It’s that time of year where the air is chilly, and Sydney’s annual festival of lights begins to ramp up around the city. Vivid has grown well beyond light shows into a two week festival of arts including a full program of live music. So we couldn’t help our selves – here are our top 5 live music picks that you can check out during Vivid 2019.

  1.    Concertos on Fire at the City Recital Hall – 7th June

What happens when you combine a fire taming violinist, an acrobatic orchestra, circus performers and a whole bunch of fire? We’re not exactly sure, but this event gets our number one pick for this year’s Vivid program. Join Sonja Schebeck and interdisciplinary acrobatic ensemble The Freestyle Orchestra – just the thing for these chilly winter nights.


Where:    City Recital Hall, CBD
When:    7 June, 7:30pm


  1.     Cumbiamuffin at Venue 505 – 15th June

Cumbiamuffin is a wall of sound. This 17 person Columbian group brings you the rhythms of Latin America and the Caribbean with the ultimate party vibe. The band has just announced a tour around Australia – no mean feat when you take up half the bus. They’re quickly staking claim as one of the hottest Latin bands to come out of Sydney in recent years and are entrenched in our ‘must see’ list.


Where:    Venue 505, Surry Hills
When:     15 June, 8pm


  1.      Motherfunk at the Vanguard – 31st May

Blending funk with hip-hop, soul with jazz, Motherfunk have a sound which works for everyone. The Sydney six-piece dropped their latest EP last year and have been running the festival circuit since. We’re welcoming them home for Vivid with supports from Kyoshi and Cinta. Not the most ‘laid-back’ gig on this list – you’ll need your energy for this one.


Where:      The Vanguard, Newtown
When:       31 May, 7pm


  1.      Purple Rain at The Soda Factory – 5th June

The Soda Factory has organised an epic celebration for Prince’s birthday, with a special night dedicated to the late artist. Some of Sydney’s finest artists will fill the venue with 6 hours of the legend’s repertoire & all-time favourite tunes. You can expect over 16 performers throughout the evening ranging from solo acoustics to live bands, jams, DJ’s & more.


Where:   The Soda Factory, Surry Hills
When:     5 June, 5pm


  1.   An artist every night at The Dock – 24 May – 16 June

Our final pick is a series rather than a specific event. The Dock in Redfern are incredibly putting on an act for every night of Vivid. This intimate venue is already known as a venue where emerging bands can show their wares, and it’s set to feature bands playing a range of genres from rock and folk through to jazz and soul throughout the next two weeks as a part of Vivid. Go down, grab a beer, and check out some great emerging talent.


Where:       The Dock, Redfern
When:        Every night of Vivid, 7pm