Vivid’s opening weekend is its biggest ever!

Vivid’s opening weekend is its biggest ever!
By admin

Vivid Sydney has enjoyed its largest ever opening weekend, attracting more than 453,000 visitors to experience Australia’s largest event in 2023.

Festival goers from Sydney, as well as regional NSW, interstate and international markets, turned out for the festival’s first weekend to experience some of the 300+ events and activations that make up the 2023 program. The opening weekend attendance represents a 4 per cent increase from Vivid Sydney’s previous highest opening weekend in 2022.

Minister for Jobs and Tourism, John Graham, said the 2023 program was all about bringing people together while also providing economic benefit Sydney and NSW businesses.

“It was great to see tens of thousands of families out enjoying the Vivid Light Walk and it was encouraging to see the city’s CBD so vibrant and businesses benefiting from the record turnout…

“This festival is about community, bringing Sydneysiders and visitors from around the state, the country and the world together to celebrate our creative industries, and experience something new from world-class activations and events to diverse food culture and hospitality.

“Vivid Sydney 2023 is off to a flying start but there is still plenty of time to get out and take part in this unique Sydney celebration. I encourage those who are thinking about visiting the festival to plan their visit to the city and enjoy the festival in person.

“There are plenty of extra transport services running during Vivid Sydney. When planning your trip please remember that the best way to get to and from the festival is to catch public transport, you can plan your trip at”

The longest ever Vivid Sydney Light Walk, festival first experiences including Lightscape and Dark Spectrum, as well as Vivid Food, were all among the most visited festival offerings on the opening weekend. Restaurants, cafes and bars benefited from over 120,000 diners (up 5 per cent on opening weekend in 2022). Overall, 85 per cent of attendees purchased food beverages during the festival’s opening weekend.

Vivid Sydney 2023 started with First Light, a moving Welcome to Country followed by a celebration of First Nations peoples and culture featuring Yothu Yindi performing the iconic song Treaty.

Then, at 6pm on Friday 26 May, the bright and dazzling lights of Vivid Sydney 2023 were turned on as fireworks, searchlights and drones lit up the sky around Circular Quay and the sails of the Sydney Opera House were illuminated with the vibrant works of the late John Olsen AO OBE animated by creative technologists Curiious for Life Enlivened (2023).

On Sunday, more than 1,000 drones took to the night sky in the first of six scheduled drone shows titled “Written in the Stars”. Tens of thousands of Sydneysiders and visitors were amazed by the incredible images and animations from the largest drone show in the Southern Hemisphere which provides an awe-inspiring journey through the natural world above us.

“Written in the Stars” will be staged throughout the festival on Sunday and Wednesday nights, and on Monday 12 June, from 9:10pm (subject to weather conditions), and is set to an accompanying audio track available on Cineway.

Vivid Sydney Festival Director, Gill Minervini, said the expanded program and new, innovative events were key to engaging audiences in 2023. 

“Vivid Sydney is the ultimate celebration of creative industries and our spectacular city. The program this year raises the bar and reimagines the types of activations that we offer – there are festival firsts, world premieres and never before activated spaces, as well as the brand-new pillar, Vivid Food.

“The programming is so diverse – there really is something for everyone. We are thrilled that so many have been part of our first festival weekend – the feedback and response has been incredible. There is still so much more to come!”

Vivid Sydney is the largest festival in Australia and runs nightly from 6pm until Saturday 17 June. In 2022 the festival welcomed 2.58 million visitors and injected $119 million into the NSW economy.

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