Inspiration Destinations Australia New South Wales Unmissable Things to See, Eat and Do at Vivid Sydney 2024 

Unmissable Things to See, Eat and Do at Vivid Sydney 2024 

April 8, 2024
View of the Sydney Harbour Bridge illuminated during the Vivid Sydney festival celebrations - Luxury Escapes

Vivid Sydney is set to illuminate 2024, transforming Sydney with boundary-pushing art, music, food and talks. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s event. 

Get ready to immerse yourself in a dazzling spectacle of light and colour at the upcoming Vivid Sydney 2024, happening from 24 May to 15 June. As the city transforms into a canvas of vibrant hues and innovative installations across 23 days and nights, visitors can anticipate an enchanting experience highlighting our humanity. From the Faces of Change display projected on the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the flavours bursting from Vivid Fire Kitchen, this renowned festival promises to ignite creativity across the city. With its dynamic fusion of art, technology, food, music and imagination, Vivid Sydney invites guests on a journey through a kaleidoscope of visual delights, making it a must-see event for everyone.


Playful light with meaning  

Woman enjoying the interactive light display at Vivid Sydney, standing in front of the Opera House - Luxury Escapes
Interactive display of lights. Source: Destination NSW.

See the wonders of technology, human nature and connection as Sydney glows with works from artists and innovators. Interact with Connection, a forest of illuminated ropes pulsating with colour, embracing the idea of individual connections through invisible threads. The interactive piece invites you to touch and play. Continuing the playful nature of art and colour, Australian artist and musician Reg Mombassa will transform Customs House into a surreal display of familiar creatures with a difference for the Gumscape with Road and Creatures piece. Here, one-eyed koalas are displayed beside other beings in the artist's signature style, questioning what it means to be human.  

Observe and be observed  

A nod to human nature and our curiosity to peer into the windows of strangers as we walk past their homes is the focus of a light projection on the Frank Gehry building at the University of Technology, Sydney. Eight performers, curated by Liesel Badorrek, display the imagined lives of individuals unfolding through eight windows in the Window Dressing show. Watch as a diverse tapestry of human life unfolds without any dialogue. Go from observer to observed at the unique Omnivisu installation. See your own eyes projected onto the side of a distant building and watch as you observe the vibrant city from above. Locate the view finder in Tumbalong park and have your eyes filmed before stepping back to witness this unique masterpiece.  


Explore Vivid Sydney Fire Kitchen  

Unique to the event, Vivid Fire Kitchen returns in 2024, in a new location at The Goods Line, an urban walkway that leads from the Central Station to Darling Harbour. The flame-fuelled festivities showcase local New South Wales produce transformed into international barbecue street food, ranging from charred eggplant to aromantic teppanyaki. The kitchen hosts live cooking demonstrations by leading chefs, who share tips, tricks, and insights into their fire cooking techniques.  This crowd-favourite event offers a chance to explore the globe through taste.  

Dine with purpose  

Image of a fiery barbecue at the Vivid Sydney Fire Kitchen event - Luxury Escapes
Vivid Syndey Fire Kitchen. Source: Destination NSW.

Eating well tastes even better when you know it also does the world good. Vivid Sydney is hosting a range of humanitarian-led dining events, including a collaboration with Refettorio OzHarvest, Our Shared Humanity. Led by renowned chef Massimo Bottura’s charity, Food for Soul, the event is designed to bring people together for a unique three-course vegetarian meal made by Australia’s best chefs, using rescued NSW ingredients. Each dish holds a message of humanitarianism, and tickets cover the cost of one three-course meal to those in need through the Pay It Forward initiative.  

Continuing the theme of collaboration, the Vivid Chef Series brings together two talented chefs, one international and one local, to create never-to-be-repeated menus highlighting the quality of NSW produce. Each night brings together two cultures, two personalities and two techniques in one delicious display of fusion.  

Take advantage of House Canteen’s position on the harbour with a view of Our Connected City during the Taste, See, Connect dining event. Enjoy a sharing-style pan-Asian meal from House Canteen’s exclusive dining area overlooking light installations and wandering performers. Feast on sushi, dumplings and shared plates, play games and enjoy the city's extravagance. 


Immerse yourself in sound 

The stage is lit with a yellow display of clouds, while the singer performs for a crowd during Vivid Sydney - Luxury Escapes
Vivid Sydney Music. Source: Destination NSW.

