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Vivid Sydney festival biggest on record

Vivid Sydney 2023
Views of Harbour Lights installations over Sydney Harbour during Vivid Sydney 2023, as seen from Quay West , Sydney.

Vivid Sydney has always been a festival about bringing people together, and this year was no exception.

Vivid Sydney, an australian festival hit its biggest attendance record in history boasting a crowd of more than 3.28 million. The preliminary figures demonstrate another booming year for Vivid with the record participants enjoying light, music, ideas and food programs over 23 nights (26 May – 17 June).

Vivid Sydney has always been a festival about bringing people together, and this year was no exception. Vivid Sydney’s 2023 drone show Written in the Stars proved to be hugely popular with more than 500,000 people viewing the seven shows.

Festival Director, Gill Minervini said “After COVID-19, we proudly raised the bar in 2022 growing the festival’s attendance by seven per cent. This year we surpassed those figures. I’m still pinching myself.

“It’s hard to comprehend the magnitude of the increase in turnout. We’re extremely proud and very grateful to all our artists, performers, musicians, speakers and chefs. Without them, our program would not be anywhere near as successful.

“Vivid Food has been the standout in 2023. More than 190,000 people checked out Vivid Fire Kitchen which is just incredible, with many of our Vivid Food events receiving rave reviews, selling out or achieving very high attendance.”

New Arts Culture and Creative Industries Policy

Building on the recent success of Vivid Sydney, the NSW government has released its first arts, culture and creative industries policy called ‘A New Look At Culture’, which aims to grow the arts and cultural sector in Greater Sydney and regional NSW.

Minister for the Arts John Graham said: “Australia’s cultural and creative activity contributes $122.3 billion to Australia’s economy. In Greater Sydney the creative industries account for nine per cent of the workforce. It should be a bigger part of our state’s story, our economy and sense of itself.

“The principal priority will be to deliver a strategy that aims to grow the arts and creative industries sector in NSW. Our arts and cultural sector is still reeling from the most disruptive period in modern times. Having survived a decade of lockouts and lockdowns, the industry is now beset by serious economic headwinds.

“A vision to grow the arts sector in NSW and propel us forward must account for these impacts and include effective strategies to address them.”

The NSW government has invited artists, creative industry practitioners, musicians, organisations and community members to contribute their insights and ideas to inform a new Arts, Culture and Creative Industries Policy for NSW, with submissions open until 31 August 2023.

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