5 must-see light installations and shows at Vivid Sydney 2023


Elemental. Credit: Destination NSW
Elemental. Credit: Destination NSW
Vivid Sydney 2023 is the biggest programme in the festival’s history.

Running for 23 nights, the bar has been raised when it comes to the size and scale of the events activated around the city.

Naturally, the programme includes some spectacular light installations and projection artworks – we share some of the highlights below.

Lighting of the Sails: Life Enlivened. Credit: Destination NSW

Lighting of the Sails: Life Enlivened

This year, see the Sydney Opera House lit up with the vibrant works of one of Australia’s most famed artists, the late John Olsen.

This spectacular celebration of his illustrious artistic career of more than 60 years includes images selected by curator Dr Deborah Hart (Henry Dalrymple Head Curator, Australian Art, National Gallery of Australia) and animated by creative technologists Curiious.

Life Enlivened celebrates the propulsive power of Olsen’s painterly brush to envision the natural world anew.

Dark Spectrum. Credit: Destination NSW

Dark Spectrum

In a world-first, Vivid Sydney breaks new ground with the premiere of Dark Spectrum in Sydney’s Wynyard Tunnels.

Hidden beneath the city, an electronic labyrinth awaits in the abandoned railway tunnels below Wynyard Station.

Visitors stand deep underground, where a secret passageway leads them to a rainbow. Moving through the eight-room experience, each area is filled with a different colour linked to its own altered soundscape taking you into a new time and space.

Lightscape. Credit: Destination NSW


For the very first time, Lightscape, the internationally acclaimed multi-sensory experience of light, colour and sound has come to The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

Begin your journey under our glowing tree canopies filled with colour, stroll beneath larger-than-life flowers and alongside neon roots bursting from the undergrowth, where shards of light fizz through trees like fireworks.

Soak in the breathtaking light works created by the best local and international artists.

Written in the Stars. Credit: Destination NSW

Written in the Stars

Here’s your chance to experience one of the biggest drone shows in the Southern Hemisphere to date, featuring more than 1000 drones.

You’ll be taken on an awe-inspiring journey through the natural world above us – exploring our solar system, from the Sun to Jupiter, with plenty of surprising stops and visitors along the way.

See the Vivid Sydney Drone Show Written in the Stars in the sky above Circular Quay from 9:10 pm on the following dates:

  • Sunday, 28 May 2023
  • Wednesday, 31 May 2023
  • Sunday, 4 June 2023
  • Wednesday, 7 June 2023
  • Monday, 12 June 2023
  • Wednesday, 14 June 2023

It’s recommended you arrive by 9pm to secure your spot to soak in the harbour lights.

Elemental. Credit: Destination NSW


Watch the waters at Cockle Bay in Darling Harbour dance during the showstopping Elementalwhich explores the four elements of fire, air, water and earth.

It’s the largest water show in Australian history, and features spectacular 80-metre water shoots, flames, projections and pyrotechnics.




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