July 6, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: Sydney Opera House during Vivid Sydney 2022 | Credit: Destination NSW

Sydney’s winter festival posted its best-ever attendance result in 2022 and delivered the event’s biggest opening night in its history.

Attendance for the 23-night festival was up 7.5 per cent on 2019, with 2.58 million people turning out for the Vivid Light Walk as well as concerts and talks held as part of the music and ideas tracks of Vivid Sydney.

Over 140,000 people attended the opening Friday night of the festival, with 440,000 people visiting Vivid Sydney installations and events in its first weekend – both of which are statistical records for the event.

“Vivid Sydney put our city’s vibrant culture in the spotlight and drew millions of patrons to live music venues, restaurants, bars and hotels,”  said the NSW Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Tourism and Sport and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres.

“Beyond the good vibes and bright lights are very strong economic benefits from Vivid Sydney.

“2.1 million visitors enjoyed a sit-down or take-away meal at the festival, with people dining in restaurants up 24 per cent on 2019. That’s a phenomenal result that confirms the NSW Government’s efforts to energise the 24-hour economy and revitalise the CBD are working,” he said.

Ayres also flagged a new addition to the festival in 2023.

“The festival is set to offer even more for attendees when it adds Vivid Food to the mix in 2023. Vivid Food will promote creativity, innovation and stimulate visitation to CBD restaurants and venues,” he said.

In 2022, the event, which is owned and delivered by the state government’s destination marketing agency Destination NSW, featured the longest light walk in the festival’s history, running for 8km from Central Station through Barangaroo and ending with projections on the Sydney Opera House sails.