Since opening, the Opera House has championed creativity, diversity, cultural rights and environmental sustainability on and off our stages. Almost 50 years on, we remain as committed to these values as ever.
We’ve joined a growing collective of global and Australian companies, governments and community organisations working to achieve the United Nations Global Goals, playing our part in creating positive social and environmental change.
This year’s Vivid LIVE embodies these values through a number of environmental, accessibility and inclusion initiatives.
Here are some of the ways we are reducing the environmental impact of Vivid LIVE.
For the first time in 2021, Vivid LIVE will be a Climate Active certified carbon neutral event. For just $1 extra, you can choose a ‘carbon offset’ ticket to help us offset 100% of the festival’s emissions by investing in climate action initiatives and NSW biodiversity projects.
More than 70% of waste generated during Vivid LIVE 2019 was reused or recycled. This year, the Opera House and our collaborators at Quayclean are working hard to beat that record.
Surplus edible food from our restaurants will be donated to OzHarvest, while non-edible food waste will be sent to Earth Power where it will become a green energy source.
Reusable drinkware will replace plastic cups at all events and single-use plastic food packaging and cutlery will be replaced with compostable or bamboo options where possible. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own water bottle and can refill at hydration stations <insert location e.g. at outdoor events/across the site>.
The Opera House matches 85% of its energy use with NSW wind and solar power.
Since time immemorial Tubowgule, the land on which the Opera House stands, has been a place of gathering and belonging. The Opera House carries on this legacy by embracing and celebrating the culture of Australia’s First Peoples and First Nations globally.
Vivid LIVE is the annual centrepiece of the Opera House’s contemporary music program and each year the event welcomes the most ambitious and innovative artists from Australia and around the globe to transform the Opera House inside and out; from its theatres, rehearsal spaces, foyers, studio, outdoor stages and, most publicly, its iconic sails. This year, the Lighting of the Sails will recognise and celebrate Australia’s Indigenous culture with a stunning new digital artwork Yarrkalpa - Hunting Ground, 2021, created by the Martu Artists and Curiious Studio bringing to life the Parnngurr community and its surrounding landscape with an accompanying soundtrack by Electric Fields and the Martu Artists.
The LGBTQI+ community and the arts have always been linked, and since our opening, Sydney Opera House has given voice to countless queer artists and their stories, and myriad of events celebrating the diversity of our rainbow communities.
Vivid LIVE inspires our community by ensuring everyone feels welcome – including the introduction of all gender bathrooms for our staff and patrons and programming LGBTIQ+ events that celebrate the community. Reflecting our mission “to inspire and strengthen the community, through everything we do”, the Opera House is now a regular entrant in the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, with a sparkling float and marching troupe comprising of the true stars of the House – its LGBTIQ+ staff and their allies, made possible by our active LGBTIQ+ working group 'SOH Pride'.
The Sydney Opera House includes dedicated programs and engagement with community organisations ensuring that Vivid LIVE is inclusive for all.
The Sydney Opera House’s Lighting of the Sails is Vivid LIVE’s most public event. Over two nights the Sydney Opera House invites visitors who are blind or have low vision and their companions to experience a personalised live audio-described session of the projection. Taking a front row seat on the busy Western Broadwalk, the group soak up the atmosphere as they enjoy these free events.
Another way we ensure that the Sydney Opera House is open and welcoming to everyone is by inviting Gig Buddies Sydney along to enjoy a selection of the best concerts of Vivid LIVE. Gig Buddies Sydney pairs volunteers with people with learning disabilities who share similar interests to attend events together. The Sydney Opera House is a participant in the NSW Companion Card program and offers a complimentary ticket for people who hold the card and require a carer. We also welcome Assistance Animals that are trained to assist people with disabilities.
The Sydney Opera House regularly schedules Auslan Interpreted, Audio Described and Relaxed performance. A full current schedule can be found here.
More information on accessibility more generally, including the best ways to travel to the site, can be found here.