Vivid Sydney 2023: World First in Wynyard Tunnels

Vivid Sydney, Sony Music, Mandylights and Culture Creative today announced that Australia’s largest festival will add a first-ever activation of the Wynyard railway tunnels to its upcoming program with the world premiere of Dark Spectrum at Vivid Sydney 2023.

Three years in the making and tipped as an underground spectacular of what lies beneath, Dark Spectrum will fuse a dynamic musical soundtrack with the latest in laser, robotics, lighting and visual technology to transform the disused Wynyard Station train tunnels in a truly one-of-a-kind experience in a venue that has never been open to the public.

Creating an immersive multi-media environment, Dark Spectrum will deliver a heightened visual and audio experience for Vivid Sydney attendees set to penetrate the deep underground of Wynyard’s tunnels and take its audience into a new time and space.

Secret passageways will be lit, pulses of electronic dance music will ring out across eight-rooms, with each space representing a different human experience and associated colour. Guests move through rooms themed to separation, constriction, pressure, the unseen, reflection, the unfamiliar, connection and end with a revelation.

Highlights from Dark Spectrum include ‘Constriction’, 150 LED “pipes” hung from the roof to form an interactive landscape of animated pixels that can be touched; ‘Pressure’, a spectacular array of 50 archways covered in lights and mirrors that create the visual illusion of a never-ending tunnel; and ‘Interaction’, an Avatar-esque environment featuring hundreds of hanging strings of light interspersed with illuminated alien plants that respond to movement.

Presented in partnership with Vivid Sydney, Sony Music, Mandylights and Culture Creative, Dark Spectrum will premiere at Vivid Sydney on 26 May, running until 16 July before touring the world.

Dark Spectrum will be a ticketed experience with entry via Wynyard Park Rooftop between York and Carrington Streets, Sydney. Entry will be timed from 12:00pm to 9.15pm. Ticket prices vary depending on visit date/time; general admission from $35, children from $24, families from $98.

“We’re thrilled to announce this world-first experience for Vivid Sydney 2023. Dark Spectrum is a perfect fit for this year’s festival theme, exploring the intersection between human emotions, our natural environment and the urban landscape and relics of Sydney’s industrial past.

“Diving beneath the surface of what is now one of the city’s busiest railway lines, Dark Spectrum is a truly mesmerising and engaging experience for visitors to explore Sydney in a whole new way. I am excited we get to shine a light on unknown spaces across the city,” says Gill Minervini, Vivid Sydney Festival Director.

Joni Marks, Director of RGL, a division of Sony Music says, “We are excited to be producing this world premiere event alongside Mandylights and our global partners, Culture Creative and delighted that we can bring it to the Wynyard Tunnels, such an iconic setting in Sydney, as part of Vivid Sydney 2023.”

Richard Neville, Managing Director of Mandylights who created Dark Spectrum says, “We’ve taken the latest in laser, robotics and lighting technology, the intensity of a music festival and the originality of an art exhibition and packed it all into almost a kilometre of underground tunnels – it’s a spectacle like you’ve never seen before. The experience has been in development for three years, and the chance to realise the project inside the historic Wynyard tunnels is incredibly exciting as we get to show off a new venue, new technology and a new Australian-made, truly immersive experience that will envelop and overwhelm.”

Zoe Bottrell, Managing Director of Culture Creative Ltd says, “Designing and building a light event for a new location is always exciting and when the setting is so iconic it’s even more thrilling. Culture Creative is proud to produce Dark Spectrum alongside Mandylights as part of Vivid Sydney 2023.”

Vanessa Picken, Chair & CEO, Sony Music – Australia and New Zealand says, “This partnership is an incredible opportunity to see music and light intertwine for a unique immersive experience in Sydney. I am looking forward to seeing this multi-sensory sensation come to life as part of Vivid Sydney 2023.”

This year, Vivid Sydney will deliver the biggest and most culturally relevant program in its event history when it returns from Friday 26 May to Saturday 17 June. The spectacular Light Walk will host the works of 100+ light collaborators and 26 international light artists from 13 countries, with street installations, re-shaping old sights, surprising projection sites and large-scale immersive experiences that will paint the urban landscape. 

Vivid Sydney will be staged across Sydney’s city centre, at locations including Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, Walsh Bay, Barangaroo, King Street Wharf, Darling Harbour, Darling Quarter, Darling Square, The Goods Line, Central Station, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Carriageworks, Taronga Zoo and more.

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