative mindset to plan, design and execute a creative VR experience.

Game Changer: Penny Oki and Laura Wells

Vivid Ideas Exchange, Museum of Contemporary Art

6 June

Penny Oki and Laura Wells are two highly inspiring pioneers who are on a mission to protect the Australian oceans by fighting the war on plastic.

You’re guaranteed to be moved to act when skateboarder, surfer, artist and environmental activist Oki, and marine biologist, model and social activist Wells share their love of the sea, stories, and facts and invite others to make a difference before it’s too late.

Are you ready to become an agent for change?

Tip: Heading to Sydney from out of town? Thrifty car hire has 170 locations around the country, making it easy for you to sort out your ride into the city of lights.

107 Presents

107 Projects, Redfern

2 and 8 June

A taste of Sydney’s raw, independent music culture in the heart of where it all began – Redfern’s 107.

On 2 June Art As Catharsis presents Flow: An Audiovisual Experience, an immersive collaboration by local musicians and artists offering audio-visual sensory feasts for the eyes and ears across two stages.

On 8 June three separate performances will take place in the rooftop garden for In Frequency:

Patchwork Dreaming – a multimedia production featuring musicians, dancers, electronics and a bush-poet exploring the narratives of identity and rediscovery of Australia’s multiculturalism.

The Sound of Spaces – an illuminating performance in which the audience is blindfolded and immersed in a re-imagined sound world of flute, melodica, percussion, and electro-acoustic soundscapes.

Lastly, Intangible Instruments explores the connections between voice and movement interactive works through innovations in performer-led embodied design, wearables, wireless interaction and augmented vocal applications.

Tip: Avoid rideshare surging and long taxi waiting times by booking a car from any of the Thrifty car hire locations in Sydney to take you to and from events.

The School of Life Presents Hugh Mackay on the Good Society

City and surrounds

12 June

Esteemed social researcher and bestselling author Hugh Mackay draws on his 60-year research career to engage us in a timely conversation about what kind of society we want to become.

Expect to be challenged and think differently about the power to have an impact in shaping our future. Expect new ideas and insights about how we can work towards creating a harmonious and more stable society. Expect to feel a sense of enlightenment and a positive feeling towards the possibility that the best way towards a healthy society is through the life of its local neighbourhoods and communities.

Tip: No doubt, Vivid Sydney 2018 is going to be a busy time in the city so get to events early and enjoy the spectacular sights without all the crowds


So, this year instead of seeing your Instagram feed full of #vivid moments, hire a car and head to Australia’s largest festival yourself! You won’t be disappointed.