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Sean O’Shea’s Byron Bay: A book of extraordinary photos

Sean O’Shea takes photographs and videos every day on the beaches and in the hinterland of Byron Bay. And in just the few years Sean has been posting them, these images have inspired literally millions of people around the world.

Sean is an artist not a businessman, so his friends have come together to help him curate a book featuring top quality prints of his iconic photos, along with personal and compelling stories about how he took them, written by Byron Shire author Kate Veitch.

People message Sean from Tokyo, Timbuktu, Rio, Rome, and hundreds more cities and towns just to say how watching his live streams from the Bay, and his incredible still shots, help them get through the business of their daily lives.

This book is for people anywhere and everywhere who want to see nature at its most beautiful, up close, in the company of the kookaburras, dolphins, palms and casuarinas of the Shire. It will be made to last, to keep telling its stories and passing on its messages well into the future -- and maybe it will even make our collective future just a bit less perilous.

As of the 21st of May 2017 our CROWDFUNDING website — www.pozible.com/project/sean-osheas-byron-bay —  will be ready to take people’s pledges. When we reach our target of $25,000 ($AU) we will print Sean's book — and everyone who has pledged will get the books, calendars and greeting cards they requested as rewards. We know it’s a big goal but it’s a bold book, and if we don’t reach our goal, no one will have to pay a cent.

We chose to finance Sean O’Shea’s Byron Bay online so we could stay free of the demands and high prices of mainstream publishers, and so we can discover just how many people here and abroad want a top-quality full-colour hard copy of Sean’s best work. We think there will be tens of thousands of them, judging by the extraordinary popularity of his social media posts.

Any of Sean’s fans who are able to pledge higher amounts can get extra rewards, even an outing in the Bay area with Sean and his camera!

If the crowdfunding hits our goal, the books, cards and calendars should hit the shops and be in the mail before Christmas.

There’s a great team giving their time and talent now to help Sean and me, his partner, create a truly exceptional book that celebrates our amazing northern rivers environment, and our equally extraordinary community.

To see Sean’s work online check out  www.seanoshea.com.au  www.facebook.com/SeanOSheaArt  www.instagram.com/seanosheaart

2017 Bluesfest Re-Cap

After five days of incredible live music, the Byron Bay Blues Festival 2017 has come to an end. This year we enjoyed perfect weather, and a line-up packed with both music legends and up-and-coming talents.

The headliners this year included some huge names: Patti Smith, Santana, the Zac Brown Band, Madness, Buddy Guy (full of energy at 81!), and Neil Finn. Each put on a memorable show or two.


 
St. Paul and the Broken Bones and Vintage Trouble were two standout acts. Both front men treated their audiences to exciting and dynamic performances.


 
Up-and-coming artists brought down the smaller Delta and Juke Joint tents each night. Melody Angel, Nikki Hill, Eric Gales (mind-blowing up-side-down guitar playing), and the Record Company were some of our favourites.


 
The absolute best act, however, was Patti Smith and her band performing Horses on Thursday night. At 70 years old, her performance was alive with vigour and attitude, and nothing short of inspiring. In her Friday afternoon acoustic set, she read a few passages from her memoir Just Kids, showing another facet to her artistic genius.


 
The Boomerang Festival at Bluesfest added a cultural dimension, with the many workshops and performances that took place onsite.


 
Despite the rain leading up to the festival, there was nothing but sunshine over the Easter long weekend. And as always, there was plenty of delicious food to be enjoyed. See you again next year, Bluesfest!

2017 Nimbin Roots Festival

From September 15 – 17, over 50 talented artists will perform in Australia’s counter-culture capital for the annual Nimbin Roots Festival. After selling out in 2016, this year’s festival is set to be bigger and better than ever with two new stages and one extra day.

The Nimbin Roots Festival offers authentic, original, and raw roots art and music in various venues throughout the town. The venues – including the outdoor Rainbow Power Stage and the historic Nimbin Bush Theatre – are located short distances from each other, creating a community of walking festivalgoers.

