Vivid Sydney 2015 Planning Guide

Vivid Sydney 2015 Planning Guide


Vivid Sydney 2015 brings more action, events, music and bright lights to Sydney than ever before. Last year the festival entertained 1.43 million visitors, and with new entertainment points in Chatswood and Bondi joining the usual harbour and city-side venues, this year is set to draw even bigger numbers of crowds into the wintery Sydney streets.

The wider Vivid Sydney program runs for 18 nights, from 22 May to 8 June. Here’s a quick survival guide so you can get the most out of the best on offer.

(But before we get started, download the new Vivid Sydney App on iPhone here, or Android here).

Last year the festival had two apps but this year the best features of both are combined into one.

With the new Vivid Sydney app you can browse and discover all events, or only events that are near you, you can personalise photos with words and light filters, save your favourite items and much more.

Our UX and user interface design teams here at Pusher designed the app for Destination NSW in October last year (and the website which includes a beautifully crafted responsive site with a trip planner and all the info on events about the thirteen precincts across Sydney).

So, have you downloaded it yet? Or are you on the Vivid Sydney site? Ok then – let’s start planning.

Vivid Sydney 2015 by Pusher Syndey


There’s an eclectic mix of music as always, with the formidable Grace Jones at Carriageworks, Morrissey and Daniel Johns at Sydney Opera House and Hoodoo Gurus at the Powerhouse Museum. Time for one show only? Go check out Graphic designer and DJ Steele Bonus as he presents his show Odd Waves at Freda’s in Chippendale or go the Sydney Opera House website and book something from there.

The Argyle is also getting into the act next week (near our offices…) with a themed party  – Fractured Fantasies: Discovery – including the Daft Punk tribute show. And Vivid inspired cocktails. Are Daft Punk going to be there? Probably not.

Vivid Sydney The Argle


Global leaders in design and technology will make up some of the  many Vivid Ideas events with talks from Mad Men series creator Matthew Weiner and Grammy-winning designer Stefan Sagmeister. Not to be missed is Chris Fox, a public space artist who creates playful installations, which tease out new meanings from everyday objects and shapes. With a background in architecture he designs sculptures, displaying a keen awareness of the spaces they occupy.

There are so many talks so the easiest way to shortlist what you want to see is to use the ‘Add to My Vivid’ feature under each speaker’s bios on the site which adds the event into a personalised planning calendar. You can do this through the app as well.

Vivid Sydney App by Pusher Sydney


Sydney is becoming more about food every day. New small bars, wine bars, concept restaurants and eateries continue to open at every corner – but getting a booking at a new joint is difficult. During Vivid, The InterContinental Sydney is holding a three-course historic laneway dinner with guests heading up to Club InterContinental on the level 31 for the Vivid Harbour Lights parade. If it’s a pay week, (and if you’re quick!) you might still be able to get a table. While down near Luna Park at Milsons Point, diners can get to see the Lighting of the Sails in class by dining at Aqua Dining. Again, bring your monthly earnings if you are planning to foot the bill.

Other dining experiences (get in quick) include Sydney’s only island restaurant, Fort Denison, which will hold a food event called De-LIGHTS on Friday and Saturday nights, and on the Sunday of the long weekend.

Away from the Harbour try Fratelli Paradiso, Mary’s on Castlereagh Street for best in show burgers, or pop-up trucks like Jafe Jaffles, Eat Art Truck – and you bet there’ll be a Gelato Messina truck or stall worth checking out too. Kids will love their bright swirls of Gelato as much as the city lights (even in the middle of Sydney winter Gelato is a hit).

The Vivid Sydney Facebook page will keep you up to date if you join the 266,000 existing fans who are hungry for updates. In our neighbourhood, Cruise Bar is doing something new after a recent refurbishment. You can check out the details here. There’s also a few food pictures popping up in the social content wall on the site (and sure to be a lot more once Sydney’s food trucks open and all the Instagram hashtags feed through).


Transport & Getting Around

Whether you’re in a car, cab, or on foot, Sydney traffic can be a bit of a snarl.

