NSW Police are urging residents and visitors to the Sydney CBD to plan ahead and explore Vivid Sydney 2019 safely.
Sydney’s CBD and surrounds will be transformed into a spectacular display of light, colour, music and ideas when the festival begins tomorrow (Friday 24 May 2019). The 23-night festival will run between 6pm and 11pm each night, until Saturday 15 June 2019.
Central Metropolitan Region Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke, was joined by Minister for Police, David Elliott, Minister for Tourism, Stuart Ayres, and Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance, to launch a high-visibility police operation today (Thursday 23 May 2019).
Operation Vivid Sydney 2019 will see additional police officers patrolling the city, including the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, The Rocks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, as well as The Royal Botanic Gardens, Chatswood, Taronga Zoo, Barangaroo and Luna Park, to ensure the safety and security of the community throughout the event.
General duties officers will be assisted by specialist police from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Police Transport Command, Mounted Unit, Public Order and Riot Squad, PolAir and the Marine Area Command.
In addition to minimising traffic disruptions and pedestrian congestion, officers will be targeting anti-social behaviour, boating safety, and protecting property and installations from damage or defacement.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke said public safety is the top priority with more than two million people expected to attend throughout the festival.
“Vivid Sydney is celebrating its 11th year and as one of the city’s biggest events, we are expecting significant crowds to return again this year,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Cooke said.
“Police have been working closely with Destination NSW – who owns, manages and produces Vivid Sydney – as well as other government agencies and event landholders, to ensure each night of the festival is safe, fun and family-friendly.
“For anyone planning to enjoy the event, we strongly encourage you to consider using public transport in and out of the city.
“During the busier nights, crowd barriers will be in place to provide safe viewing areas, and we urge people to follow directions from police and event marshals to allow for safe pedestrian movement.
“Sydneysiders and visitors are encouraged to utilise the Vivid Sydney and NSW Police Force social media pages to keep up-to-date on crowd movements, and important festival announcements,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Cooke said.
“Pedestrians and drivers need to share the roadways and ensure they are aware of their responsibilities.
“We are reminding pedestrians to pay close attention, always use the footpath, and only cross roadways where there are traffic control points.
“Don’t just follow the crowd, remember to stop, look and listen before crossing.
“At the same time, I urge motorists to slow down and watch out in heavy pedestrian areas, particularly where there are light installations or projections,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Cooke said.
Road closures and special event clearways will be in place to safely facilitate crowd flow, and police are urging everyone to leave their car at home and catch public transport.
“There will be additional public transport services running throughout the festival to get you to and from the Vivid Sydney precincts in both the Sydney CBD and North Shore,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Cooke said.
“On some nights, road closures will impact normal bus routes and stops, so check transport information in advance and remember to top up your Opal card as queues at top up machines will be long.”
Ferries have been a popular method of transport for people getting to and from the lights – and with Taronga Zoo and Luna Park included once again in the display – big crowds are expected, particularly on weekends.
“If you’re planning to catch a ferry service, be sure to allow additional travel time and consider having a back-up plan or taking advantage of the extra train and bus services,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Cooke said.
Sydney Harbour is expected to be busy during Vivid Sydney 2019. Police from the Marine Area Command and maritime authorities will be patrolling to ensure operators of recreational and commercial vessels are compliant with maritime laws.
“Skippers should be alert and aware of their surroundings at all times and before heading out on the water, be sure to check the vessel is in good working order, ensure all the required safety equipment is on board and check special event maritime information,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Cooke said.
For details on public transport services during the event and ticketing information, visit www.transportnsw.info.
For information on road closures and special event clearways, visit www.livetraffic.com.
Visit www.rms.nsw.gov.au and follow the links to Maritime for details on exclusion zones and movement restriction times.
For all the latest Vivid Sydney information, visit: www.vividsydney.com.