Sydney will be awash with new voices and old melodies as the city becomes a stage for local and international musicians. Australian exclusive K-Indie Music Fest genre-blurring performances on 7 June at Tumbalong park and, in partnership with the Korean Cultural Centre, will see the likes of Sunwoojunga and Silica Gel grace the city stage.

Arnhem Land’s Ngulmiya’s evening performance on 14 June in the new Machine Hall precinct is set to be a highlight of evocative music and traditional storytelling. The combination of contemporary classical sounds and singing style creates an unforgettable experience delving into the reimagined spirit of Indigenous Australian ancestors.  

 Vivid Sydney Supper Club's late-night cabaret lounge, Mary’s Underground, will host a line-up of entertainment genres, including music, comedy and storytelling. Join fellow enthusiasts every Thursday and Friday night for a meal and a cocktail (or two), and enjoy the talents of musicians, performers and comedians on stage.  

Dance, sing and celebrate your way through Sydney’s Darling Harbour as Tumbalong Nights delivers evenings of free entertainment in the park. Located in the heart of the Light Walk, the park hosts 12 nights of live music, starting early for the kids on select nights, and finishing late with DJ performances. Names including Mallrat & Tiffi and Budjerah & Jem Cassar-Daley light up the stage, providing musical inspiration beneath the glowing skyline.  

Discuss, listen, share, and re-imagine 

Two people standing in an interactive lights display at Vivid Sydney festival - Luxury Escapes
Immersive light projection at Vivid Sydney. Source: Destination NSW.

Practice your listening throughout Vivid Sydney’s inspiring series, Vivid Ideas, encouraging visitors to discuss trending topics, listen to others' stories and share their own experiences. Disconnect from the noise of the world and re-connect with yourself and others at The Art of Deep Listening workshop taking place on 26 May in the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens. Educate yourself at the Say My Name: The Humanity Of Names storytelling session on 5 June, designed to highlight the power of name mispronunciations, the struggles of name perception, and provide tools to avoid and rectify mispronunciations in the future.  

Alter your understanding at the Shifting Perspective interactive art and dance installation at Walsh Bay, which invites guests to walk through a labyrinth of mirror mazes. As you wander past your own reflection, take in the amazement of swirling colours, bodies of light and professional dancers. Take yourself out of your comfort zone in A Thousand Ways: An Encounter, located in the State Library of NSW. The encounter is between you and a stranger, both seated at a table, separated by a glass partition and provided a list of instructions. Without ruining the surprise, expect to re-imagine how you are seen and how you see others.  


View Sydney Harbour from above  

View of the Sydney Harbour during Vivid Sydney festival from the windows of Shangri-La Sydney - Luxury Escapes
Shangri-La Sydney. Source: Destination NSW.

There’s no better way to soak up the spirit of Vivid Sydney than with a stay at one of Sydney’s harbourfront hotels. Be in the heart of the action at the five-star Shangri-La Sydney, where sweeping views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge come standard. See the brilliance of Sydney’s glowing Lighting of the Sails display and Faces of Change light show from your sky-high spot, with each room boasting views of the harbour, before venturing out into Circular Quay and the Rocks to find live gigs, pop-up kitchens and thought-provoking talks. Return for late-night cocktails at Blu Bar on 36 or luxurious spa treatments at Chi, The Spa. 

Admire the nighttime rainbow

Rooftop pool and deck area at The Grand Star Hotel overlooking the Sydney Tower Eye, which will display a glowing rainbow beacon during the Vivid Sydney 2024 celebrations = Luxury Escapes
The Star Grand Hotel, Sydney. Source: Supplied.

A glowing rainbow beacon above the Sydney Tower Eye is the star of the show is best enjoyed from the rooftop viewing platform of The Star Grand Hotel. Offering direct views of Sydney’s cityscape, the rooftop pool area of this five-star stay puts you eye-to-eye with Vivid Sydney’s Global Rainbow. The Sydney Tower Eye transforms with a nightly laser show and serves as a beacon of light and colour for the festivities. Having previously lit up the skies above Berlin, London, Toronto and Northern Ireland, the rainbow is a representation of global unity. Once you’re inspired by the colours above the city, head down for a stroll along the harbourside, joining the Light Walk to immerse yourself in the glow of the city. 

Featured image: Sydney Harbour Bridge. Images courtesy of Destination NSW

About Georgia Pearce
Getaway guru Georgia is the go-to girl for uncovering the most fabulous travel destinations! From sandy-white beaches to snow-capped mountains, and everything in between she takes it upon herself to explore, experience and share every aspect of the adventure.

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