After a standout festival last year, Vivid Sydney returns in 2023 from 26 May to 17 June. This year marks a number of firsts for the stellar festival, including a headline appearance by The White Lotus star Jennifer Coolidge and the creator Mike White.
The TV megastars will be headlining this year’s festival for one night only in Mike White & Jennifer Coolidge in Conversation, an exclusive event part of the festival’s Vivid Ideas section. Taking place on Saturday 10 June and moderated by Benjamin Law, the stars will sit down to discuss their career highs and lows and share stories from their decades in Hollywood.
Coolidge took to Instagram to share the “exciting news.”
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Must-see events and exhibitions at Vivid Sydney 2023
This year’s festival also introduces a brand-new pillar, Vivid Food, and the largest drone show in the Southern Hemisphere.
“There are world-firsts and festival-firsts, and both free and ticketed events to make the festival accessible to everyone. Audiences should be prepared to be blown away by the calibre of talent and a program that has been inspired by the beauty and diversity of nature,” says Vivid Sydney Festival Director Gill Minervini.
“Vivid Sydney’s 2023 program is a celebration of authenticity, an invitation to connect, and a chance to create. You do not want to miss Vivid Sydney 2023.”
This year’s theme is ‘Vivid Sydney, Naturally’, with all 300+ events across the pillars Ideas, Light, Music and Food taking inspiration from Mother Nature.
The cornerstone of the festival, Vivid Light sees local and international artists push the boundaries to create more than 50 mesmerising light works. The work of famed Australian artist John Olsen will be brought to life at the Lighting of the Sails at Sydney Opera House.
Vivid House returns after its successful 2022 debut, which sees 360-degree immersive art take over the Cutaway in Barangaroo. The Last Ocean is the largest installation of the festival which can be found at Stargazer Lawn, and Wild Lights at Taronga Zoo brings magical animal light sculptures to the city’s zoo. Customs House will be transformed with hand-drawn wallpaper for Inside Out and Dandelion will see 4,000 kilograms of steel turned into flower petals at Circular Quay.
Not to be missed is the drone show Written in the Stars, which will feature more than 1000 drones taking onlookers on a journey through the solar system. Bringing together dance and light, Dance Together sees three giant light rings lit an ethereal soundscape where visitor’s are invited to dance.
Lightscape transforms The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney into a spellbinding 2 kilometre journey through a multi-sensory world.
For the first time in the festival’s history, Vivid Sydney will host a special food program. The Vivid Sydney Dinner promises to be a spectacular night of immersive cuisine, art and entertainment, led by renowned chefs Ben Greeno and Danielle Alvarez.
Indulge in mouthwatering dishes from BBQ pitmasters at Vivid Fire Kitchen, featuring three weeks of delicious street food, restaurant and pop-up offerings. The Carriageworks Night Market is a one-night-only event featuring 50 restaurants, bars and producers and HERE NOW sees Mary’s Underground and Macquarie Place come alive with masterclasses in food and wine.
Vivid Residence sees an internationally acclaimed chef (soon to be announced) taking up residence at Sydney restaurant for an unmissable dinner event.
The world’s brightest minds and storytellers join Vivid Ideas with 60 events. British author Jeanette Winterson explores humanity, sexuality, religion and nature vs nurture at the Sydney Town Hall and NOCTURNE takes audiences on a one-of-a-kind sonic journey through hidden streets and laneways.
Could the Ocean be the Solution? sees academic minds exploring innovating solutions and cutting-edge technology to help clean the oceans and Skin Deep delves into the debate about designer bodies and the shifting foundations of what is normal or natural.
A feast of the ears as well as the eyes, Vivid Music features a stellar line-up of First Nations artists, indie stars, pop icons and cabaret performers take to stages across the city. A Bend in the River: A Celebration of the Life & Music of Archie Roach celebrates the legacy of the late Archie Roach AC at Sydney Town Hall with tribute performances from the likes of Paul Kelly, Emma Donovan, Dan Sulta and Kutcha Edwards.
Head to Tumbalong Park for triple J’s celebration of 15 Years of Unearthed High, featuring LASTLINGS, Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers, JACOTÉNE and Arno Faraji. Mary’s Underground becomes an intimate cabaret lounge for Vivid Sydney Supper Club and DJs At The Goods Line is the spot to go for an evening boogie.
Vivid Sydney runs from 26 May to 17 June. See the full program at vividsydney.com