From high atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge, we had the unique opportunity last night to join some 120 climbers as they helped (literally) light up celebrations for launch of Sydney's fourth annual VIVID Festival. Battling cold and blustery conditions, the climbers, covered in lights, were just one of the many ways the city was celebrating the launch of the festival.
Of course the main attraction was the ‘Lighting the Sails’ at the Sydney Opera House, unveiling a stunning visual feast of colour, movement, and world-class digital artistry to the delight of tens of thousands of enthralled viewers lining the harbour foreshore.
The Sydney Opera House sails were awash with 3D projections by multi-award winning German design team URBANSCREEN, featuring giant dancers lying and moving across the sails, tiles turning into an enormous hand, and a compelling soundtrack amplified from various points around Circular Quay. Vivid Sydney, which will run from 25 May to 11 June, is developed by Destination NSW on behalf of the NSW Government.
NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said at the official opening event that Vivid Sydney reinforced Sydney’s position as Australia’s global city and as a creative hub of the Asia-Pacific: “Now in its fourth year, Vivid Sydney has been embraced by locals and also attracts growing numbers of interstate and international visitors," Mr Stoner Said.
“With over 60 interactive and immersive light installations – 20 more than last year – Vivid Sydney transforms the Sydney Opera House, Customs House, Circular Quay, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks, and, for the first time, Walsh Bay.”
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) will showcase a world-first collaboration featuring global music icon will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas), who will visit Vivid Sydney as Director of Creative Innovation for Vivid Sydney partner Intel. In a unique installation, members of the public literally ‘play the building’ via a purpose-built interface that interacts with will.i.am’s music and the projections of renowned Sydney artist Justene Williams.
For many we spoke to they were most impressed by the projection on the main MCA building (pictured above), with an accompanying soundtrack that left audiences transfixed on the building for the entire evening.
Meanwhile, opening the Vivid LIVE music program at the Opera House were UK's Florence and the Machine, performing with the 40+ piece Ceremonial Orchestra, and Sydney's own PVT, performing with members of the Sydney Symphony horn section. Highlights of the Vivid LIVE program still to come include Karen O in ‘STOP THE VIRGENS’, The Temper Trap, Sufjan Stevens, Janelle Monae & The Archandroid Orchestra, Imogen Heap and many more...
The Vivid Sydney program is available at http://www.vividsydney.com/
We'll be attending events throughout the weeks ahead so stay tuned for more!