There aren’t many places in the world that can match Sydney when Vivid lights up the harbour city each year, attracting locals and tourists alike into the centre of town. We spoke with the peeps from four of the best spots where you’ll get a look at the lights without being swept away in the crowds. Remember, Sydney lights up this year from Friday May 23 – Monday June 9.
1. THE ARGYLE
It’s called: Vivid Lights, Vivid Music, Vivid Argyle
What’s the vibe: In collaboration with Vivid Sydney, Sydney’s finest DJs will see you transported through space and time, as The Argyle transcends worlds and tilts its hat to some of the iconic influencers who have shaped generations of music lovers.
What does it sound like: DJ sets from Phil Hudson, Yogi, The Owl, Tom Chivalry Dance, Tikki Tembo and many more.
What’s the fuel: L.E.D Cocktails, authentic Napoli pizzas, classic burgers, and all your old favourites.
Getting in the Vivid spirit: Visually astounding and sonically electrifying, The Argyle will be transformed, re-animated and re-ignited, combining design, lighting installation and sound.
Cost: Free on June 5 and 6, $20 after 10pm (June 7 only).
Where: 18 Argyle St, The Rocks
When: 5pm – late
Sign up to the guestlist here.
2. FANTASEA ADVENTURE CRUISING
It’s called: Vivid Cruise. We’re bringing you the best of Vivid Sydney 2014 right on the waterfront! Join us on a grand adventure to see the sights on Sydney Harbour.
What’s the vibe: A special event cruise starting in Darling Harbour and cruising the foreshore for a great view of the Vivid light spectacular. Enjoy prime views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge as they are transformed into spectacular canvas boards of light, music and 3D projections.
What’s the fuel: The boat is fully licensed and you get your first drink on us.
Getting in the Vivid spirit: You will have a great view of the lights from the best possible vantage point.
How many dollars: The cruise cost is $29 and includes a free drink on boarding.
Where: Your vessel Fantasea Escapade departs King St Wharf number 8.
When: One-and-a-half hour cruises from May 23 – June 9, departing 6pm, 7:30pm and 9pm
Grab tickets here.
It’s called: Vivid at BAR100
What’s the vibe: Throughout Vivid we will be transforming the inside of our heritage-listed venue with themed light installations. We will have daily food specials available throughout the day and late-night meals for those who are staying up late to enjoy the festival.
BAR100 has created a special cocktail to celebrate the festival, called Lord of the Lights, as well as our renowned BAR100 mulled wine, which is perfect to enjoy in this cooler weather.
What does it sound like: BAR100 will have two floors of the venue offering different music. During the week, level two will have chilled-out bar/lounge music and level three is a bit more uptempo with fun house music. Every Friday the venue has two levels of live music from 5pm.
Level three features DJ Hannah Gibbs and some of the best Australian female vocalists including Reigan Derry, Michelle Martinez and Sharon Muscat; they perform from 5pm-10pm followed by some of Sydney’s hottest DJs. Level two has live acoustic performances from 5pm-8pm by Angelene and Sarah Bird followed by house DJs playing until close.
Saturdays feature DJs with live elements including bongos and trumpets from 9pm until 3am.
What’s the fuel: Full drinks and food menu available as well as Vivid cocktail Lord of the Lights ($15) and mulled wine ($10). Daily food specials are also on offer, including $15 char-grilled grain-fed scotch fillet on Tuesdays, $10 pastas on Thursdays, $10 pizzas on Friday nights.
Getting in the Vivid spirit: BAR100 is located right in the centre of all the Vivid action. Level two’s outdoor terrace overlooks the Overseas Passenger Terminal where you can view some of the festival’s light installations.
Cost: Free ($20 cover charge for the nightclub on Saturday evenings from 9pm).
Where: 100 George St, The Rocks
When: Everyday throughout Vivid. Monday to Thursday 12pm-late, Friday and Saturday 12pm-3am, Sunday 12pm-12am. Full dining menu available seven days, 12pm-10pm; late night menu from 10pm.
More information available at the BAR100 website.
4. THE STAR
It’s called: Vivid Sydney at The Star
What’s the vibe: The Star, Sydney will light up from 23 May – 9 June, as a new feature attraction in the annual celebration of light, music and ideas – Vivid Sydney.
The Star’s inaugural Vivid light installation will capture “the thrill of Sydney” by combining the technical genius of The Electric Canvas with the internationally acclaimed design group, The Glue Society. The projections will depict the unique range of Sydney’s world-famous lifestyle with spectacular colour and creativity, which will be visible from within The Star, and many vantage points around Sydney.
What does it sound like: The Vivid Lounge at Sky Terrace, the Star’s viewing platform for the Vivid light installation, will be featuring a range of guest DJs on Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm to 10pm.
Following the Vivid Lounge at Sky Terrace, pop into Marquee Sydney to dance the ‘light’ away. You can catch Grammy Award-nominated, chart-topping producer and DJ Dirty South on the decks in a one-off Australian gig on Saturday 24 May (10pm ’til late). The Star’s Cherry Bar will also have bands playing throughout Vivid Sydney.
What’s the fuel: Throughout Vivid Sydney, The Star will offer Vivid-themed dining and entertainment across the 20 food and beverage outlets within the complex.
Vivid Lounge at Sky Terrace, perched atop The Star will be a central feature throughout Vivid Sydney, serving hungry revellers from a variety of pop-up food stations. Fine dining opportunities will include a cocktail and canapО treat ($25) from BLACK by ezard, and Cherry Bar will offer live bands throughout Vivid Sydney, whilst serving City Lights cocktails ($12); a white pink grapefruit Cosmopolitan twist, flamed with fresh grapefruit.
Getting in the Vivid spirit: The Star will be hosting a major light show throughout each evening on the exterior of the Astral hotel tower, accessible from the harbour-facing Vivid Lounge at Sky Terrace located on the rooftop of the Star adjacent to the Event Centre. The Sky Terrace also offers sweeping views toward the Sydney city skyline and Sydney Harbour Bridge – providing a great long-range view of the Vivid Sydney light show.
Where: 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont. For more information or enquiries, visit star.com.au or call 1800 700 700
When: 6pm every night from May 23 to June 9
More information on Vivid events available on the Star website.