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Byron Bay Writers' Festival Foodie's Feast

2010 Australian MasterChef winner Adam Liaw, former Vogue and Cosmopolitan fashion editor turned restaurateur turned author Victoria Alexander and local Byron chef, food writer and restaurant reviewer, Belinda Jeffery are just a taste of the foodie line-up featuring at the Byron Bay Writers' Festival.

Festival Director Candida Baker advises that the foodie events are amongst the most popular and tickets go quickly. 

"The Festival foodie events are always a sell out," says Baker.  "Our Foodie Fodder lunch with Belinda Jeffery and Adam Liaw, hosted by Janella Purcell at the Italian at the Pacific restaurant, will be no exception. Guests will be treated to a great meal and a wonderful presentation by three consummate professionals in a setting that captures the essence of our laidback North Coast lifestyle."

Belinda Jeffery (The Country Cookbook: Seasonal Jottings and Recipes) is especially looking forward to the session Beautiful books – turning books into art, with Victoria Alexander (One) and Adam Liaw (Two Asian Kitchens) chaired by Victoria Cosford (Amore and Amaretti: A tale of love and food in Tuscany).

"There is almost a new genre of cookbook that is more like a work of art.  Some of the books coming out now are just exquisite," says Jeffery.  "I have worked with the brilliant photographer Rodney Weidland for over 25 years and often readers write to me just about their love of the images in my books."

Jeffery believes the session Eat My Words – Why We Love Food Books taps into another growing reader phenomenon. "There has been an increasing interest in food and cooking over the past 25 years, but now readers seem more inclined to take their cookbooks to bed to read, almost like a novel…a form of escape," she says.  "Sometimes my readers confess that they don't even really cook. They just love reading about cooking, almost as though they are cooking vicariously by reading through their favourite chef's or cook's recipes."

The growth in the narrative cookbook is also an interesting development in the genre. "I have always loved cookbooks that tell stories," says Jeffery. 

"Food is a part of life and weaving cooking into travel, history or just everyday life is a wonderful way to enjoy the process of sourcing, preparing, cooking and presenting food."

Baker believes the increase in the appeal of cookbooks is driven by many factors.  "Cooking shows such as Masterchef have certainly encouraged people to get back to the kitchen, but a renewed focus on home cooking is also driven by economic pressures with people wanting to cook at home rather than eat out," Baker says. "However, overall I believe cook books continue to increase in popularity as there is something warm and appealing about creating wonderful meals in your own kitchen to share with friends and family." 

Foodie Fodder, sponsored by Ferment, is being held at the Italian at the Pacific Beach, 12.00pm – 3.00pm Friday, August 5.  Tickets are available now for $125.

To purchase Festival or event tickets or to view the full Festival program visit www.byronbaywritersfestival.com.au or call 1300 368 552.

Circus Jam

We offer return bus from Jonson Street to Circus Arts. 2.5 hours on the training floor doing a whole mixture of circus skills such as juggling, staff twirling, mini tramp, silks, tight wire, static trapeze plus they get to swing on the high flying trapeze!

After the workshop they can choose a snack and a drink (beer, wine or soft drink) from the Big Top Cafe and then stay for happy hour from 4pm to 5pm! 17 Centennial Circuit Arts and Industry Estate Ph. 02 6685 6566 www.circusarts.com.au

The Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Youth Day

 

ABC3 TV Personalities – Amberley and Kayne - Headline at The Byron Bay Writers’ Festival Youth Day

Popular television personalities Amberley Lobo and Kayne Tremills from ABC3 will host the new Youth Day at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival on Sunday, 7 August, the final day of the three day Festival.

Festival Director Candida Baker has been working hard to develop an entertaining and motivating program designed specifically to capture the imagination of children aged between six and sixteen. “We are thrilled that Amberley and Kayne have accepted our invitation to headline the Youth Day which will be held in the ABC3 marquee. They are wonderful entertainers who are looking forward to MC’ing the Youth Tent for the day,” said Ms Baker. Amberley and Kayne will introduce a variety of international and Australian writers including America YA writer Maria V Snyder; Australian writers and illustrators Alison Lester and Martine Murray; actor, presenter and writer Tristan Bancks of Nitboy and Mac Slater fame; picture book writer, Tony Wilson and the Gold Inky, Teenage Choice Award winning writer, James Roy, Charlie Pickering from TV’s Your Generation and Wendy Harmer with her delightful Pearlie series of books. Bryon local and Festival veteran Tristan Bancks says being part of the Festival is one of the highlights of his year. “What I love are the thoughtful, and often hilarious, questions the kids throw at you. Sometimes they really have you thinking.”

