Some of you may remember my 2013 Vivid Sydney experience. As I wandered home last year I vowed and declared that never again would I put myself through this festival that last year attracted over 800,000 visitors.
Fast forward 12 months and here I am again. Again, the reason for attending Vivid was because it was a Scou’ts outing and Alfie, well aware of this term’s events, had been counting the days.
With fear and trepidation and with Carl conveniently away at an interstate conference, Alfie and I met up with the other scouts and their parents at Taronga Wharf and caught the ferry over to Circular Quay. The night started well with fine weather and mild temperatures and a good ratio of parents to scouts (unlike last year!) An added bonus is that there was an industrial dispute going on at Sydney Ferries with staff refusing to collect tickets so transport was free.
We arrived at Circular Quay just before 6pm which is when the light show begins. By arriving early we were able to avoid the horror of the crowds that build as the night goes on. We managed to walk to the International Terminal before the light show started and so we were in good position as the sails of the Opera House lit up the night. We stayed and watched the light show for quite a while and I have to admit, it’s a very impressive show. The show has been created by 59 Productions who take the iconic building on a dramatic journey through time – from the birth of architecture and civilisation through to the pinnacle of human and technological achievement.
From there we took a walk over to the the large installations and the boys really enjoyed the rabbits that are on the harbour foreshore as you head from the International Terminal to the Harbour Bridge.
But then the scout leader announced it was time to head back to the terminal as we had just 10 minutes before our scheduled ferry departed. We had been at Vivid for less than an hour. Poor Alfie was gutted. There were lots of interactive things Alfie wanted to investigate and music he wanted to experience and different parts of the city he wanted to explore. When Alfie attends an event he likes to be the last man standing.
Trying to walk quickly in a large group, at night, through the Vivid Festival while making sure no one gets lost is quite challenging. Vivid is crowded! Especially on weekends. It’s impossible to hurry. And in the hour we were there the number of people milling around Circular Quay grew significantly until you felt like you were in a swaying mob that was almost making it impossible to navigate your way towards your destination. Especially as unexpectedly you came across public access-ways that had been blocked off to all pedestrian traffic.
If you do go to Vivid, there is no way you can appreciate all that there is to see and experience in just 60 minutes. I would think triple that figure would be more like it.
As we took the ferry ride back to Taronga Wharf Alfie was very sad. I said, ‘Cheer up; you can go again just with your father. Maybe on a week-night one day after school. How about that?’
And Alfie’s face lit up and he thought that was a terrific idea.
I’m yet to run it by his father.
Vivid Sydney opened on May 23 and will end on June 9.
Sorry the photos are dodgy but every time I took an image I was at risk of losing a scout! Do you like crowds?
One for all to enjoy – for free.