During the festival there’s a number of road closures that are listed on the site. The best way to get around is by grabbing an Opal pass and jumping on a bus, train, ferry or taking advantage of Sydney’s light rail.

The new Vivid attractions in Chatswood, Central Park and the University of Sydney are close to transport links. With the app in hand you can tap ‘What’s On’ when in the map view and can also choose walking trails to destinations located by tapping on ‘Near Me’.



The Interactivity

Vivid Sydney is always surprising and delighting to embrace if there are new things to play with. This year members of the public will be able to paint the city skyline with the tap of a button thanks to the pioneering work of a Kingsgrove production company, 32 Hundred Lighting. 32 Hundred Lighting are awesome, and we’ve worked with the before producing experimental lighting effects for some of their work across Sydney’s biggest music festivals held in the Domain. This year they’re behind a new installation, ‘Paint the Town’, which will see Circular Quay transformed into a panorama of colour thanks to a touchscreen panel located at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. The public will be able to choose colours for each of the buildings and select from a range of treatments as an overlay.

“The whole idea is you get to decide what you can do then we have some treatments that you can overlay on it, like animation,” said Ian Reed, who is behind the installation.

Ian Reed Vivid Sydney

We love the idea and will be celebrating with a few installations at Pusher Sydney HQ (check back on this blog in two-week’s time).

There’s also a thing called Light Origami at Circular Quay which invites viewers to explore the nature of reality by entering a giant 3D kaleidoscope, and ‘Dolly’ which is an installation made entirely from crochet by artist Tina Fox. Take a walk on the Campbell’s Cove trail to check it out. The full list of trails are on the site and app.

Vivid Sydney Dolly

Toby Knyvett from Glebe has created what is probably the smallest Vivid interactive ­sculpture – designed to be fun and easy to learn. Named ‘Beatdice’ the sculpture can access diverse musical sounds and rhythms ranging from the viola to break beats.

As people “play” the beatdice and mix the sounds, the installation responds visually by creating a pulsating light artwork. The beatdice are easy to master and require no musical experience and will be located at First Fleet Park, Circular Quay, from May 22 to June 8, 6pm to midnight.

Everything Else

So much to do.

Here’s some very helpful Official Vivid Sydney 2015 guides you can access on your phone while on the ferry:

Official Program Guide

All the guides.

Handy Vivid Sydney Map.

The Guide to What’s Happening in Chatswood (new this year)

If you sign-in to the ‘My Vivid’ section on the site there is also a very handy feature that recommends music, events and speakers for you. By setting up a personalised experience on the site by connecting with Facebook (or by submitting your details) the recommendations are pretty good and it’s another good way to navigate and build a plan.


What’s so great about it?

Ten years ago we shared an office space with Creative Director of Vivid Sydney, Ignatius Jones. Known for overseeing the Opening Ceremony of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo and the ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Jones is an interesting character. Dedicated, a little eclectic. A safe pair of hands for another of the world’s largest live multi-sensory experiences.

“You just see the street full of happy people,” Ignatius said in an interview the Sydney Morning Herald. “We like to say that we show up the city in a different light – it’s a terrible pun.”

From a local’s perspective, and from someone who is into sensory experiences, visual eye-candy, pretty lights, great food, and fresh thinking – getting involved and seeing something is a must.



Tickets have already gone on sale. Get them on the site or through the app, or through Music App by Street Press Australia (available here for IOS), or on Google Play here.



For those digital art directors amongst our readers as you click through the site you can see we were required to design across all platforms and browsers while ensuring the site was WCAG compliant to meet Government accessibility requirements – this site is for all of Sydney, for all of Australia, and is also accessed from all over the world.

Beautiful UI design and art direction incorporating the colourful Vivid branding and dynamic colours was lead by SJ.

Ari, who is an absolute superstar producer of everything Vivid Sydney this year by Pusher also deserves her name in lights for her stand-out management of all stake holders on these high profile projects.

Well done.  Enjoy Vivid everyone!





by: pusher