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About Vivid LIVE

Entering its tenth year

From 25 May to 16 June, Sydney Opera House welcomes the most ambitious and innovative local and international artists to Vivid LIVE—a celebration of music on the nation's most famous stages—as part of Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas. Vivid LIVE is the centrepiece of the Opera House’s year-round contemporary music program.

Vivid LIVE celebrates iconic artists in contemporary music with newly commissioned works, Australian premiere performances, and Sydney only appearances from musical greats within Australia and around the world. Vivid LIVE invites the world’s leading artists, creative collectives, promoters and digital animators to raise the roof of Sydney Opera House's theatres, rehearsal spaces, recording studios and most famously, its iconic sails, transformed into a unique canvas each year.

Originating with Brian Eno's Luminous festival in 2009, Vivid LIVE has been curated by the late Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, Modular Recordings founder Stephen Pavlovic and Fergus Linehan. Now its fourth year under Sydney Opera House’s Head of Contemporary Music Ben Marshall, previous highlights include residencies from The Cure, Yeah Yeah Yeahs front-woman Karen O and Kraftwerk, through to an An Evening with Morrissey, Sufjan Stevens and Squarepusher, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Bon Iver, St. Vincent and many more.

2017 saw a series of special projects that took the program to new heights, including French electronic duo AIR’s return to Australia after nine years, the rare glamourous outdoor Northern Broadwalk stage hosting Richie Hawtin, The Avalanches and Repressed Records’ 15th birthday, the intimate Drama Theatre series, Nick Murphy’s exclusive three-night Missing Link residency, Laura Marling celebrating the release of her sixth album in the Concert Hall and Fleet Foxes’ Crack-Up live debut exclusively at Vivid LIVE. 

In its tenth year, Vivid LIVE continues to take over the entire Sydney Opera House with a celebration of excellence and ambition in contemporary music. Opening up new spaces like the glittering floor to ceiling views of the intimate Utzon Room, returning after a year’s absence to the newly upgraded Joan Sutherland Theatre, commissioning the global premiere of the 20th anniversary performance of Cat Power’s Moon Pix, the Australian debut of Mazzy Star and presenting Solange Knowles at the molten-hot intersection of incredible, effortlessly cool music and credible, thoughtful activism.

 

Explore the lineup

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Curator's note

Ben Marshall

"From the initial inspiring provocation of Brian Eno’s Luminous in 2009, Vivid LIVE has evolved into a significant and distinctive music festival. Now celebrating ten years of excellence and ambition in contemporary music taking over Sydney Opera House, this is the start of something genuinely wonderful.

It’s an honour to present my fourth Vivid Live program, one that weaves defiance, identity, community and celebration with rigorous and ambitious modern music. It was part of Brian Eno’s vision to project art onto the Sails of Sydney Opera House, so we are delighted that internationally lauded artist Jonathan Zawada is transfiguring Utzon’s masterpiece into a dazzlingly hyperreal kinetic sculpture to complete this year’s artistic takeover.”