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  • Written by Vivid Sydney

Tickets are on sale to more than 150 events across the Vivid Sydney 2021 program, including thought-provoking talks, the unexpected meeting of minds and renegade musical performances.
Don’t miss out on the headline talks from Vivid Ideas Game Changers, underground music acts in unique venues and locations across the CBD, plus the invigorating New Horizons Program and sessions at the Vivid Ideas Exchange.
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said: “Vivid Sydney is a bright star on Sydney’s event calendar, transforming the city into a playground of the unexpected for thousands of visitors and locals alike to get out, explore and enjoy the city in winter.
“In 2021, from 6 to 28 August, the glow of Vivid Sydney will shine even brighter with a bumper Music program re-invigorating venues across the city, alongside more than 90 thought-provoking Ideas talks and workshops to challenge us and encourage new discussions,” he said.
Festival Director Gill Minervini added: “The calibre of artists in the 2021 program is a real testament to the fact that this festival is seen as a platform around the world for top talent to showcase their work to a global audience. Tickets are limited so I encourage everyone to get in early to avoid disappointment.”
Here are the not-to-miss highlights:
In an exclusive live-streamed talk, self-proclaimed ‘feminist in progress’, actor and writer Jameela Jamil will talk about Body Politics with author and political commentator, Jamila Rizvi. Revealing how her podcast and platform I Weigh is a place for imperfection and self-acceptance, Jameela will speak out about the importance of a healthy self-image and the need for greater representation of diversity on stage and screens, while tackling the conforming nature of social media.
Magda Szubanksi and Julia Baird will share notes on the role of nature, creativity and community in building resilience and resistance. Together, they will discuss the importance of taking a stand for what you believe in, how to draw on inner reserves of strength, why laughter really is the best medicine and the joy of self-acceptance.
While musicians, cooks and all-round agitators, Briggs and Nat’s What I Reckon will riff on music, mental health and mayhem, moderated by Nakkiah Lui, a proud Gamillaroi and Torres Strait Islander woman, writer, actor and director. This unlikely pair will give each other advice on how to navigate their respective industries, revealing what they have listened to and eaten along the way.
Delving into micro movements and mega trends, the New Horizons Program taps into the forces shaping our society. Experts in psychology, science and creativity unpack everything from the Future of Drugs, Men and Mental Health, Grief and the appeal of Sects and Cults across two venues – the Vivid Ideas Exchange at University of Technology, Sydney and, in a unique festival first, NSW Parliament House.
Parliament House provides the backdrop for a behind-the-scenes look into investigative journalism with the ABC’s Caro Meldrum-Hanna and Dr Simon Longstaff AO from The Ethics Centre in Whistleblowers. The venue also hosts Walkley Award-winning cartoonist, First Dog on the Moon presenting life’s foibles and eccentricities through I Told You So, and film director Catherine Dwyer with a special screening of Brazen Hussies followed by a Q&A with distinguished panellists Elizabeth Reid AO (the world’s first advisor on women’s affairs to a head of government) and Professor Michelle Arrow.
The popular Vivid Ideas Exchange moves to a new venue at the Great Hall – University of Technology Sydney. Hosting over 60 sessions across 19 days, the program includes a range of topics from science, technology, creative industries and entertainment. Learn from the best at these short, sharp sessions that explore the latest thinking and industry developments, including hands on workshops.
Flipping the script on traditional performances, Vivid Music 2021 consists of more than 50 live shows held in one-of-a-kind venues across the city.
Over at Hyde Park Barracks, El Gran Mono vs The Inner West Disco Machine – a day to night dance party celebrating the sounds of Latin America and the Caribbean will have the dance floor throbbing with beats beamed out through two of the most incredible sound systems in the Southern Hemisphere.
Leave the kids at home as reigning underground queen Betty Grumble brings to Eveleigh Works her adults-only cabaret show Enemies of Grooviness Eat S*it, a deep dive into grief, pleasure and justice. Proceed with caution.
Shifting a gear, City Recital Hall plays host to Singular Voices: Kee’ahn with Babitha, a coming together of soulful music and lush melodies from Gugu Yalanji, Jirrbal, Zenadh Kes songwoman Kee’ahn and alt country renegade Babitha.
For more information, to purchase tickets to these events, and more, visit www.vividsydney.com.

About Vivid Sydney  

Vivid Sydney is a celebration of creativity, innovation and technology transforming the Sydney CBD in winter into a playground of the unexpected. In its 12th year, Vivid Sydney captures the uniqueness, vibrancy and imagination of Sydney, positioning the Harbour City as the creative hub of the Asia-Pacific. The festival features mesmerising art displays and large-scale 3D projections from local and international artists, an eclectic line-up of musical performers, thought-provoking talks from some of the world’s greatest minds, and the Sydney Opera House for Lighting of the Sails and Vivid LIVE. Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.  

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