This year’s lineup will see a diverse mix of local, national, and international musicians and artists perform Americana, Bluegrass, Folk, Australiana, Old Blues, and world music. American group The War and Treaty will share their Gospel style tunes, while the brand new Aquarius Stage will showcase Nimbin’s finest.

The festival will kick off on Friday afternoon, with a special opening concert on Friday night featuring performances from local Bunjalung dancers. The festival will close on Sunday evening with the Australian Roots Music Awards.

As well as the musicians, the Nimbin Roots Festival has invited a number of visual artists to display their unique work in the festival gallery. Art installations, interactive artworks, and themed camping also feature throughout the festival venues and campsite.

The Abundance Village will host a number of exciting workshops, including yoga, philosophy, permaculture, live art, weaving, poetry, belly dancing, body art, and kids’ activities. And, a community market area will host up to 30 colourful market stalls where festivalgoers can pick up a piece of Nimbin to take home with them.

The Nimbin Roots Festival is proudly moving toward sustainable forms of energy to power the live performances and art spaces, with a number of venues using solar power.

Festival tickets include opening and closing performances, as well as entrance into all venues and participation in all workshops.

Buy tickets and learn more at www.nrfest.com.

Popped Urban Laneway Activation

This May, one of Byron Bay’s most notorious dead spaces will be invigorated by Popped Creative: a new, innovative collective that has an inspired vision for the future of arts and culture in our region.

In just one week, a team of Byron Bay’s most talented street artists will transform ‘Surf Alley’: the tired laneway in Johnson Street that has previously been used as nothing more than a pedestrian thoroughfare and hot spot for late-night anti-social behaviour.

Popped Creative is Byron Bay’s newest events and creative services firm. Popped is collaborating with a team headed by local artist Austin of Nitsua, on the transformational project, which will be celebrated on the weekend of Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May with a urban laneway activation event, encompassing live art, street food, bar, music, cool lighting, green walls, bespoke sustainable furniture, talks & ideas program, and much more.

The event creates a platform for emerging artists who would not otherwise have an opportunity to engage with the local community. The Fresh Air Gallery is a live street art gallery that will auction the finished artworks on Instagram at the end of the night, raising money for a charity of the gallery's choice, along with Popped's chosen beneficiary, the Byron Community Theatre, for its much needed upgrades.

“This is the first of its kind for Byron,” enthuses Creative Director Abbie Gibson, “We are bringing the gallery to the street, and making the arts more accessible for the wider community. It also gives our artists an opportunity to make money from their art, and garner exposure that will generate future opportunities. We are passionate about arts and culture, and want to see our local arts community thrive”.

Marketing & Media Manager Liesel Arden says “This is very much a local project with international ambitions. Our goal is to lead a new and exciting direction for regional arts; Byron Bay is the perfect place to set the precedent. As a community we can demonstrate to a global audience that there is a new generation of regional arts that are world-class, ethical, and viable all at the same time”.

The full program will be distributed throughout the region leading up to the event.

POPPED runs from 5pm – 11pm Friday 19 and 12pm - 11pm Saturday 20 May 2017.

Tickets go on sale Monday 27 March 2017 at 9am, $10 each, and can be purchased via Eventbrite or at the door. For an additional $5, ticket holders can purchase a return bus ride from outer suburbs Lennox Head, Bangalow, Brunswick Heads & Mullumbimby.

Learn more at www.poppedcreative.com.

Stone & Wood Brewery Open Day Supporting the Wedgetail Retreat Community Hospice

Stone & Wood opens its Murwillumbah brewery gates for community fundraiser.

Local brewer, Stone & Wood will host an Open Day at their brewery on Saturday 4 March to raise funds for the Wedgetail Retreat Community Hospice and Tweed Palliative Support.

