Today, the crowds of greater Sydney and beyond will enliven Circular Quay, with the launch of Vivid 2019. This year marks the 10th year of the iconic light, music and ideas festival, and with the unseasonal warmth lingering on our doorsteps, our guess is this year’s program will be bigger and better than ever. With the increased festivities comes exponential choice, so this year Backyard Opera is lending a hand. Here are five recommendations for a light show feed in Sydney.
Four Frogs Crêperie
Four Frogs Crêperie is taking Vivid by storm this year, serving up small-town European charm in two prime Sydney locations. In celebration of the festival, the Frogs have developed a speciality Vivid-themed creation, playing into the hearts of everyone with a sweet-tooth: a white chocolate Tim Tam, homemade berry coulis and chocolate ice cream crepe. If you’re more of a savoury type then worry not – Four Frogs has their regular selection of over 50 types of crepes and galettes, meaning there’s something for everyone. Crowd favourites include their classic galette (bacon, egg, Swiss cheese), classic crêpe (Nutella and strawberries), crêpe on fire (flambee with Grand marnier) and the salad galette (buckwheat galette with goat cheese, pine nuts, figs and cherry tomatoes). To make things even better, the savvy Frenchman have created a homemade mulled cider for the occasion, made with Kerisac French Cider, orange, cinnamon, lemon juice and Grand Marnier. Crêpes start at $7 a pop, dine-in or takeaway, so grab a piping hot cup of cider and dig in.
Four Frogs Crêperie
A coveted harbour-side spot comes in handy this time of year, and Bar Patrón is making the most of it, serving up the perfect light show dining. If flashy-fancy Mexican fare and outstanding bridge views are your thing then Bar Patrón is the place for you, providing a curated selection of their finest share-style dishes in a specially-designed Vivid set menu. Tostadas, salads, tacos and more can be all yours for only $35 a head, available between 5-6pm daily. If you’re planning to kick things off early then head down to Bar Patrón for happy hour and start yourself off with half-price classic margaritas ($10) and complimentary totopos (corn chips) – a deal which runs from 4-6pm daily. Bar Patrón is open from noon til midnight daily, so if you don’t make it down in time for the menu and margaritas then swing by post-lights to ogle the view some more.
2 Phillip St
Mon- Sun, 12pm – 12am
The Glenmore is what Vivid dreams are made of and the bar is an age-old classic. On May 23, The Glenmore is hosting their annual Winter Party, celebrating the slide into colder weather with a 70s disco winter wonderland. $10 espresso martinis on tap, glow in the dark beer jugs and DJ SA May will be just part of what makes this event so memorable. This year, The Glenmore will not only be a party destination but a stop along the way, as for the first time the bar will have its very own in-venue lightshow. A collaboration with UTS’s animation students has meant a selection of curated clips will be projected on the rooftop sails, pairing art and expression with good spirits and great views. Themes for the animations include ‘wabi-sabi’ (the Japanese worldview centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection) and ‘inside out,’ and the interpretations are diverse, creative and colourful. With panoramic views of Sydney harbour, The Glenmore is one of the best spots to see Vivid from above. Just try to get there early to secure a spot!
96 Cumberland St
Sun – Thurs, 11am – 12am
Fri – Sat, 11am – 1am
HMAS Royal Archie
If you’re one to get right into the thick of it, then the Royal Botanic Gardens is the place to do it. This year’s Vivid program will include 15 light installations in the gardens. Including a field of fireflies and giant blades of grass, to a river of light and a giant satellite – in short, the Gardens will be lit up like a Christmas tree. After you’ve finished exploring you’ll need a little pick-me-up, which is where the seafaring pop-up bar comes into play. HMAS Royal Archie is an aptly themed partnership with Archie Rose Gin, and the result is a selection of delectable bottled cocktails, such as the Harbour Rose – featuring vodka, watermelon, citrus, and pink lustre. The rustic fisherman’s wharf-style bar will be serving up a range of nautical dishes like fish chowder, lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, beef and potato (or vegetable) pot pie, and fish and chip. The eerily lit, marine-style bar is sure to transport you back in time…all the while holding a glowing blue gin cocktail.
HMAS Royal Archie
May 24 – June 15
6 - 11pm
Entry via the Queen Elizabeth II Gate at the Sydney Opera House Forecourt
Fratelli Fresh is an age-old favourite, and regardless of when or why you go, you’re sure to have a cracking time. This year, to make me love them even more, they’re offering a too-good-to-be-true Vivid deal, which will kick-start your illuminated exploration of the harbour in just the right way. Taking place in Bridge Street, Walsh Bay and Darling Harbour locations, between 5-6pm you can order any dish from the à la carte menu or classic pasta or pizza menu, add a glass of red or white wine and a scoop of house-made gelato, for just $20. That’s right. Dinner, a drink and dessert for $20, right in the heart of the city. It’s a Vivid miracle. If you’re eager to get out and about then why not opt for the Darling Harbour location, where the cheese wheel pasta dish, pizza and gelato will be available for takeaway on Friday and Saturday nights. To make the sell even sweeter, Fratelli’s regular ‘5 for $5’ happy hour will continue between 3-6pm, extending the happiness from afternoon to late.
Mon – Sun, 7am – 12am