The Vigil at Barangaroo Reserve
Fri 25 January Barangaroo Reserve Free Overnight
Free Event
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  • Fri 25 January from 8pm–Sat 26 January 6am
Free Event
The Vigil at Barangaroo Reserve

Gather around campfires at dusk (8pm) at Barangaroo Reserve on 25 January, where an overnight vigil will be held to reflect on the impact of colonisation in Australia, the significance of the day before the First Fleet arrived, and what happened after. Hear musical performances and stories of Country from current and future community Elders. 

Join in the musical performance by participating in Baraya: Sing Up Country. Attend the drop-in choir rehearsal sessions (details here) to learn a song in local language, taught by Aunty Jacinta Tobin and Yuwaalaraay woman Nardi Simpson or learn the song Budjari Gunyalungalung Baraya-la by listening to the audio recording and downloading the lyrics here.


6pm: Barangaroo Aboriginal Cultural Tour
Arrive early and join an Aboriginal Cultural Tour, led by Barangaroo’s Aboriginal Guides. Learn about the native history of Sydney Harbour and the importance of the land to Australia’s Aboriginal heritage and its significance to the clans of the Eora Nation that once lived where Sydney now stands. This is a free program with no bookings required, simply meet your guide on the day at 6pm in Munns Reserve.

8pm onwards
Fire is both destruction and healing. When fire rages through the bushlands causing so much destruction, life is rekindled. Seat yourself around the three burning, fire circles, as we echo the spirit of those who have gone before us and those who will walk after.

Water mark experience
Participate in a self-guided reflection and connection to country to share a moment and connect to place in a physical and permanent form. At the cove at the base of the reserve, you’ll be given a bucket of salt water from the Harbour. Carry the water up the path to the Stargazer Lawn and make a water mark by painting into the path. This is a less formal way for you to acknowledge the country and make a connection with your story, memory and moment.

Weaving Circle
Gather around in a weaving circle and learn weaving techniques. Through the process of weaving you will hear stories, language and knowledge. Share your story in this special, safe place that encourages conversations and reflections. Listen to other stories, take them with you.

8.30pm: Wesley Enoch’s opening speech

8.45pm–9pm Baraya: Sing up Country
Reawaken the songlines of this country in a performance for country, ancestors and healing in Baraya: Sing Up Country. Join the choir and come to the drop-in rehearsal session on Thursday 24 Jan at The Great Hall at UTS. Learn Budjari Gunyalungalung Baraya-la, with Aunty Jacinta Tobin and Nardi Simpson to perform at dusk on the 25 Jan. More info here.

9pm: YARN Australia
Founded by Warren Roberts, YARN Australia aims to build connection between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-First Nations Australians.Gather with Warren and a group of local community members to establish an open dialogue and greater understanding between First Nations and non-First Nations. 

Dusk till dawn: ALWAYS
Visit this large sale outdoor sculpture by local Bangarra artist in residence Jacob Nash, featuring the declaration featuring the declaration 'ALWAYS': always was, always will be. More info here.

Important Info

Q. What time should I arrive?
The Vigil program commences at dusk (8pm) on 25 January and will continue until dawn (6am) on 26 January.

Q. Do I need to register?
No need to pre-register: The Vigil is a free event and all are welcome to join at Barangaroo Reserve.

Q. Is there a recommended age for The Vigil?
All ages are welcome.

Q. Is photography allowed?
Yes, photography is allowed at The Vigil.

Q. What items are not allowed to be brought in?
In the interest of public safety, these items are not permitted at the event and will need to be surrendered on entry to the Reserve.

  • Candles, fireworks or sparklers
  • Tarps, tents or shade structures
  • Barbecues or cooking equipment
  • Tables
  • Offensive weapons including large knives and laser pointers
  • Alcohol or other illicit substances

Q. Can I buy food on site?
Yes, food and beverages can be purchased from pop-up food vendors onsite. There will be three food trucks: Agape and two Bar Coco trucks at the two ends of the Reserve. There are also several restaurants and shops near Towns Place/Walsh Bay or at Barangaroo South.

Q. Can I put a shade tent up? What seating is provided?
No, shade tents, tents, and overhead structures are not permitted. There is no fixed seating, but you are welcome to bring folding chairs, and encouraged to bring blankets or pillows to sit on the sand circles or on the grass around the fires.

Q. What else should I bring?

  • Clothing that provides warmth and weather protection.
  • Water and your own water bottle, which can be filled on site.
  • You are welcome to bring a picnic blanket and folding chairs.

Q. Is there free drinking water at the Reserve?
Yes, free drinking water will be available for you to refill portable water bottles.

Q. Is there first aid at the Reserve?
In case of an emergency, please see a member of security, or a staff member from Sydney Festival or Barangaroo.

Q. Are there toilets at the Reserve?
Yes, from Stargazer Lawn where The Vigil takes place you can take the lift to the Ground Floor where the toilets are located. Additional public toilets are located next to Pump House off Towns Place, and an additional portable bathroom will be available onsite.

Q. Can visitors with accessibility requirements visit Barangaroo Reserve?
Yes, Barangaroo strives to be accessible to all visitors of all ages, including those with additional mobility requirements. Please see the Accessibility section for detailed information on getting to Barangaroo Reserve.

Q. Is there parking at or near the Reserve?
Wilson Parking operates a public car park with 300 spaces beneath Barangaroo Reserve. The car park operates between 6am–midnight, seven days a week. Enter the carpark at Towns Place and take the lift to Level 2 to Stargazer Lawn, where The Vigil takes place.

Q. What are the public transport options to get there?
The best way to plan your travel is via the NSW Transport website.

Q. Where can we eat dinner before The Vigil?
There are a variety of restaurants, cafes and bars in Barangaroo’s southern dining precinct to choose from. Click here for details and opening hours. There are also food trucks available at Barangaroo Reserve.

Q. Any other questions?
If you have additional questions, please email us at


Fri 25 January

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