Welcoming the community to their Murwillumbah brewery at 35 Kite Crescent, they have organised a family friendly event from 11-5, that includes:

  • Live music by Dos Loona, Holly Tap and Tim Shou
  • Local food stores by JR Smokehouse, The Backyard Chef and Keith Coffee Shop and Barber
  • Tours of the brewery every half hour to show the brewing process, their sustainability initiatives and tell their story
  • Kids area and jumping castle

All profits from the $5 beers will be donated to the local community hospice so that they can continue helping the community.

Stone & Wood have brewed a 'Murbah Swap Beer' to pay tribute to the legendary local story of a semi trailer, carrying pallets of beer, running off the Pacific Highway in 2001. The locals wasted no time in diving in to salvage what they could so that the beer wouldn’t go to waste! This beer will be released at the Open Day.

The Brewery's Managing Director Ben Summons said the reason for this day is to bring the Northern Rivers community together to support a charity which is integral to this area and to give locals the opportunity to see what Stone & Wood does in 'their backyard'.

"We're stoked to partner with Wedgetail Retreat and Tweed Palliative Support, as they share our values and the work they do touches so many families in this community during tough times," said Ben.

"We have two breweries, one in Byron and this one up the road but a lot of locals wouldn’t know we are here in the Murwillumbah industrial estate. As the local brewer, we want to deepen our connection with our community and give them a chance to get to know us and how we do business."

Meredith Dennis, President of Tweed Palliative Support and Wedgetail Retreat community hospice commented that the retreat is the only one of its kind in the State and is not government funded at all by NSW Health.

"We rely on the support from businesses and the community to continue caring for people with cancer or a life-limiting illness and their families in our region. The profits from the day are going to a worthy cause – our busy community hospice, Wedgetail Retreat, based just outside of Murwillumbah," Meredith said.

"I’d encourage everyone to come along and enjoy the entertainment, take a tour of the brewery and try the delicious food and beers. There will be a gold coin donation at the gate and we will also have a stand selling Stone & Wood Pacific Ale Fruit Chutney, beer bread and cheese."

Join Wedgetail Retreat and Tweed Palliative Support at local brewery Stone & Wood’s Open Day on 4 March, to come together to connect with your community, learn more about a local business and to raise money for a charity.

Byron Bay’s Newest Festival “Star Stuff 2017” with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki

Celestron, Bintel & DNA Digital are bringing a “supergroup” of Australia’s leading scientists and experts in science, space, astrophysics and astrophotography to Byron Bay in June 2017 for the Star Stuff Festival.

Speakers include well known TV and Radio personalities Dr Karl Kruszelnicki and Dr Alan Duffy (Swinburne) who will be hosting a VIP dinner and keynote presentation at the Elements of Byron Resort.

Other speakers include astrophysicist Dr Katie Mack, a highly regarded scientist and presenter known for her work on dark matter and global science outreach from her adopted city of Melbourne.

Mark Gee (NZ), 2013 astrophotographer of the year, will also be taking the stage to share his aspirational story of success travelling the world and sharing his remarkable photos of the Sun, Moon and Milky Way.

Dr Duane Hamacher (Monash) is also on the bill to present an overview of his work decoding the ancient secrets of Australian aboriginal astronomy including such work with local indigenous groups.

Dr David Malin, whose name is literally synonymous with the highest echelon of scientific and photographic excellence (The Malin Awards) will bring his perspective on advancements in digital photography since he pioneered colour space photography in his early career.

Also on the line up is Dr Fred Watson, also known for his work at the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), engaging presentation style and continuous work as a dark sky advocate. Watson was instrumental in the recent declaration of Australia’s first Dark Sky Park in Warrumbungle National Park – the first in the Southern Hemisphere.

Byron Bay astronomer Dylan O’Donnell joins the group to share his work as is Gilmour Space Technology’s Jamie Anderson whose work in rocket propulsion on the Gold Coast hopes to kickstart Australia’s private space travel industry.

Australia’s largest telescope and astronomer vendor Bintel will also be on site demonstrating consumer astronomy equipment, and the Southern Astronomical Society will facilitate day and night telescope viewings, photography workshops and sky tours if weather permits.

