Sydney hoping for record Vivid crowds

Sarah McPhee
(Australian Associated Press)


Vivid Sydney won’t predominantly be a festival of light this year with some of the world’s leading musicians also shining for three weeks in the harbour city.

The festival, which runs for three weeks from May 26, in 2017 includes an immersive waterfront theatre at the new Barangaroo precinct, giant glowing kiwi birds and an expanded light walk in the Royal Botanic Garden.

It’s the largest festival of its kind across the globe, attracting a “phenomenal” 2.31 million revellers in 2016, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at the event’s official launch in Sydney on Tuesday.

Imaginary creatures by graphic designer Ash Bolland will crawl across the opera house sails from 6pm each night, while popular projections and light installations will return to Chatswood, Taronga Zoo, Martin Place, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Darling Harbour.

But it’s the tunes that are expected to draw the crowds this year, with more than 250 events across 23 nights.

A ticket ballot has already been established for United States folk-rock band Fleet Foxes, headlining at the Sydney Opera House for four concerts in late-May, with electronic duos Goldfrapp and Air also topping the bill.

Australian acts Dappled Cities, Nick Murphy – formerly known as Chet Faker – The Avalanches, Briggs and Sampa the Great all snagged a spot on the program.

Joining them is American singer Dianne Reeves, DJ Shadow, and British singers Laura Marling and Sampha.

Headlining the Ideas program will be American contemporary artist Shepard Fairey – the man behind the HOPE poster that became an icon of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Ms Berejiklian says the vibrant festival will showcase Sydney “as an incubator for creativity, wonderful music, engaging conversations and the exchange of new ideas”.

“Whether it’s bad weather, or good weather, people turn up,” she said, citing the $110 million in visitor spend delivered to the state’s economy in 2016.

“I’m absolutely confident that this year’s Vivid will be bigger and brighter than previous years.”

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