Sydney’s trivia icon, comedian and LGBTQI extraordinaire, James Breko, is inviting the whole of Sydney to participate in an inaugural #DIYVivid Festival.

Breko, best known for his trivia events at venues such as Darlo Bar and The Imperial Hotel, is encouraging all of Sydney to bust out the Christmas lights and redecorate their homes in an attempt to bring the community closer together.

With the cancellation of Sydney’s annual Vivid Festival, Breko hopes that the city’s residents take matters into their own hands to make Sydney “get lit” again over the next two weeks.

By unpacking last December’s decorations, residents can make balconies, apartment blocks, streets and suburbs dazzle once again from 7 pm on Friday May 22, until Friday June 5, marking the same dates of the world-famous festival of light.

Breko told Star Observer that #DIYVivid is intended to bring Sydney closer together in a time where keeping distance is critical, noting the importance of keeping traditions alive in any way possible.

“The idea is to encourage everyone to put their Christmas lights up on their balcony, or even make something arty out of recycled materials from their home,” he said.

“Hopefully we all light up. It’s just basically something that’s a bit of fun to do during isolation which I think we all need right now. There’s no need to move around, and you can get everyone involved without compromising safety.

“We’re starting Friday night with a live stream from my house, and it’s going for two weeks. So hopefully everyone has enough time to get involved. It’s good to keep things like this going, especially when it’s coming directly from the community, for the community.

“#DIYVivid is grassroots and organic. It’s neighbourhood focussed and unofficial, so it’s really just about coming together while also keeping our distance.”

Breko quit his day job last year to take the plunge and host events full time. However, his new working life was severely affected during the first stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when all non-essential businesses, including pubs and clubs, were required to close.

Yet, like other LGBTQI performers, Breko managed to land on his feet shortly after with the advent of livestreaming shows on Facebook and hosting trivia events via Zoom.

While Breko noted that he’s upset over the closure of some of Sydney’s most iconic venues, he says that living the life of a trivia-camboy and continuing his performance-passion is a significant luxury that has not been afforded to many.

“It was really scary to start with. I was unemployed for two weeks and trying to figure out what to do next. The uncertainty was crazy, but now I’m getting a lot of bookings for trivia online,” he told Star Observer.

“It’s bizarre watching 30 people on a computer screen staring at you. It’s been a wild ride, but I’m really appreciative because so many talented people have lost absolutely everything, and the government hasn’t really helped them as much as they should.”

Breko hopes that through events such as #DIYVivid, more people can become aware of community-connectivity, which he hopes can stem into more opportunities for Sydney’s performers to flourish.

“The community has blown me away with how generous they can be. Just remember that when you’re watching a performer online, it’s always good to consider contributing,” Breko said.

“Right now every little bit counts and for entertainers, ongoing support during this pandemic is key.

“With the community connection for something like #DIYVivid, hopefully, more people understand the importance of sticking together and helping each other out right now.”

#DIYVivid starts this Friday, May 22 at 7 pm from dusk till dawn. For more information about the two-week event, visit here!

Participants and communities are also encouraged to tag their photos #diyvivid so Breko’s community organisation, DIY Rainbow, as well as the team at Star Observer can share the love!

Keep calm, twinkle on, and let’s show Melbourne how much Sydney can really sparkle!

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