Despite buckets of rain in Sydney during the first week of June, and temperatures to rival those of Melbourne, hoards of people were out and about at night enjoying the city’s Vivid Festival of light and sound.
This year’s attendance reached a record 2.33 million people who roamed the streets admiring displays in the Botanical Gardens, Martin Place, Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. The evidence is in: festivals invigorate cities.
Vivid, which sees fast-moving lights and images emblazon buildings and monuments from the Sydney Opera House to Taronga Zoo, tempts tourists and awakens locals from their work-life cocoons. As well as reviving restaurants and supporting the new food stalls that sprout up in anticipation, it injects a colossal $110 million into the NSW economy.
“Sydney visitors from around Australia and the world fill our hotel rooms, eat at our restaurants and buy in our shops,” observes NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Adam Marshall, who says NSW is on course to double overnight visitation by 2020.