Vivid Sydney, the annual festival of lights, is set to transform the city into a dazzling wonderland of vibrant colours and boundless creativity.
This year’s annual winter light festival will begin on Friday this week, along with more than 300 events involving visual displays, music, ideas, and food.
A headline event at the Royal Botanic Garden will cost visitors $40 per person for entry and $128 for a family of four.
So, is this fair given the millions of dollars Sydneysiders already contribute to the festival through taxes?
Listen the full episode below to find out:
On today’s This Arvo In Sydney, host Sacha Barbour Gatt and LiSTNR investigative editor Clair Weaver find out the event’s costs and why it remains a secret.
The event has sparked controversy, with people arguing that the gardens should remain free and that Vivid is an egalitarian event where Sydneysiders get treated to an incredible show, whether rich or poor.
The vivid has told This Arvo that it is charging for this event because Light Scape is a new show coming to the festival for the first time.
It’s described as an internationally acclaimed multi-sensory experience of light, colour and sound that is sold out at other sites all over the world,”Weaver said.
However, when speaking about the total cost of the event, Gill Minervini, festival director for Vivid Sydney, refused to answer.
I’m not at liberty to talk about the cost. I’ve given you an answer, and I am not going to continue on this because I can’t give you. I can’t. I can’t.”
This Arvo team has found 30 published contracts for suppliers to Vivid totalling $18.9 million, covering work including traffic management, social media, crowd counting and public relations support.
We often hear how great the festival is for the economy and tourism in particular; we even get facts and figures on that, but we can’t find out how much Vivid costs to put on is a big secret.”
Hosted by Sacha Barbour, This Arvo in Sydney is a 10 to 12 minute daily news podcast made just for Sydney! Listen now on the Listnr app.