Vivid Lights Festival: A Volunteer’s Perspective

Vivid Sydney has been going strong for more than nine years with each version outdoing the previous one. What started as a filler event to add a splash of colour to the lean winter months is now a full-fledged part of the Sydney calendar. I have tried not to miss out on any of the Vivid Sydney events over the past years andwaspatiently waiting to see how Vivid Sydney 2016 can possible outdo Vivid 2015!

Scouring the internet for any news about the event led me to their official site. That’s when I saw the section asking for volunteers for the 2016 edition and the thought crossed my mind. Every year I join the hundreds of thousands thronging in to see all the installations of Vivid Sydney. So this time, I decided to do something different and be a part of the hundreds of volunteers who help visitors at Vivid Sydney have a hassle-free experience. Truth be told, I also like the t-shirts the volunteers wear every year!

Volunteering for a large event like Vivid Sydney would definitely be an interesting experience. The days would be hectic and busy. Besides, Vivid Sydney isn’t a day or week’s event but runs for about three weeks, so there is a lot more commitment required from a volunteer. The important thing to take away from the whole experience would be the knowledge gained and the lessons learnt. You get to be part of a major event and get exclusive views to behind the scenes experiences. You may also get the opportunity to interact with some artists,have interesting discussions and share ideas and thoughts.

The Volunteer team was a diverse one too, with people of many cultures and languages coming together. We were a mixed bunch with a single objective of making Vivid Sydney 2016 a success, in whatever way we could. We weren’t assigned to one single location; the volunteers were constantly shifted during their five shifts of the night to make things interesting.

Our main job was to guide and educate the visitors and be of assistance to them in every way possible. Most of them were nice and polite and one kind lady even gave me a pack of Anzac biccies, not that we were starving or anything.She was full from one of those Vivid Sydney dinner cruises on Sydney Harbour to see ‘Lighting the Sails’ and ‘Harbour Lights’. You get the best views of these attractions from a Vivid Sydney cruise on the harbour.

My advice to those trying to get the best out of Vivid Sydney would be to first go and see all the small installations around the harbour first and then get on a Vivid harbour cruise to see the rest of the attractions. There are many Vivid cruise deals and it would be a value-for-money proposition to go with a Vivid dinner cruise as you get treated to a delicious meal while enjoying the spectacular Vivid installations.

Volunteering for Vivid Sydney has really helped me. You get to interact and meet new people making new connections. I got to see Vivid Sydney from a different perspective and managed to get a behind-the-scenes look at things. My certificate of appreciation and Volunteer t-shirt will be among my prized possessions from now on, but the memories gained and friends made will be priceless!

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