August 9, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

The world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas has been cancelled for a second year as Sydney’s outbreak of the Delta coronavirus strain continues to yield high numbers of daily cases.

The largest daily case load of the outbreak was posted on Saturday, with 319 newly acquired cases of local transmission, before dropping back to 262 new cases on Saturday.

The announcement of Vivid’s cancellation was made late on Friday, citing ongoing uncertainty and a desire to “minimise the impact on event attendees, partners, artists, sponsors and suppliers”.

“As we work together to contain the current outbreak and get our community vaccinated, we can all look forward to the return of major events like Vivid Sydney that bring us together in celebration,” said NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres.

“We thank everyone who has contributed to the planning for Vivid Sydney 2021. Of course, it’s incredibly disappointing to cancel for the second year but the most responsible decision was to cancel early, giving everyone certainty and minimising impacts where possible.

“The health and safety of our community is our highest priority, which is why we’re encouraging everyone to get vaccinated so we can get back to enjoying COVID-safe events again soon.”

“Vivid Sydney 2022 will shine brighter than ever – our artists and creative industries are so eager to put on a show and we can’t wait to see the Harbour City shining brightly again.

Planning for next year’s festival is already underway for 2022, when the festival will be held in its usual May-June timeslot from May 27 to June 18, 2022. Expressions of interest for the three major pillars of the 2022 festival program will open this week.