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Free things to do at Vivid LIVE

The best things in life are free! Make the most of Vivid LIVE 2019 without breaking the bank.

Gabrielle Anschau

Vivid LIVE is part of Vivid Sydney, the multi-award-winning festival of light, music, art and ideas that will adorn Sydney from the 24 May – 15 June. There’s plenty to see and do, a lot of which won’t cost you a cent. From the Lighting of the Sails to free talks and screenings, you won’t be short of fun and free ways to fill in your evenings.


Be mesmerised at the Lighting of the Sails

Andrew Thomas Huang will transform the Sydney Opera House Sails in 2019 with Austral Flora Ballet, a lush and visceral projected artwork of dancing digital sculptures inspired by Australia’s own native flora. It’s an experience that will tantalise the imaginations of young and old.

Popular vantage points include: The Sydney Opera House Forecourt, Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Manly Ferry, Taronga Zoo.

Every night, 24 May - 15 June, 6pm - 11pm.

Be transformed at The Hidden Pulse free screenings and talks

The Hidden Pulse free screenings and talks will take place over two days, 1-2 June in The Playhouse. This free, drop-in event features films and videos by acclaimed international artists from Hong Kong, China and beyond. The programme explores the capacity of music and performance as a transformative force within modern culture, politics and society. This event will satisfy the senses of contemporary music lovers and film buffs alike.

The Playhouse, Saturday 1 June - Sunday 2 June, 1pm - 4.40pm.


Transcend time at a film by Stan Douglas

Be there as film and video artist Stan Douglas transports you on a journey back to ‘70s midtown Manhattan. The 6-hour screening depicts a fictional jazz funk band recording in a reconstruction of the legendary Columbia 30th Street Studio. Stay for as long or as little as you like – no ticket or registration required.  

“As a listener you can come aboard at any point, stay as long as you please (I stayed a long time), and get off where it suits you. No matter how long you ride, you’ve done some time-travelling and you’ve been somewhere global.”
- New York Times

The Drama Theatre, Wednesday 29 May - Saturday 1 June, 1pm - 7pm.

Indulge in moody opulence at the Spellbound Bar

Newtown’s bluesy local, The Midnight Special are back this year with the Spellbound Bar. Enjoy free entry to the Vivid LIVE bar where Dutch still life meets new wave punk. Late night music lovers and Light Walk devotees alike will love indulging in this moody, late-night haunt featuring botanical cocktails, leather couches and a delectable dinner menu. Drinks and food are all sold separately.

Northern Foyer Bar, opening hours vary – please consult the Sydney Opera House website and plan your evening accordingly.


Can’t make it to Sydney for Vivid LIVE this year? Join us on Facebook and YouTube for the live stream of The Cure in concert, Lighting of the Sails, Lighting of the Sails (audio described), and more.

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