The Youth Day will be packed with readings, panels and performances interspersed with the opportunity to participate in book signings, enjoy fabulous food, listen to a variety of live music and stroll amongst the incredible sculpture show. “I have a personal passion for children’s literacy.

Capturing your child’s enthusiasm early introduces children to a life-time of reading pleasure. I have ambitious plans to grow the Youth Day year-on-year,” said Ms Baker. “This is a unique opportunity for the children and young people of the Byron Shire and its surrounds to get up close and personal with some incredible writing talent. If you want to inspire your children to understand that words are more than just spelling on a piece of paper, this is the place to be. I would encourage all parents to book now for a thought-provoking and entertaining family day out.”

To purchase early bird tickets for the Youth Day or a three-day Festival pass visit www.byronbaywritersfestival.com.au or call 1300 368 552.

Cruel Hand Australian Tour

Byron Bay Film Festival 2011

A touch of Hollywood glamour graced Byron Bay this weekend as the Byron Bay Film Festival once again rolled out the red carpet in the foyer of the Community Centre for its opening night extravaganza.

The Community Centre was transformed for Friday night’s opening party as local media producers wined, dined and mingled with international directors, producers and actors, including Australia’s own acting stalwart, Jack Thompson and his brother, film critic Peter Thompson. So impressed was Thompson by the Festival and the hospitality of its organisers and the town that he has discussed returning to next years’ festival to run a Master Class with his brother Peter. There was barely a dry-eye in the audience after Saturday afternoon’s presentation of ‘The Telegram Man’,

Thompson’s first short film which he stars in alongside Gary Sweet and Sigrid Thornton, set in rural New South Wales during World War II. The presence of the charming icon of Australian cinema attracted what was to be the first of numerous full capacity audiences over the weekend. In its 6th year, the festival is going from strength to strength, something which was evident over the weekend with many sold out sessions and prospective audiences having to be turned away at the door.

The screenings will continue for the rest of the week with a large number of sessions on offer showcasing a variety of genre films such as surf films, documentaries, short films, environmental films and dramatic features including the Best Dramatic Feature & Best Film Nominee ‘Nauta’, screening on Thursday night with the films Italian filmmakers present. With Sunday the final night of the festival, it will begin to wind down on Saturday night with a red carpet Gala Party which will include the Byron premiere of Australian romantic comedy ‘The Wedding Party’ with the filmmakers also in attendance. The nights’ festivities will also include the presentation of numerous awards, including the big one, for Best Film. With tickets selling fast, festival organisers recommend interested audiences buy tickets in advance or online to avoid disappointment at the box office. Session times and ticket information can be viewed online at www.bbff.com.au.

Ganga Giri at Durrumbul Hall

Earthdance Byron welcomes Ganga Giri as guest performing artist for this year’s event at Durrumbul Hall on Saturday September 18th with DJ selector and DJ Pob supporting. With lighting wizardry from Luminous Lights, decor by TrancEnhance and a pumping sound system – prepare yourself for an audio visual feast with one of the North Coast’s most popular and talented musicians. Ganga Giri, an inspired music creator whose passion brings people together in a modern day corroboree. Explosive and pulsating; ambient and flowing at times – Ganga Giri is a pumping percussive multi-layered experience of complex grooves and raw, deep natural sound.

Ganga Giri’s live show is a modern/primitive celebration; a melting pot unifying many musical genres and cultures. Delivering his unique and authentic taste of multicultural Australia GANGA GIRI’s music has been widely & wildly appreciated by music lovers in many countries in clubs, halls and at music festivals all over the world.

Earthdance is the world’s largest synchronized music and dance festival for peace. Since its inception, Earthdance has been held annually in over 500 locations in 80 countries with all events simultaneously joining together in the Prayer for Peace – a powerful moment of coherent intention. All the profits from this event will be donated to Olive Kids (www.olivekids.org.au) an organisation providing support for Palestinian orphans. Earthdance’ creed transcends the restrictive boundaries of ethnicity, nationality and religion aiming to unite people across the world in the name of peace through the medium of dance.

“We dance for peace and the healing of our planet earth, peace for all nations, peace in our communities and peace within ourselves”.

