Let there be light all year

Vivid Sydney may have turned off its lights for 2022, but the nightly entertainment continues thanks to a multitude of luminous festivals across the country.

“I think Vivid has shown the benefits that investing in large-scale cultural events can have for a city, and I think its popularity has helped other governments feel safe making these investments in their own states,” said co-creator and director of Illuminate Adelaide. Lee Cumberridge.

Taking place from July 1-31, Illuminate is the latest to build on the huge success of Vivid, topping the three-week Sydney festival with a month-long program of installations and events in Adelaide CBD, including a performance global special. musical phenomenon Gorillaz.

“Human beings are drawn to light and at Illuminate Adelaide we have extended this to immersion, interactivity with technology in art and music,” said Cumberlidge.

Like Vivid, which was canceled two years in a row due to the pandemic, Illuminate’s inaugural 2021 showcase was interrupted by sudden border closures just days after the festival.

But if Vivid’s attendance record of 2.58 million in 2022 is anything to go by, then Illuminate is well on its way to giving South Australia’s economy a huge boost.

“Light Cycles was completely sold out in 2021 and we really wanted those who missed it, as well as interstate visitors, to have the opportunity to experience this beautiful project,” Cumberlidge said of the event’s return in 2022.

The ticketed event, produced by Montreal-based multimedia studio Moment Factory, famous for its theatrical productions for the likes of Billie Eilish and Madonna, has transformed the Adelaide Botanic Garden once again with a grand display of lights, lasers, projections and sound.

Large-scale ticketed events form a major focus of Illuminate’s programming, complemented by a free program of interactive installations, City Lights, that span the streets of the city.

Adelaide’s answer to Vivid is in good company along with Lightscape (June 24 to August 7)which makes its Australian debut at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne after UK and US festivals, and GLOW: Bendigo After Dark (June 25-July 17).

Glenn Harvey, marketing manager for Bendigo Regional Tourism, said the festival concept is helping to boost tourism during what is traditionally a quiet period for the regional hub.

“Glow was established to generate views. Vivid inspired us to find another nightly festival that could tell our Bendigo stories for more than one night and generate views over a longer period,” said Harvey.

“Nighttime festivals are fantastic to photograph as they provide so many amazing moments, and social media plays a key role with people communicating their enjoyment of their visit.”

The impact of the pandemic on local tourism has given many Australian government bodies a boost to join the multitude of destinations turning on the nighttime glare.

The Gold Coast will launch its new Big City Lights arts and culture festival in the heart of the city from July 1-10.

“It’s more on the boutique end of the spectrum, but Big City Lights is also indicative of the cultural revolution happening on the Gold Coast, which has seen significant investment in arts and culture over the last five years,” said director artistic Rosie Dennis.

Among one of the more unusual light festivals set to debut this year is Reef Lights, part of the Cairns Festival, which will recreate the Great Barrier Reef through a series of themed light installations along the Cairns Esplanade and Lagoon. August 26 to September 4.

“Reef Lights was developed after the huge success of the Cairns Festival City Light project, which involved local visual artists collaborating with Sydney Vivid projection specialists to illuminate the façade of Cairns’ historic library,” said the Mayor of Cairns. Bob Manning.

“After the overwhelmingly positive reception, the organizers looked to go one step further.”

The addition features the works of six local artists from diverse cultural backgrounds. Among the dazzling exhibits is a marine-inspired bioluminescence installation and a neon jellyfish garden.

This year alone, Australia has already hosted Canberra’s Enlighten Festival (March 4-20), Parrtjima – A Red Center Light Festival (April 7-16) and Rising Melbourne (April 1-12). June), with light-themed events filling the Australian calendar well into the summer months.

Cumberlidge attributes the trend to the sense of wonder and beauty that lighting installations foster.

“Light is a fundamental source of life, and during the longest, darkest nights of winter, this beacon of light brings hope, optimism and warmth.”


Lightscape Melbourne (June 24 – August 7, 2022)

Watch melbournelightscape.com.au

GLOW: Bendigo After Dark (June 25 – July 17, 2022)

Watch bendigoregion.com.au

Illuminate Adelaide (July 1-31, 2022)

Watch illuminateadelaide.com

Big City Lights Gold Coast (July 7-10, 2022)

Watch bigcitylightsfestival.com.au

Moama Lights, The Murray (July 31 – August 21, 2022)

Watch echacamoama.com/moama-luzes-2021

Reef Lights: Illuminate the Tropics (Aug 26 – Sept 4, 2022)

Watch cairns.qld.gov.au

Perth Winter Festival of Lights (13-21 August 2022)

Watch bfplperth.com

White Night: Bendigo (September 3, 2022)

Watch whitenight.com.au/bendigo

White Night: Geelong (October 8, 2022)

Watch whitenight.com.au/geelong

Canberra Enlighten Festival (March 2023)

Watch illuminacanberra.com

Parrtjima – A festival in the light (April 7-16, 2023)

Watch parrtjimaaustralia.com.au

Melbourne on the rise (June 2023)

Watch rising.melbourne

White Night: Shepparton (June 2023)

Watch whitenight.com.au/shepparton

Field of Light, Uluru (extended indefinitely)

Watch ayersrockresort.com.au/experiences/field-of-light

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