Claire Fell, event liason officer for Byron shire council noted “This is the perfect event for our shire.” While other enthusiastic space fans were less restrained. “Just take my f—king money” said one ticketholder when the speaker list was announced. "Now that got my attention! Beam me across from Canberra. Tix booked!" said another.

Ticket sales and event information can be found at : starstuff.com.au

For media enquiries, sponsorship, school science outreach or volunteer information contact [email protected] or [email protected]

Re-Cap: Falls Festival Byron Bay 2016/17

Falls Festival Byron Bay 2016/17 did not disappoint. Held over three days (31st December – 2nd January) at the North Byron Parklands, the festival was packed with great music, delicious food, market stalls, plenty of sun, a bit of rain, and much more.

The impressive Amphitheatre stage filled up each day with enthusiastic crowds dancing and singing the night away alongside this year’s killer lineup. On New Year's Eve, everyone dressed to impress for the Falls Festival Gold theme, transforming the full Amphitheatre into a dress-up party.

On days two and three, the Forest Stage featured some excellent acts from around the globe, including Parquet Courts, a rock band from New York City – they were my festival highlight.

There was also some incredible Byron Bay talent to enjoy in The Grove, including DELI, a local group that improvises every song.

In addition to the music, Falls served up some extra fun, including the Palm Springs pools, Market Stalls and the Ferris wheel. Of course, there was also a ton of exciting food options.

The heat was intense (around 34 degrees each day), and on the final afternoon a storm rolled in and there was a bit of rain. This didn’t stop the fun, and I am sure everyone’s excited to come back again next time.

Byron Markets over the New Year period

The New Year period is a busy time for markets in Byron Bay, with the Artisan Markets on Saturday, the Community Market on MONDAY (usually on a Sunday) and the special Beachside Markets on Wednesday.

Byron Artisan Market

When: Saturday, December 31, 2016, 4pm – 9pm

Where: Railway Park, Jonson Street, Byron Bay

Held every Saturday evening October through to Easter, the popular Byron Artisan Market provides local creatives with the opportunity to showcase their talent. This year, the evening market falls on New Years Eve.

The stalls feature a range of artisan goods, including clothing, jewellery, and leather accessories. Plus, food and beverage stalls offer market-goers an afternoon snack or exotic dinner to be enjoyed alongside entertainment from local musicians. It’s the perfect way to kick off your NYE celebrations.

Byron Bay Markets

When: Monday, January 2, 2017, 8am – 3pm

Where: Butler St Reserve, Byron Bay

The beloved Byron Bay Markets, usually held on the first Sunday of each month, will instead take place on Monday, January 2, 2017.

You could spend hours exploring the many stalls at the renowned Byron Bay Markets. With everything ranging from handmade jewellery and kids toys, to antiques, fashion, fresh produce, and more, there’s something for absolutely everyone.

Come early, stay for lunch, relax in the shade, and soak up the laid-back Byron atmosphere.

Byron Beachside Markets

When: Wednesday, January 4, 2017, 8am – 4pm

Where: Main Beach Foreshore (east of the Surf Club), Byron Bay

The Byron Beachside Markets are held four times each year, and the next market is just around the corner.

This market is a diverse showcase of some of the best quality handmade arts, sculptures, and home goods, as well as unique fashion, crafts, toys and more. Taking a stroll along the foreshore of stunning Main Beach, while exploring one-of-a-kind market stalls makes for the perfect morning in Byron Bay.

New Years Eve Byron Style

Soul Street NYE

Between 4pm and 10pm on December 31, Jonson Street (main street Byron Bay) will transform into a street party celebration. Market stalls and food stall will line the street. The kids will be entertained by a variety of buskers, amusement rides, circus performers, drummers, face painters, fire twirlers, and more. Plus, local bands will play in Railway Park through the duration of the event. Find out more at www.byroncentre.com.au.

