Vivid Sydney attracts tourists from around the globe. Last year, the annual festival of lights attracted 2.33 million people and with this year being Vivid’s tenth consecutive year, that figure is expected to rise.
The increased number of people poses a logistical and safety challenge to the organisers and Police. Here’s how you can play your part in making sure your enjoyment of the festival is as safe as possible.
(Photo by Kgbo, via Wikimedia Commons)
Avoid Driving to the City
NSW Police advise visitors to plan their routes ahead and are urging people to take public transport. Road closures and special event clearways will be in place to ensure smooth crowd flow, which can also affect regular bus routes on certain days. To facilitate the massive influx of people, there will be additional services taking visitors to and from the festival.
But, if you have no other way but taking your car, be aware that there’ll be an increased number of pedestrians around Barangaroo, Circular Quay, Kings Cross, The Rocks and Darling Harbour. Slow down and spend as little time as possible on the road. Pre-book a parking spot if possible.
Keep Your Possessions Safe
When you’re out enjoying the lights, keep your personal belongings close as pickpockets will take advantage of the crowded streets. If you’re carrying a bag, remain in contact with it at all times and make sure all compartments are closed. If any of your belongings have gone missing, report it to the police immediately.
If your house keys are missing, be extra cautious of any future break-ins that may potentially occur. For added safety, call a locksmith and get your house locks replaced.
(Photo by Robert Montgomery, via Wikimedia Commons)
Stay Close to Each Other
If you’re travelling in a group or family, stick together. It is easy to lose someone among the large crowd of people, especially since the festivals run in the evenings from 6pm to 11pm. If you want to split up, use the buddy system and make sure you can get back together safely. Appoint a meeting area and assign a time frame.
If you lose someone, don’t panic. If they have a phone, call them. If not, think to when you first noticed they were missing, retrace your steps and keep an eye out for them. If they’ve gone missing for a long period of time, get help. Contact the event staff and police.
Be Mindful of Others
Be a good tourist (even if you’re a local). Be patient and let people enjoy the festival at their own pace. Don’t push ahead and be mindful of others – you’re not the only one there. If you see people taking pictures, don’t wander into their shots. Either walk around them or wait. Maybe you could offer to take a picture for them and in exchange they can take yours.
(photo by Ashishlohorung, via WikiMedia Commons)
This year, Vivid can be enjoyed in eleven different locations, including Taronga Zoo, Circular Quay, Barangaroo, The Royal Botanical Gardens, Chatswood and for the first time ever, Luna Park. Vivid will run from 25th May to 16th June, from 6pm to 11pm. Visit the Vivid website for more details. Stay safe and enjoy the festival.