5 events to catch at Vivid Sydney 2019

The largest festival of light, music, and ideas in the southern hemisphere is back to dazzle and delight visitors

The 11th run of Vivid Sydney, Australia’s most loved and most awarded festival, has begun a few days ago, and the city’s lit — literally and figuratively. With over 50 light projections and installations at the 3km light walk, and a diverse line-up of talks, forums and workshops, and musical performances, there sure are plenty of things to see and do. Here are our top five picks:

See how Pixar films come to life

Pixar Animation Studios, the studio behind Finding Nemo and Toy Story, marks its 30th year with a project specially designed for Vivid Sydney. Head for the Argyle Cut in The Rocks to see how a Pixar animation comes to life – from pencil drawings to acrylic, watercolor and digital paintings, and final film frames. You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the upcoming Toy Story 4.

Play at Tumbalong Lights

People of all ages and abilities are invited to play at Tumbalong Lights, the inclusive playspace at Darling Harbour. Jam with others and make music at Alien Visitor; get to know the Milky Way through indigenous astronomy at Under the Milky Way; have fun at the Spaceballs marble run; experience the world through visual artist Digsby Webster’s eyes at See What I See; journey to the moon via wheelchair-accessible lunar buggy in To the Moon and Back; and watch One Giant Leap, an inclusively-made, stop-motion animation. Open until June 15, from 5 to 11pm.

Experience an FKA Twigs performance

After a three-year break from music, genre-bending artist FKA Twigs (yes, actor Robert Pattinson’s ex) is back. Her recent performance in London garnered rave reviews, with The Guardian describing it as “stunningly physical pop”. The Telegraph, meanwhile, said it’s a “mesmerising comeback.” Find out what the fuss about her is all about on June 9 at Carriageworks. Luckily, tickets are still available here.

Party with friendly robots

Hit the dance floor with some of Australia’s latest and most innovative social robots at the third Human+Robot Friendship Ball. Happening on June 14, the event celebrates the connection between humans and machines. You’ll meet DIY-builds, artificial intelligence, pet therapy, and humanoid robots, and participate in hands-on activities and games, too. Kids five and above are welcome. Tickets available here.

Learn something new

Missed the talks of trailblazing Hollywood filmmaker Spike Lee, and renowned therapist and creator of the podcast Where Do We Begin Esther Perel? There are more enlightening Vivid Ideas events to check out. Be inspired by and get some pointers from ground-breaking women in the creative industry at CURVY Creative Women’s Conference; discover the future of work at Unworking, and learn how to create an impactful documentary at Citizens of the World.


Written by

Kat Mateo

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