NOTE Jonson Street will be closed to cars from 12pm on December 31 until 8am on January 1, 2017.

The Railway Friendly Bar

Farewell 2016 at the Railway Friendly Bar – known as ‘the Rails’ – with live music playing from 8pm until the New Year. First up is the Bohemian Cowboy, and then at 10.30pm, Marshal will take the stage. Tickets are $20. Find out more at www.therailsbyronbay.com.

Harvest Newrybar

Welcome the New Year in style at the Havest Newrybar black and white party. With shuttle bus services running from Suffolk Park and Byron Bay, a selection of canapes, drinks, and dance music from DJ Beaver on offer, the NYE party at Harvest is sure to be a night to remember. The event runs from 7.30pm to late, and tickets cost $220 including drinks. Email [email protected] or call 02 6687 2644 to make a reservation. Find out more at www.harvestnewrybar.com.au.

The Beach Hotel

Celebrate New Years Eve at the Paradise Found NYE party at the Byron Bay Beach Hotel. The party will feature food stalls, cocktail bars, body painting, DJs, live acts and more. The fancy dress theme is paradise. Ticks are $90 ($50 for locals) and are available from Oztix, or at the Beach Hotel bottle shop. Find out more at www.beachhotel.com.au.

The Northern

There’s a ton of music on at the Northern Hotel this New Years Eve. Running from 8pm to 3am, music acts include Tropical Zombie, the Ruminaters, Chase City, Ivy, and DJ Chris Bradley. Tickets are $20. Find out more at www.thenorthern.com.au.

Hotel Brunswick

The Preatures are taking over Hotel Brunswick this New Years Eve. After celebrating their successful record ‘Blue Planet Eyes’ on tour around Australia, the Preatures will soon return to the studio. Catch them while you can. The night begins at 6pm, and tickets are $50 from Oztix. Find out more at www.hotelbrunswick.com.au.

Byron at Byron

This New Years Eve, the Byron at Byron Resort and Spa presents the Well Swung Daddies. Sit back and enjoy a three-course meal, entertainment, and a glass sparkling wine on arrival for $198 per person. Email [email protected] or call 02 6639 2105 to make a reservation. Find out more at www.thebyronatbyron.com.au.

The Balcony Bar and Oyster Co.

Groove into the New Year at the Balcony’s New Years Even event. A la carte bookings are available between 5pm and 7pm, and the NYE party runs from 8am into the early hours on the morning. Find out more at www.balcony.com.au.

The Sticky Wicket

NYE celebrations kick off at 12pm at the Sticky Wicket bar with a ticketed UFC event. Tickets are $10. DJs will then play from 9pm until 3am upstairs. Find out more at www.facebook.com/TheStickyWicketBar/.

The Bolt Hole

Watch the very last sunset of 2016 over the stunning Byron Hinterland at the Bolt Hole. With plenty of cocktails and food, the party won’t stop until 2am. Standard tickets are $45, and include roaming food, and drinks on arrival. Or go VIP for $65 for the best seats in the house and a champagne cocktail on arrival. Find out more at www.thebolthole.com.au.

Byron Bay New Years Eve 2016

Celebrate New Years Eve 2016 in Byron Bay at the annual, family-friendly Soul Street event.

Between 4pm and 10pm on December 31, Jonson Street will transform into a street party celebration. Market stalls and food stall will line the street. The kids will be entertained by a variety of buskers, amusement rides, circus performers, drummers, face painters, fire twirlers, and more. Plus, local bands will play in Railway Park through the duration of the event.

Soul Street is alcohol free, and designed with families in mind. To ensure the safety of all, Jonson Street will be closed to cars from 12pm on December 31 until 8am on January 1, 2017.

Visitors can park free in the Butler Street Reserve, which is a short stroll from Jonson Street. Alternatively, the Falls Festival Shuttle bus will be open to the general public. The buses run along Ewingsdale Road and between Suffolk Park and the centre of Byron Bay for a fee of $5.

For further detail, visit Byron Shire Council's website.

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