City News

Vivid to receive funding injection from City of Sydney

Vivid

The Vivid Festival is back in Sydney after a two-year absence. Photo: Unsplash/Srikant Sahoo.

By SHARLOTTE THOU

The City of Sydney will provide $100,000 in cash funding to Vivid Sydney and a value-in-kind injection of up to $300,000.

The City has proposed that the cash portion will fund the ‘X/Celebrate’ live music program as part of the festivities, which will “continue support of Sydney’s thriving music scene with a particular focus on programming events in the villages”. The value-in-kind component will be used through fee waivers for outdoor spaces, indoor venue hire, provision of cleaning and waste services, marketing support and provision of visitor information services.

The City has described Vivid Sydney as “the largest event of its kind in the southern hemisphere” and an event that “showcases Sydney as a global hub of art, technology and innovation”.

In 2019, Vivid Sydney attracted a record-breaking 2.4 million attendees across the 23 days of the festival.

Cultural sector endured ‘devasting’ COVID-19 impacts: councillor¬†

Cr HY William Chan. Photo: Facebook.

The City of Sydney has acknowledged the strong economic boost that Vivid has yielded in the past, including “over $172 million in overnight visitor spend” in 2019. Council aims to bolster the City’s night-time economy through Vivid 2022, underlining that “the city has an important role to play in the reactivation of Sydney to support a strong economic recovery post-pandemic”.

Cr HY William Chan spoke about the “particular[ly] devastating” impacts that the pandemic has had on the cultural and creative sector. He described grants as “critical” to economic and community recovery and cited “economic losses in excess of 50 million dollars in the cultural creative sector”, which forced as much as “80 per cent of staff to stand down”.

It was noted in the latest council meeting that Haymarket, which includes Sydney’s Chinatown, Koreatown and Thai town would be included in Vivid 2022. Cr Linda Scott said that these “communities have not been adequately represented” in the past and that businesses in these areas were “significantly” hit by the pandemic.

A proposed amendment requesting that City chief executive Monica Barone be requested to ensure that these areas are included in future Vivid activations was unsuccessful. Deputy lord mayor Jess Scully stressed the difficulties of “ensur[ing] that any part of the city be included in a program evermore”, particularly when Vivid is “dynamic and changes every year”. She also noted that to require Destination NSW to “include specific parts of the city in their programming” would “take a lot more than $100,000”.

Lord mayor Clover Moore said it was “wonderful to see life returning to the city and people rediscovering all the CBD has to offer”.

Vivid 2022 will run from 27 May to 18 June.

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