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2012 Byron Bay Writers' Festival

Byron Bay Writers' Festival Program Launches

Festival Director Jonathan Parsons is delighted to launch the program for the 16th Byron Bay Writers' Festival, which will take place from 3-5 August 2012.

There has been a frenzy of activity in the last few weeks, as Jonathan and his team finalise a dynamic and entertaining program for this year's Festival. Bringing his own brand of literary curation to the Festival has resulted in a fresh and enticing line up. 'It's been an incredible privilege to immerse myself in Australia's and the world's literary cultures and curate a program that reflects where we are now in 2012. It's a delight to shepherd one of Australia's most loved literary events, and I hope it will again enthral lovers of literature and ideas in the delightful setting of Byron Bay ' said Jonathan, on the eve of the program launch.

International guests at this year's Festival include: from the U.S. the Pulitzer Award winning Katherine Boo; from Hong Kong, Xu Xi with her trans-global fiction, and Australian girl done good Sarah Brennan; from Pakistan, the 'rambunctious, vulgar, funny and moving' Mohammed Hanif; from India, 'one of world literature's great cult writers' Kiran Nagarkar; from Singapore, environmental children's author and crime writer Shamini Flint; and from Indonesia the best- selling Indonesian author of all time, Andrea Hirata.

On home turf, bestselling author Elliot Perlman will wield enormous punch in conversation with lover of literature Mary Delahunty. Michael Kirby and Daryl Dellora will be swapping notes on their view from the bench and Peter Doherty and Julianne Schultz will be among the guests asking 'What is Australia for?'

This year's Festival sees the hilariously provocative Andy Griffiths vying for attention with Morris Gleitzman while he tries to save ten lives with a paperclip, iconic authors Gail Jones and Charlotte Wood swapping notes on the literary life, and Geoff Gallop searching for the truth in politics. Sexual anthropologist Bella Ellwood-Clayton and novelist Susan Johnson will examine female desire as stories of extreme journeys are compared by Anna Rose, Ailsa Piper and Jessica Watson. Ian Lowe and George Megalogenis will ask Is the big country big enough?, and Michaela McGuire and Susan Johnson pull the 'F' word apart as they discuss feminism in the here and now.

Sophie Cunningham, Niromi de Soyza, Denise Leith and Sally Neighbour will give us their hot tips on the art of survival whilst Alex Miller waxes lyrical on his lust for life and art. Robyn Arianrhod, Peter Doherty and Venero Armanno will demonstrate the benefits of slow simmering ideas whilst Stephen Sewell, Marc Fennell and Antony Funnell serve up a portion of digital bang bang. Rohan Wilson and John Baileys pioneering Australian explorers and thugs will contrast John Marsden's Steiner and the Simpsons. The 'bashed, sued, celebrated and revered' former Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens Bob Brown will share a conversation with Kerry O'Brien, and Deb Cox, Lois Randall and Jon Bell will be keeping the family together as they appease the Gods of Wheat Street.

And if your fancy hasn't been tickled by this smorgasbord of literary culture, there's always Jane Caro and Mandy Nolan divulging their hottest tips on how to resuscitate your child's guineapig.

This August, you can look forward to a lively and dynamic mix of literary talent across live radio broadcasts, readings, panel discussions, book signings, conversations, films, literary food events and book launches. Be delighted and inspired by over 120 featured writers, readers and thinkers from around the globe.

Widely regarded as one of Australia's premier literary events, the Byron Bay Writers' Festival will take place from 3-5 August. It is an event that draws together thousands of literature lovers for three days of intelligent discussion, passionate interaction and fun. To peruse the entire Festival programme, book tickets and for all further information visit www.byronbaywritersfestival.com or call the booking hotline on 1300 368 552.

Long Weekend in Byron

Queens birthday weekend gives you 3 days to enjoy the region - if you're still looking for something to do... Here's a range of what's on offer 9, 10, & 11 June 2012.

The Old & Gold Festival

The Old & Gold Festival is back in Brunswick Heads and celebrating its 11th year. If you’re into collectables, antiques or anything secondhand or just on the lookout for a great bargain, the Old and Gold Festival in Brunswick Heads on Saturday the 9th June is for you!

For further information, visit; www.oldngold.com.au

Trip Kicks ‘School Party’

An indoor festival with DJ's. Sat 9 June in The Backroom at the Great Northern Hotel. $20. For more information, visit Trip Kicks on facebook; www.facebook.com/tripkicks.

BANDALUZIA FLAMENCO

Mullum Drill Hall, Saturday 9th June.

Bandaluzia is a Sydney based Flamenco ensemble led by Damian Wright, consisting of a group of acclaimed musicians and dancers at the forefront of Flamenco in Australia. Combining contemporary and traditional Flamenco into a truly mesmerising display of explosive dance, virtuosic guitars, soulful singing, dynamic improvisation, masterful percussion, soaring violin and inspiring bass, embodying the passion, mystery and power of this remarkable art form.

For further information see the BANDALUZIA FLAMENCO event on facebook.

