Vivid Sydney 2024: Your go-to guide

Sydney's about to get a real "glow-up".
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Vivid Sydney returns for another year of breathtaking illumination. The annual celebration of creativity, innovation and technology will completely transform Sydney into a wonderland of light for 23 days and nights.

Starting May 24th and going (glowing?!) until June 15th, Vivid will be pushing boundaries with its exceptional program of light, music, ideas and food all joined together under this year’s theme of “Vivid Sydney, Humanity”.

From the techno trains to the drone shows and where to get tickets to this unmissable event, here’s everything you need to know to enjoy Australia’s largest festival of lights to the fullest.

vibrant colours and light adorn the Opera House and Sydney Harbour for Vivid
Vivid Sydney casts the Harbour City in a dizzying array of colour and light that gets better and better each year. (Image: Getty)


Vivid is one of Sydney’s most anticipated events of the year. And for good reason. The Harbour City, bridge and all, completely comes to life in vibrant illumination for several glittering weeks.

Starting as a humble light display in Circular Quay, Vivid – back for its 14th year – has evolved into a massive festival. It’s built upon three distinct pillars: Vivid Light, Vivid Music and Vivid Ideas.

Vivid Food was added just last year in 2023 as a new (and delicious!) pillar. It’s set to play a key role in Vivid’s 2024 experience.


Held in Sydney’s winter, when the days are shorter and the nights are often cooler, Vivid kicks off on Friday, May 24th and ends on Saturday, June 15th.

The lights will turn on at 6pm each night.

the Opera House sails wrapped in swaths of Julia Gutman's textural work, including face of woman for Vivid Sydney 2024
Julia Gutman’s textural work will be featured on the iconic Sydney Opera House sails for Vivid 2024. (Image: Supplied)


Vivid has an extensive program of events. Each day and night, there will be new performances, lightscapes, pop-up markets, culinary delights and more. You’re sure to want to come back again and again.

Some Vivid Sydney highlights include:

  • Tekno Train by Paul Mac: This one-of-a-kind event will take a Sydney train service and transform it into a moving, sensory sound and light experience. As the train moves, the lights and music will rhythmically align with the train’s speed as well as the changing landscape outside. Passengers will be treated to an original techno soundtrack composed by Paul Mac, specifically for Tekno Train.
  • Global Rainbow: This light show promises to be as cool as it sounds. Global Rainbow features beams of rainbow lasers that fan out from the iconic Sydney Tower Eye, extending the Vivid Sydney Light Walk into the night sky for all to see. While this might be its first time in Sydney, Global Rainbow has famously lit up city skies in Berlin, London, Toronto and Northern Ireland.
  • Lighting of the Sails: A crowd favourite each year, Sydney Opera House’s sails will be wrapped in swaths of Julia Gutman’s textural work. Centuries-old fabric-making techniques will fuse with digitisation to bring Lighting of the Sails: Echo to life.
  • VividPlace Food Trail: This pedestrian-friendly culinary hub, located a short stroll from Circular Quay, has something for everyone. Featuring a wide variety of Australia’s top chefs, restauranteurs and bartenders, VividPlace Food Trail invites foodies and hungry bellies alike to eat and drink their way around the world.
The Opera House and Harbour Bridge are lit up for Vivid
Experience Vivid by water on a yacht or family-friendly cruise for an entirely new perspective that allows you to sit back, relax and take in the sparkling sights. (Image: Supplied)


There are two best ways to see Vivid:

  1. Up close and in person
  2. By water

There’s no denying that walking through the city, seeing and experiencing Vivid in all of its glory is a great way to take it all in. Take to the streets as many times as possible. This will ensure you see and interact with all that this annual light festival has to offer.

However, navigating Vivid Sydney by boat offers a completely different, yet unforgettable, experience. There’s nothing like boarding your own private charter, champs in hand, with your friends.

Or hopping on a family-friendly yacht for a sight-seeing cruise along key Vivid precincts like Barangaroo, The Rocks, Luna Park and Circular Quay. Just sit back and relax, admiring the kaleidoscope of lights from the water.


Global Rainbow beams red, yellow, green, blue and violet lasers from iconic Sydney Tower Eye.
Vivid will have a good balance of free and ticketed events this year. (Image: Supplied)

Yes and no! You can walk around Sydney, taking in the awe-inspiring light displays that the festival is known for absolutely free of charge.

Top free experiences include:

  • Gumscape with Road and Creatures, which is set to light up Customs House
  • Love is in the Air drone show, which will dazzle the skies June 8th, 9th and 15th from 9.10pm
  • Neuron in the Chinese Garden of Friendship forecourt, which will offer a glimpse into the human brain

However, there are other more exclusive events that you will need a ticket for. These events include:

  • Lightscape at the Botanical Gardens: This stunningly immersive experience has been completely reimagined for 2024
  • Wynyard Station Dark Spectrum: Exposing the secret tunnels that lie forgotten beneath the city, this experience unfolds in a full light spectacular complete with lanterns, lasers and light shows
  • Vivid LIVE shows: Rock up to the Sydney Opera House for an incredible performance during the festival of lights. Tickets are selling fast

Other ticketed events include panels, musical performances, workshops, discussions, parties and more.


Ticketek is the place to go for all your Vivid Sydney ticketed experiences. With Vivid kicking off soon, now’s the best time to get your tickets to avoid missing out on this year’s biggest experiences. Tickets are selling fast, with many popular shows already sold out. So head to now and avoid FOMO.

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