Vivid Sydney includes AD at the festival

Wednesday, 1 June 2016 12:40pm

Last week Sydney saw the launch of Vivid, which is claimed to be the largest Winter festival of light, music and creativity in the country. Although Vivid is a typically visual festival, this year the organisers have made sure that individuals with a disability, including those who are blind or vision-impaired, can still be involved and enjoy the festival through audio description (AD).

Image of Vivid Sydney Festival logo

This new offering is in-line with the Sydney Opera House recent accessibility 3-year strategy plan which covers all elements of disability access for the venue, its productions and experiences.

Vivid’s accessibility overview

  • Sydney Opera House are including visitors who are blind or vision-impaired and their companions on a personalised, free, audio-described tour of the Opera House’s lighting of the Sails between 6-8 June from 6.15pm.  Registration is essential as there are only 30 places on each tour. Email your details to or call (02) 9250 7175. For more information about the audio described tour of Sydney Opera House.
  • People with vision impairment may listen to an AD for a rich experience of other featured Light Walk installations.The Light Walk installations which have audio description available will have the AD symbol next to them on the website.
  • All information booths are accessible and volunteers have had training to help.
  • Accessibility maps are available for those who require.
  • Water bowls are available for guide-dogs.
  • There are managed accessible viewing areas located at Sydney Opera House, Overseas Passenger Terminal and Darling Harbour, offering a less obstructed view and are away from busy crowds.
  • There is a free, nightly wheelchair accessible shuttle service to transport visitors to the Sydney Opera House concourse, and near the main steps. Pick up/drop off is at Circular Quay, except on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday Monday where it is redirected to Philip Street Sydney.

This is not the first time an event has made its visual performances accessible. We have seen other events such as the Chinese Lion Dance made accessible, where AD was available, and the last Sydney Festival expanded its accessibility to include AD and sensory-friendly performances.

These events are all steps forward in the broadening of accessibility options and help ensure that visually-based events are made as inclusive as possible.

More information

Further information about Vivid’s accessibility

Download the Accessibility Map to plan your route

What it’s like to go to Vivid Sydney if you are blind

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