Share and Follow
Vivid pushed ahead with a decision to charge visitors a fee for one of its attractions despite political leaders condemning the move in the lead-up to the annual event.
The event known as Lightscape is on offer to Sydneysiders at the Royal Botanic Gardens as part of this year’s Vivid light festival.
Vivid Sydney says the reason for a paid ticketed event is because it is a ‘unique experience’ with the event’s programmers previously running the show as paid events in Perth and Melbourne as well as abroad.
Individual tickets for adults during peak times, which are Wednesday to Sunday, are $40, while a whole family will have to fork out $128, and children get in for $28.
The fees have outraged NSW Premier Chris Minns, Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore and Independent MP Alex Greenwich who say it causes a class divide.
Political leaders have spoken out about the absurd price of Vivid’s premier attraction ‘Liightscape’ as causing a divide between the regions upper and lower class
The event known as Lightscape is on offer to Sydneysiders as part of this year’s Vivid at the Royal Botanic Gardens
Mr Minns said the decision to charge was made by his predecessor Dominic Perrottet and admitted it was costly.
‘It is a decision made by the previous government,’ he said. ‘I understand that’s a big hit for a family, over $120.’
Ms Moore believes the organisers should not be making money from the lights as it creates a class system between who can and who cannot afford to visit Sydney.
‘The Vivid Festival was created with the aim of attracting people to the city during the quieter winter months,’ she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘To monetise entertainment means to create a class system where some people can afford to visit Sydney, and some cannot.’
Mr Greenwich, whose seat encompasses the Botanic Garden, said charging a fee means the event isn’t welcoming to all.
‘I’m increasingly concerned about events that used to be free on public land suddenly becoming ticketed,’ Mr Greenwich said.
‘We’ve got to really watch that as we continue to deal with the cost of living crisis, that we don’t become an “us and them” city with public events that only people who can afford to pay for can attend.’
Those who buy at the box office on the day will also be hit with an extra $4 per ticket with children under the age of two getting in for free, and members receiving a $4 discount.
It is the first time people have had to pay to see the lights at the heritage-listed location which was part of the show from 2016 to 2019.
The garden will shut to the public at 5pm and reopen for Lightscape ticket holders at 5.30pm.
The ‘internationally acclaimed’ event is set to ‘wow’ visitors, according to the website.
‘Originally created more than a decade ago, it has become an international sensation, selling out all over the world,’ the description reads.
‘This experience has been developed to enhance the appreciation of Botanic Gardens and the horticultural collections which they hold, allowing you the opportunity to embark on a uniquely curated sensory journey through light and sound, transporting you through the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney like you’ve never seen before, in all its wonder, after the gates would normally be closed.’
Aussies have been shocked at the price of tickets for the light display (pictured)
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore believes the organisers should not be making money from the lights as it creates a class system between who can and who cannot afford to visit Sydney
Visitors will be able to stroll through the gardens under lit up canopies ‘where shards of light fizz through trees like fireworks’, with the entire experience taking around 90 minutes.
But many Sydneysiders have unleashed on event organisers for charging patrons to walk through the area that was once free.
‘Went to it yesterday. It’s almost an hour long walk with a quite a few displays and WAY better than the displays they had last time,’ one wrote on Reddit.
‘Most of them were nice, I’d say one or two were really nice to see. The $40 ticket is definitely a stretch in my opinion.’
‘Not worth paying $40 to be herded like cattle through an overcrowded pathway to look at LEDS just plopped on the ground,’ said another.
‘Plenty of better FREE displays in the rest of Sydney, which is the intended spirit of the festival,’ one person said.
‘I really wanted to go see this but $40+ that’s robbery. It’s absurd. Maybe $10 I’d pay but over 40 you’re taking the p**s,’ another wrote.
Other Sydneysiders pointed out there were plenty of free attractions for those who were unwilling to pay.
Lightscape is an international art installation and is understood to be on offer in conjunction with the Vivid light festival which will run until June 17.
Daily Mail Australia contacted Vivid for comment.
Lightscape (pictured) is an international art installation and is understood to be on offer in conjunction with the Vivid light festival which will run until June 17
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk