With Vivid Sydney running from Friday, May 26 to Sunday, July 16, locals are once again prepping to see their hometown decked in all sorts of eccentric light shows and packed with both live music and talks for the annual festival of lights, music and ideas. And as always, aesthetics count for a lot, with numerous visual elements packed into areas like Circular Quay, The Goods Line and The Rocks.
Yet, as long as the festival has been running, no participating artists have maximised Sydney’s series of (unused) underground railway tunnels. That’ll change in 2023, as a ticketed installation called Dark Spectrum comes to take over 900 metres of Wynyard’s railway tunnels. Helmed by Vivid Sydney in collaboration with Sony Music, Mandylights and Culture Creative, the series of tunnels will be split into eight distinctive rave rooms of lasers and booming EDM soundtracks.
These tunnels aren’t usually open to the public – to be fair, neither are the utilised railway tunnels – so this will be a very rare opportunity to see a part of Sydney that’s long been cut off from society. Expect a program of lasers, hidden passageways, vibrant soundtracks and good ol’ fashioned (civilised) raves.
Each of the rooms will be themed around “the human experience” with pillars including separation, constriction, construction, connection, the unseen and pressure. Construction, for example, will have 150 LED pipes hanging from the roof, while Pressure will have 50 archways covered in lights and mirrors, and Interaction will be distinguished by hanging string lights and illuminated plants that respond to human movement.
Sydney’s installation of Dark Spectrum will be a world-first premiere for the art installation so apparently, the artists involved will be touring the concept around the world when Vivid wraps up.