A violent June storm which slammed into Sydney, blew down trees, triggered flooding and caused havoc at some city beaches failed to dull the appeal of Vivid Sydney, which has gone on to set an all-time attendance record.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events Stuart Ayres said more than 2.3 million people attended the world’s biggest festival of light, music and ideas – an increase of 35.4% on last year’s attendance of 1.7 million.
The wild weather damaged some of the festival’s million-dollar light installations, including the Cathedral of Light, a popular favourite. At one point, visitors were urged to postpone their trips to ensure their safety – but galeforce winds failed to blow the fun out of Vivid Sydney.
“Vivid Sydney 2016 is officially our biggest year yet with a record 2.31 million visitors. That’s on par with the population of Brisbane and demonstrates the momentous growth and enduring popularity of this world-class festival,” Ayres said.
“Vivid Sydney showcases Sydney as a global hub of art, technology and innovation and is a serious driver of business for the State’s visitor economy.
“A standout area of growth this year has been the number of visitors travelling to NSW on specific Vivid Sydney travel packages, with a remarkable 88,300 packages sold, up an incredible 104 per cent on 2015 figures.”
Destination NSW Chief Executive and Vivid Sydney Executive Producer Sandra Chipchase, added: “New precincts at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Taronga Zoo were firm visitor favourites as well as the spectacular Songlines projection onto the Sydney Opera House Sails that celebrated Indigenous Australian culture.
“The team is immensely proud of Vivid Sydney 2016 and the crowd numbers speak for themselves. We look forward to doing it all again next year with more light, art and music that will dazzle people from all around the world.”
The Vivid Music program recorded substantial growth with more than 132,000 attendees at the 190 performances staged at venues across the city. A further 54,000 attendees participated in the Vivid Ideas program.
Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
Written by Peter Needham