Rachel Bache is an entertainment writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Check-in Desk: 5 things to see and do at this year's Vivid Sydney

Vivid Sydney 2015, Opera House projections. Photo / James Horan/Destination NSW
Vivid Sydney 2015, Opera House projections. Photo / James Horan/Destination NSW

1 The lights

Yes, this might seem obvious - it's the main drawcard of the Vivid festival, after all - but it's not just seeing the glowing projections on the Sydney Opera House or driving across a colourfully lit Sydney Harbour bridge that make Vivid worth checking out. The lights and art are everywhere - overwhelmingly so. Scattered around many of the giant city's precincts are breathtaking sights filled with beautiful installations that leave you feeling filled with a sense of joy and fun.

2 The music

Whether the club scene's your thing, or you'd prefer a night out at the Sydney Opera House, Vivid has it all. This year its impressive musical line-up features New Order, Bon Iver, Anohni, Esperanza Spalding, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Last Dinosaur, Bag Raiders, Kiwi musician Tiny Ruins, and more. There are also music events running in locations around Sydney, showcasing hip-hop, dance, jazz and soul.

For music fans who want something a bitdifferent, check out the Bjork Digital experience, which sees the Icelandic musician curating a live music event.

3 The talks

Imagine getting to hear a talk given by one of your creative heroes. That dream can become reality at Vivid Ideas. Director, writer and producer Spike Jonze (Her, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are) will be giving an exclusive talk about his extensive body of work. But he's not the only one to get excited about - House of Cards screenwriter and producer Beau Willimon and Jeni Kohan, creator of the hit show Orange Is The New Black, will also be sharing their insights.

4 The art

Yes, we've touched on this, but there is so much art on display at Vivid, that it deserves a second mention. Pieces around the city become an experience. Many of the artworks - which include installations from seven New Zealand artists - encourage interaction, which can lead to a heck of a lot of fun. Instead of work being trapped inside stuffy museums, light-inspired artwork is in the streets, on the buildings and under bridges. It's awe-inspiring for kids and adults alike.

5 Just being there

There's definitely something magical about being in Sydney during Vivid-which is now running for almost an entire month. It makes for an incredibly unique way to experience the city.

Visitors are still able to enjoy all that Sydney has to offer - the shopping, the food, the culture - during the day, and then when the sun goes down and the Vivid lights come on, you get to see an entirely new side of this Australian metropolis.

Find out more about Vivid Sydney at vividsydney.com

- NZ Herald

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