A Waratah light sculpture, the floral emblem of New South Wales, as seen at Vivid Sydney at The Royal Botanic Garden
Credit: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images

It’s a only a matter of hours before Sydney once again hits the switch on Vivid, the annual festival of light, music and ideas that each year illuminates the city’s foreshore and skyline alike, and which last year attracted some 2.3 million visitors.

Don’t be distracted by the lights though, impressive though they may be in scale and ambition across a number of the city’s key precincts, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, Taronga Zoo, Barangaroo, The Rocks, throughout the CBD and around the Circular Quay foreshore from the MCA to the Opera House.

There are close to 500 live events taking place as part of the festival’s music and ideas programs, including headline performances from Fleet Foxes and Nick Murphy, formerly known as Chet Faker, who will present a site-specific in-the-round project titled Missing Link over four nights at the Sydney Opera House. Murphy’s return performances coincide with those of electronic genre pioneers The Avalanches, who will host a Since I Left You Block Party featuring DJ Shadow, Briggs and Sampa The Great outdoors at the Opera House over the weekend. You can view the full Music program here.

As part of the festival’s Ideas program, Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti will discuss the growth of the site from an experimental lab creating and tracking viral content to a global news and entertainment phenomenon. There’s also a strong emphasis on working in creative industries and the challenges that they pose, with a number of panels devoted to examining the roles and spaces made for minorities and women within them. There are also forums on the increasing role of technology in those creative industries, with events devoted to coding and leadership solutions for women in particular. You can view the full Ideas program here.

The annual Vivid festival of light, music and ideas, will this year run until June 17 from 6pm until 11pm (naturally). You can find out more about all affiliated events at their website and preview select installations from throughout the city below.

The Birds of Lumos installation seen at Vivid Sydney at The Royal Botanic Gardens. ‘Rowi the Kiwi’ and her chick emit and pulsate different colours through their LED globe bodies depending on the proximity of viewers
Credit: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images
The Electric Forest installation seen in situ as part of Vivid Sydney at The Royal Botanic Gardens
Credit: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images
The Sunflowers installation will feature prominently as part of Vivid Sydney at The Royal Botanic Gardens, with the flowers bowing to visitors as they pass 
Credit: Brook Mitchell/Getty Images
The Gorillagram installation is one of many giant illuminated animal sculptures on display at Taronga Zoo
Credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
PJ, a 20 metre walk-through Port Jackson Shark installation, is one of the giant illuminated animal sculptures on display at Taronga Zoo
Credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
A pair of giant illuminated crocodiles on display at Taronga Zoo
Credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

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