Vivid went ahead with a decision to charge visitors a fee for one of the main attractions, despite political leaders condemning the move ahead of the annual event.
The event known as Lightscape takes place at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney as part of this year’s Vivid light festival.
Organizers say the attraction has paid tickets because it’s 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 an entire family has to pay $128, while children enter for $28.
The fees have outraged NSW Prime Minister Chris Minns, Sydney Mayor Clover Moore and Independent MP Alex Greenwich, who say it creates a class divide.
Political leaders have spoken out against the absurd price of Vivid’s main attraction ‘Lightscape’, which they say is creating a divide between the region’s upper and lower classes
The event known as Lightscape is being offered 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’s a decision of the previous government,” he said. “I understand that’s a big hit for a family, over $120.”
Ms Moore believes the organizers shouldn’t be making money off the lights as it creates a class system between who can and who can’t afford to visit Sydney.
“The Vivid Festival was created with the aim of drawing people into the city during the quieter winter months,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Making money from entertainment means creating a class system where some people can afford to visit Sydney and others can’t.”
Mr Greenwich, whose seat includes the Botanic Garden, said charging a fee means the event is not open to everyone.
“I’m increasingly concerned that events that used to be free on public land are suddenly being ticketed,” Greenwich said.
“We really need to be careful as we continue to address the cost of living crisis that we don’t become an “us and them” town with public events that only people who can afford to attend can attend. .’
Those who purchase at the box office on the day also receive an additional $4 per ticket, children under two enter free, and members receive a $4 discount.
It’s the first time people have had to pay to see the lights at the landmark site that was part of the show from 2016 to 2019.
The garden closes to the public at 5pm and reopens to Lightscape ticket holders at 5:30pm.
According to the website, the ‘internationally acclaimed’ event should ‘amaze’ visitors.
“Originally created over 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 they contain, giving you the chance to embark on a uniquely curated sensory journey through light and sound, transporting you through the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney as you never seen before, in all its wonder, after the gates should normally be closed.’
Aussies are shocked by the price of light show tickets (pictured)
Sydney Mayor Clover Moore believes organizers should not make money off the lights as it creates a class system between who can and who cannot afford to visit Sydney
Visitors can stroll through the gardens under lit canopies ‘where shards of light hiss through the trees like fireworks’, with the entire experience lasting approximately 90 minutes.
But many Sydneysiders have turned on event organizers to charge patrons to walk through the area that was once free.
‘Went yesterday. It’s a nearly hour walk with quite a few displays and WAY better than the ones they had last time,” someone wrote on Reddit.
“Most of them were fun, I’d say one or two were really fun to watch. The $40 ticket is definitely a stretch in my opinion.”
“It’s not worth paying $40 to be herded like cattle down a crowded trail to look at LEDs that just crashed to the ground,” said another.
‘Much better FREE displays in the rest of Sydney which is the intended spirit of the festival,’ said one person.
“I really wanted to go see this, but $40+ that’s theft. It’s absurd. Maybe I’d pay $10, but over 40 you take the p**s,” another wrote.
Other Sydneysiders pointed out that there were plenty of free rides for those unwilling to pay.
Lightscape is an international art installation and is offered in conjunction with the Vivid light festival that runs until June 17.
Daily Mail Australia contacted Vivid for comment.
Lightscape (pictured) is an international art installation and is said to be offered in conjunction with the Vivid light festival that runs until June 17