If only Coachella had an iconic building and amazing 3-D digital light projections for its annual music fest. It might look a bit like Vivid Sydney, the light, music and ideas festival in its sixth year that kicked off Friday in Australia.
It began with illuminating the "sails" of the city's beloved Opera House, a mind-blowing color and light show that continues through June 9. It's free to the 800,000 or so people who come to watch. (That's how many attended last year.)
Organizers say this year's light projections tell a story "from the birth of architecture and civilization through to the pinnacle of human and technological achievement." It was created by 59 Productions, the company that worked on the 2012 Olympic Summer Games opening ceremonies in London.
On the first night, the city's Harbour Bridge lighted up too -- courtesy of a touch-screen display visitors use to "vote" for the color they want to "paint" it. The festival added another light twist too: ferries and vessels in Darlington Harbour show off their own dancing LED lights, and the city's business center at Martin Place glows with light installations and projections.
The light show is free and will continue from 6 p.m. to midnight daily until June 9.
But there's a lot to this festival too. The music side of things opened Friday with the Pixies at the Opera House and continues with Pet Shop Boys, Lauryn Hill, St. Vincent and a slew of other performers each night. (These concerts aren't free.)
If you happen to be in Sydney, lucky you. The rest of us will be digital voyeurs at the Vivid Sydney website.