2012 All Girls Surf Showdown

June 9th, 10th & 11th.


The All Girls Surf Showdown is the longest running all female surfing competition in Australia. The event was established in 1993 and turns 20 years old in 2012. This event promotes girls and women’s participation in the exciting and healthy lifestyle of surfing.

For more info, visit; ww.allgirlssurfshowdown.com.

Byron's Big Weekend

Byron Bay is a popular town with plenty to see & do, and is part of why this region is such a great place to live or visit. This coming weekend; 25, 26, 27 May 2012 has so much going on across the whole of Byron Shire that it will surprise you when you see it all in one list... hope you all have an awesome weekend!

Hope we haven't missed anything, here we go;

  • The Paper Trail Fri, Sat & Sun, various locations : A celebration of all things paper. Produced by Paper Runway, the stylish Byron Shire-based magazine loved by paper aficionados and the design-conscious from Australia to London and New York, The Paper Trail will open with a paper-centric exhibition at Art Park at the Byron A&I Estate on Friday May 25.
     
  • Arj Barker – Keeper or Crapper Fri, Sat, Sun, Byron Community Centre : Join Arj, as he digs through his notes and try to figure out which jokes will make it into his new show, and which ones will end up getting flushed away! Some call it a work-in-progress. He calls it... Arj Barker: Keeper or Crapper 2012. Be there to experience one of comedy’s greatest comedy minds at work.
     
  • KINGTIDE Sat, The Mullumbimby Bowling Club : Sydney’s hardest working, premier original Rock Steady, Reggae-got soul, & Aria Award nominated band KINGTIDE return to Mullumbimby after recruiting fans and stunning festival punters with their roots, pop, reggae fix at The Mullumbimby Music Festival 2011.
     
  • Sew & Tell: Handmade & Hand-me-down Fair Sat, Bangalow A&I Hall : We're putting it all together in a crafty, vintage, thrifty love fest called Sew & Tell: Handmade & Hand-me-down Fair.
     
  • Mullum 2 Bruns Paddle Sun, Heritage Park Mulumbimby to Terrace Park Brunswick Heads : The main paddling events begin at Heritage Park in Mullumbimby and conclude at the Terrace in Brunswick Heads, where live music, free paddle clinics, a duck race, raffle, BBQs and other fun entertain the crowds throughout the day in a festival atmosphere.
     
  • Fiesta Fun Day; Save the Heart of Federal Sun, Federal : A magical community day of fun to celebrate and support the historic heart of Federal Village. Share in a Fiesta Fun Day around the hall and church with music, jumping castle, activities, stalls, art auctions & great food.

The weather forecast is for rain clearing on Saturday and sunny on Sunday. All you photographers - if you get any great shots, share them with Byron Bay on Facebook.

George Negus : Byron at Byron

On May 17 The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa will host legendary Australian media personality George Negus who - among other things - will share his thoughts on Australia's place in a monumentally changing world.

The first in the Byron at Byron Presents dinner series for 2012, the event follows last years' sell-out dinners with Bettina Arndt, Joanna Savill and David Clark.

George's most recent book The World From Down Under is a compilation of interviews with international "movers and shakers" for SBS Dateline that reveal George's passion to put significant world events into perspective for Australians.

"The world is in turmoil and sometimes we Australians tend to overestimate our own problems," says George. "I wouldn't go so far as to call us the lucky country, but we are definitely a fortunate country. Less than 25-million people out of 7-billion world-wide, we need to think about that and get it into a realistic perspective. We need to see Australia in relation to the world - not the world in relation to Australia.

"There are people in other parts of the world facing hardship and difficulty we can't imagine, yet our own politics has become so spiteful, small minded and uninspired. There's a leadership crisis in this country that goes right across the ideological spectrum. A lack of maturity and sophistication in our politics means we find ourselves complaining at a time when we should be thankful.

"I've seen third world countries handle the up-and-down nature of their affairs in a more dignified way. I'm disappointed that we can't get our heads out of our own sandy beaches".

Be it Syria, coal-seam gas in the Byron hinterland, caring for The Kimberleys versus the Amazon River or Byron's coast, the Greek economic collapse versus Australian real estate development and debt, George will discuss "What is our place, as Australians, in the global scheme of things? Why should we care for more than their own backyards?" 

Negus began his career as a Queensland teacher, before moving into journalism and working behind the scenes in Canberra. He burst onto our TV screens during the heady days of 60 Minutes (1979-86), then spent several years as founding presenter on ABCs Foreign Correspondent (1992-99). His many other forays into our lounge rooms include Nine's Today Show, ABC's This Day Tonight and programs tagged with his own name such as ABCs George Negus Tonight and Ten's 6:30 with George Negus.

His exceptional list of interviewees spans politics (Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Al Gore, Gaddafi, Mikhail Gorbachev, an entire last generation of Australian Prime Ministers), music (Bob Marley, Annie Lennox, Bob Dylan), religion (His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Richard Dawkins), Hollywood legends (Robert Redford, Steven Spielberg) and thinkers including Richard Branson, Geoffrey Robertson QC, Dr David Suzuki, Sir Bob Geldof and Fatima Bhutto.

