Your details


Update your details || || Logout


In this section:

Lighting the sails in Sydney

— June 2011

Associated media

Sydney Opera House illuminated

On 27 May Sydney, Australia was transformed into a colourful canvas of light with the launch of the third annual Vivid Sydney festival – the largest celebration of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere, from the 27 May – 13 June 2011.

Over 40 light installations were illuminated to mark the start of the festival including the amazing ‘Lighting the Sails’ on the iconic Sydney Opera House created by French design team SUPERBIEN.

Thousands lined the edge of Sydney Harbour to watch the first showing of ‘Lighting the Sails’; explored a playground of interactive and low-energy light art displays by a global field of artists from countries including Germany, Singapore, New Zealand, The Netherlands, France, Thailand and Australia; and witnessed FireDance, the largest fire performance ever seen in Australia. 

To celebrate the opening night of Vivid Sydney, SUPERBIEN produced a special 15 minute lighting performance to music, giving onlookers a taste of the 3D mapping designs being projected onto the sails over the 18 nights of the festival. 

SUPERBIEN let their imagination go wild with a swirling psychedelic journey of organic forms and colourful digital sea monsters, taking over Australia’s favourite building. The artwork also includes a specially commissioned soundscape.

Executive Producer of Vivid Sydney, Ignatius Jones, known world-wide for his ambitious major event productions, said Vivid Sydney is a special type of festival, unique to the popular harbour city:

In a world where the vast majority of festivals are held at the height of summer, Sydney’s mild winter nights make our city the perfect setting to play with light.

And what a stage we have for an outdoor festival with Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay and The Rocks the stage for best and brightest local and international creative minds to showcase their talent through light, music and ideas.

Vivid Sydney brings us one of the world’s most iconic buildings, the Sydney Opera House – singing and dancing in a way few great monuments ever could, or ever would.

Around 400,000 Sydneysiders and visitors are expected to attend the festival, which also includes free public events on the business of creativity at Vivid Creative Sydney, and a programme of creative industry business events aimed at fostering collaboration and new ideas with some of the best global creative thinkers converging on Sydney during Vivid.

Vivid Sydney is a major celebration of the creative industries and positions Sydney as the creative hub of the Asia-Pacific region.  The festival is one of five signature events on the NSW Events Calendar.

The full Vivid Sydney programme is available at:


Other interesting content

Read news from the world of art