Vivid Lights Up Sydney

By Noor Hammad - June 9, 2015
1 mins read time
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Vivid Sydney is an annual, 18-day festival of light, music and ideas. The highlight is a mesmerising free public exhibition of outdoor lighting sculptures and installations around Sydney Harbour and its surrounding suburbs. There are also creative industry forums and a cutting-edge contemporary music program.

Vivid Sydney attracts 2 million attendees each year and is a major tourism drawcard. During the festival, international and domestic travel to Sydney spikes by 36%.

Destination New South Wales, the state’s peak tourism body and organisers of Vivid Sydney have built a strong social following with 200,000 Facebook likes, 32,000 Twitter followers and 25,000 Instagram followers.

To encourage engagement on social and harness some of the spectacular user generated photography posted to social networks during the festival, Destination New South Wales launched #VividSnaps.

Integrated into the official Vivid Sydney iPhone and Android applications, the VividSnaps feature harnesses the device’s camera and a Stackla widget to allow users to capture and share their memories on social.

The official app is designed as a value-add for festivalgoers. Via the app, attendees can discover and explore activations near them, walk trails plotted out by Australian celebrities, view festival timetables and of course, capture and share photos of the stunning light and sculpture activations around Sydney.


In keeping with the “Light Art” theme of this years’ festival – the Snaps feature allows users to annotate custom messages, written in fireworks, over their images.

The light shows at Vivid are spectacular, illuminating some of Sydney’s most recognisable icons like the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. With so many people taking photos of these activations, there is a risk of seeing the same photo over and over again. The annotation feature was included to add an aspect of personalisation and allow festivalgoers to express what the Vivid means to them.

The Vivid Sydney app is configured to tag each image shared with the #VividSydney and #VividSnaps hashtags when a user shares to a social network.

A Stackla widget, integrated into the application via a ‘web view’, displays images that have been curated and approved by Destination New South Wales’ digital team.

Using a web view allowed Destination New South Wales to easily integrate Stackla into the application. Another benefit of using a Stackla widget is the ability to adjust and update the widget independently of the native application. This means adjustments can be made in real-time without having to resubmit for app store approval, which can be time consuming.

During the 2 weeks of Vivid Sydney over 100,000 social posts using the #VividSydney hashtag were aggregated by Stackla – a great social success for Destination New South Wales.

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