The winter juggernaut that is Vivid Sydney, which last year attracted a record 1.7 million people, has just announced the only logical solution to the massive crowd numbers and made the annual festival of light, music and ideas five nights longer.
In recent years Vivid has expanded across the city as the 18-day festival continued to grow, attracting an increasing number of international visitors. Last year the crowd jumped another 19% – 370,000 people – on 2014’s figure, more than the 225,000 who attended the first festival in 2009. By 2012 the audience reached 500,000 and since then Vivid’s popularity has exploded.
It’s also turned into a major economic boost for the city, with visitor expenditure increasing by nearly 50% last year, from $43 million in 2014 to $63 million.
The growth in international travel packages also soared, up by 6,500 visitors to 26,000 in 2015, including 11,000 packages sold to China.
More than 112,000 international and domestic overnight travellers specifically came for Vivid Sydney in 2015, an increase of 25% on 2014.
Tourism and major events minister Stuart Ayres said Vivid Sydney transformed a traditionally quiet visitor period into one of the year’s busiest.
“Expanding the festival to 23 nights is a significant opportunity for our State’s creative, live performance and hospitality businesses as well as the travel industry,” Ayres added.
Vivid Sydney will run from Friday, 27 May to Saturday, 18 June.