George's most recent book The World From Down Under follows his two earlier bestsellers The World from Islam and The World From Italy.

Byron at Byron Presents George Negus "Australia's Place in the World"
7:00pm Thursday May 17, The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa
$70 for two courses from Head Chef Gavin Hughes, a glass of wine and George. Stay the night from $285 for two people.

Bookings essential. 02 6639 2105 or reservations@thebyronatbyron.com.au

Travelling Film Festival

Dendy Cinema, Byron Bay 18-20 May 2012

The Travelling Film Festival is on the road again; returning to Dendy Byron Bay 18-20 May with a weekend of world cinema - nine features and three shorts, from seven different countries. The Travelling Film Festival once again treats regional audiences to the best of Australian and international cinema on the big screen.

Opening Night, Friday 18 May, is Australian documentary Life in Movement - a celebratory documentary about the acclaimed Australian dancer and choreographer Tanja Liedtke. The dedicated 29-year was appointed as director of the Sydney Dance Company but before she could take up the position she was tragically killed in a road accident. Eighteen months later, Tanja's collaborators (including her partner Sol Ulbrich) embarked on a world tour of her award-winning productions. Life in Movement was a sold out session at Sydney Film Festival 2011 and took home the prestigious Foxtel Australian Documentary Prize. Special guest TBA.

International selections include Buck - the fascinating documentary about the horse whisperer Buck Brannaman (the inspiration for Robert Redford’s film, The Horse Whisperer); Medianeras, romantic comedy from Buenos Aires; Romantics Anonymous – charming French comedy about chocolate and true love; A Dangerous Method - an elegant adaption of John Kerr’s acclaimed novel starring Michael Fassdbender as Dr Carl Jung, Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Keira Knightly as Sabina; Goodbye First Love - a classy French post New-Wave story of love, loss and youth, directed by Mia Hansen-Løve (The Father of My Children); Happy, Happy - sexy drama from Norway, winner of the Wold Jury Prize at Sundance and The Kid with a Bike - winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Film at Cannes Film Festival 2011, another masterful entry directed by the multi-award winning Dardenne brothers.

Closing Night Film is Weekend – the multi-award winning, unconventional love story from the UK about two young men and a single weekend, screens with Dendy Award Finalist short film Cropped.

Also on the line-up are short films Nullarbor, winner of the Yoram Gross and AACTA Animation Award (screens with Buck) and Dendy Award Finalist Two Laps (screens with Medianeras).

Tickets on sale at Dendy Byron– Ph: (02) 6680 8555 (Save over 30% with subscription and flexi pass deals. Under 26s just $8!)

For full program information pick up a program at the box office or visit sff.org.au – Travelling Film Festival – Byron Bay.

Splendour in the Grass 2012 Event Poster

Dr Sketchys Anti-Art School Event Poster

Video : A Day in Byron

Here's a great clip our facebook fan, Ricky, put together of a Day in Byron with his friends. It was a sunny day, they went to the Byron Bay markets - then had some fun in the surf.

From nearby Lennox Head, Ricky & his friends came to the markets on 1 April and had some fun bodyboarding & goofing off at the beach afterwords. Hope you enjoy the video.

Be sure to connect with Byron Bay on facebook.

2012 Byron Bay Film Festival

This is the year for Byron Bay International Film Festival. 16 World Premieres, 107 Australian Premiere’s, 191 films from 39 countries, a master class with Jack Thompson fresh from the set of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, the latest film & a master class from surfing legend Jack McCoy, the Australian premiere of Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy, a fundraiser screening of Paul Cox’s new film The Dinner Party, filmmakers flying in from around the globe.

For further information, ticket sales & festival programme, visit www.bbff.com.au

Splendour In The Grass In Byron for 2012 !

Yes that's right. Splendour In The Grass is planning to return to Byron Bay for the 2012 event.

The dates for the 2012 event are Friday 27, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July.

After two years at Woodfordia in Queensland, Splendour In The Grass organisers are currently working on taking Australia's premier winter music and arts festival back to where it all started, Belongil Fields in Byron Bay.

"Despite great efforts to have the festival at North Byron Parklands this year, we are yet to have a determination on the application." said Splendour Co-Producer Jessica Ducrou.

"In the meantime and after much consideration we are excited at the prospect of returning to the birth place of Splendour."

One of Australia's premier holiday locations, Byron Bay is internationally renowned for its beautiful beaches, lush hinterland and laid back culture.

Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham has welcomed Splendour back to Byron Bay for 2012.

"Splendour's home is Byron Bay and there is defined benefit that the festival delivers to the area, especially in winter, so it is a welcome return" said Mayor Barham

"Taking the event back to Byron Bay allows us to give our audience the true Splendour experience, a quality music and arts festival combined with that distinctive Byron culture." Ms Ducrou said.

"We'd like to thank Woodfordia and the very wonderful Bill Hauritz, Mayor Allan Sutherland and Moreton Bay Regional Council for welcoming us with open arms and hosting our event for the last two years."

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