Vivid Sydney is where the significant landmarks of Sydney including the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge are transformed into a spectacular canvas of light and this event is on every night from May 24 until June 10.
As you would be aware, my Alfie is a Sea Scout and as luck would have it, the scout leaders organised for Friday night’s scout meeting to be an excursion to see Vivid. Carl was asked to come along for moral support and he thought I might like to join in on all the excitement.
The good news is that the temperature on Friday was extremely mild and I only needed to head out of the house with a top and a thin jumper. We had to meet at Taronga Wharf just before 6pm and the air temperature was so pleasant I didn’t even need the jacket I had brought with me. We met up with the 15 other cub scouts, a few parents and the scout leaders. For some reason, the cubs were just absolutely out of control. They were over-the-top excited and corralling then into a herd was near impossible.
The ferry trip wasn’t too bad and we didn’t lose anyone overboard and all cubs were accounted for as we arrived at Circular Quay so that part of the night was a success. But having arrived at the centre of this event we realised we were not the only Sydney-siders in attendance. In fact, because the weather was so mild, and because it was a Friday night and because it was a long weekend, it seemed the entire population of Sydney had decided to join us. Lucky!
It became quite stressful as we tried to navigate ourselves from the Opera House to The Rocks where we hoped to show the cubs the visual extravagance that is Vivid.
I was so concerned about losing Alfie and losing a cub that I barely had the opportunity to see the event. My eyes were everywhere trying to make sure all 15 cubs (who should have been on a leash) were accounted for. We wormed our way through the crowds from the Opera House to The Rocks where the plan was to have dinner at Pancakes at the Rocks however they don’t take bookings and when we arrived there was already an hour’s wait for a table so we had to engage Plan B.
There wasn’t a Plan B but we had to tell the cubs there was one because they were so disappointed they weren’t going to be having pancakes for dinner. Could there be any greater disappointment for a little boy! We drifted around trying to find an alternative and ended up in a plaza where there were wandering minstrels, market stalls, clowns on stilts and every visual stimulus kids don’t need like flashing, pulsating lights and music.
We had to choose between a few stalls as to what we’d have for dinner and I chose an Asian wok type of tent structure where Alfie had some fish cakes and curry puffs and Carl and I had a noodle dish that was fairly ho-hum and lack-lustre but made palatable by the fact we could wash it down with an alcoholic beverage and the fact that I had stalked the plaza and pounced on the only available table. (There was nearly a brawl for that table).
After the ho-hum dinner we had to navigate the children through the throng of people that was so thick it was almost not moving. We managed to lose one cub so we stopped beside a cupcake stall to look amongst the sea of people to try and find him and 10 minutes later he popped into our vision looking extremely anxious and ashen white.
We hurried back to Circular Quay where we took a ferry straight back to where we had come from and I have never felt more relieved.
Vivid is a wonderful event however it can become extremely over-crowded. I spoke with someone today who went about a week ago on a night when there was sheet rain and it was exceptionally cold. He loved it because he said no one was there. He had the event to himself and was able to wander around soaking up the sights with not a pram, stroller or scooter to trip over.
As we caught the ferry home the scout leader said we adults should all go home for a glass of wine. I replied, ‘Just the one?’
Vivid is worth a visit however, if you can’t handle crowds or have to supervise hyped-up over-excited boys, this is probably something to avoid.