Police are urging Sydneysiders, and visitors to the Sydney CBD, to plan ahead and use public transport as Vivid Sydney 2016 begins its 23-day celebration of creativity this evening.
Sydney’s CBD and surrounds will be transformed into a spectacular display of light, music and ideas when the festival begins at 6pm tonight (Friday 27 May 2016). Now incorporating an additional five nights of illumination; the festival will run between 6pm and 11pm each night, until Saturday 18 June 2016.
Operation Skyline, a high-visibility policing strategy, has been established to ensure the safety of the community throughout the event. It will see additional officers patrolling from Circular Quay to Walsh Bay, including Martin Place, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont, Central Park and Chatswood, as well as new festival areas, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Taronga Zoo.
General Duties officers from Local Area Commands throughout the Central Metropolitan Region will be assisted by specialist officers from the Police Transport Command, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Mounted Unit, Public Order and Riot Squad and Marine Area Command.
In addition to minimising traffic disruptions and pedestrian congestion, officers will be targeting anti-social behaviour, boating safety, and protecting property and installations from damage or defacement.
Large crowds are expected to descend on the CBD throughout Vivid Sydney 2016 – particularly during tonight’s opening event – when a number of sporting and music events are taking place at Moore Park, all of which are expected to attract thousands of spectators.
In addition, Barangaroo Reserve is also hosting a separate event, with crowds of up to 4,000 expected to attend.
Central Metropolitan Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller, said with large crowds expected this evening – and throughout the festival – police will be making public safety their top priority.
“Police have been working closely with Destination NSW – that owns and manages Vivid Sydney – as well as other government agencies to ensure every Sydneysider and visitor to the CBD can enjoy everything the festival has to offer in a safe, family-friendly environment,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.
“In addition to crowds attending the Sydney CBD to soak up the lights – large crowds will also make their way to the Moore Park precinct to see the Sydney Swans take on North Melbourne at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“There’ll also be thousands of spectators heading to Allianz Stadium to watch the Waratahs come up again the Chiefs – with both matches kicking off just after 7.30pm,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.
Road closures and special event clearways will be in place to safely facilitate crowd flow and, like any major event in Sydney, police are urging everyone to leave their car at home and catch public transport.
“Public transport is certainly your best bet – particularly this evening when there’ll be additional road closures in place that may impact your journey,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.
“There will also be 4,500 extra public transport services running to get you to and from Vivid Sydney events in the Sydney CBD and North Shore throughout the festival.”
For sports fans heading to Moore Park tonight – shuttle buses will run from Chalmers Street near Central Railway Station from 4pm, and from Elizabeth Street near Martin Place from 4.30pm.
There’ll also be return services running from 9pm that will allow people to safely make their way back to the station where they can access a range of additional public transport services.
The rugby is an integrated ticketing event, meaning travel on public transport is included in the cost of your ticket – while AFL spectators can utilise the shuttle bus services.
“Whether you’re attending Moore Park, Vivid Sydney or just visiting the CBD – be sure to have a plan ahead of time. Plan how you’re getting to the event, how you’re getting around and how you’re getting home,” Assistant Commissioner Fuller said.
Ferries have been a popular method of transport for people getting to and from Vivid – and with the addition of the Taronga Zoo and the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney harbourside displays for 2016 – even greater crowds are expected, particularly on weekends.
“If you’re planning to catch a ferry service, be sure to allow additional travel time and consider having a back-up plan or taking advantage of the extra train and bus services,” Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller said.
Visit www.transportnsw.info for all the latest timetable and ticketing information for trains, buses, ferries and taxi ranks.
Traffic is expected to be very heavy, so for drivers heading into Moore Park or the Sydney CBD this weekend, be sure to allow plenty of extra travel time and expect significant delays.
“I urge drivers to exercise patience if you’re on the roadways around Moore Park or the city this weekend, and maintain extra vigilance – slow down and watch out in heavy pedestrian areas,” Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller said.
“There’ll be plenty of action and visual distractions across the CBD, so it’s crucial that pedestrians and motorists travel with extra care.
“With large crowd movements, we are reminding pedestrians to pay close attention, always use the footpath, and ONLY cross roadways where there are traffic control points,” Assistant Commissioner Mick Fuller said.
For further information about road closures and special event clearways, visit http://www.vividsydney.com/road-closures.
For all the latest Vivid Sydney information, including road closure information and public transport information to help plan your trip, visit: vividsydney.com