Everyone is welcome regardless of age and the event is alcohol free. Durrumbul Hall Saturday September 18th 2010 6:30pm – Midnight Tickets $20 on the door Volunteers needed in exchange for free tickets. Please contact Duncan on 0266 882350.

Lucky Wonders launch their first single ‘Happy Pills’

The Lucky Wonders are set to launch their first single ‘Happy Pills’, taking their loved live show on the road to wrap up 2009. Renowned for their intensely honest lyrics and mature songwriting, the duo of Emma Royle and Jessie Vintila create tunes that touch on personal themes, but where you’re welcomely invited to share in “the real bits.”

A theme runs through The Lucky Wonders’ songs reflecting the good fortune of those able to face their demons and live their dreams. Their home of Byron Bay is a place where lucky people flock to do both.

Splendour in the Grass 2009 – SOLD OUT

Splendour in the Grass is one of our favorite festival, great bands, exciting atmosphere – and easy (parking, plenty of room, variety of food, and everyone’s having fun). Clearly, I’m not the only person who feels this way with the festival selling out in under 2 hours. Here’s what their press release had to say;

Organisers would like to advise that at 10.15am today 14 May, Splendour In The Grass weekend and camping tickets to the 2009 event, taking place Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th July at Belongil Fields in Byron Bay, have completely sold out. “’We are yet again in awe of the interest in Splendour, thanks to everyone for your support and embracing our ticketing process with its anti scalping features and carbon offsetting option.” said Event Producers – Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco

From the feedback I’ve had and lurking on forums, it looks like the ticketing went smoothly too.

Raggamuffin 2009 – Reggae Festival in Byron Bay

Following the overwhelming success of the inaugural reggae festival Raggamuffin, fans will be delighted to hear it’s happening all over again with Raggamuffin 2009.

Ziggy Marley, Eddy Grant, Ali Campbell, Shaggy, Arrested Development, Inner Circle and Bonjah will perform at six events nationally and one in New Zealand, kicking off on January 24 in Perth. Raggamuffin played to more than 70,000 ecstatic fans through February this year, emphatically proving that reggae is alive and well! This year’s event again offers a six hour musical feast of the world’s best reggae artists, with a healthy dose of funk, dub, hip hop and soul. It will be the first ever visit to Australia by Eddy Grant.

So there you have it… seven great bands providing a veritable musical reggae feast, welcome to Raggamuffin 2009!

Check out the website www.raggamuffin.com.au for all the details.

Splendour In The Grass Wraps Up At Belongil Fields For 2008

I had a blast again this year – got a big kick from seeing DEVO. The rest of my family enjoyed The Grates, The Panics, Band of Horses, Operator Please, etc. The weather was warm & dry, the food was great… all up an excellent festival. Read the official Splendour wrap up and we’ll do it all again next year.

Here’s what the organisers had to say… What a weekend! In what has been described as the biggest, best Splendour in the Grass ever, over 17,500 music fans congregated over the weekend in Byron Bay to celebrate a musical and cultural extravaganza featuring the very cream of international and Australia music artists, art, theatre, markets, food and culture. Byron locals The Black Stars kicked off musical proceedings on Saturday and the vibe and the energy never stopped. At the Big Top stage, a cranked up crowd saw Gold Coast teen superstars Operator Please give us a glimpse of our musical future.

Leeds funksters The Music and Scottish melody makers The Fratellis, and the world’s hottest new band US-based The Cold War Kids showed exactly why we should believe the hype, while rock gods Gyroscope and The Galvatrons performed storming sets that kept the Aussie flag flying against the bright blue skies. The Living End capped a comeback year with a set of epic proportions before Devo came, saw and conquered with a set featuring their old hits – complete with yellow jumpsuits and flowerpot heads, as if the eighties were reborn. Over at the Grant McLennan Stage, indie favourites The Drones, powerhouse chanteuse Claire Bowditch and US bearded wonders, The Band of Horses sang songs of breath taking beauty and depth. The Polyphonic Spree with their choir of 18, completed the evening with a hands in the air, hands on your heart spiritual experience. Over at the Mix Up Tent, our socks were rockin’, our buns were shakin’ and our feet never stopped movin’. NZ’s Scribe and Bliss N Eso played music with a message, while Australia’s Pnau, complete with dancing fruit showed us why Elton John had recently become enamoured with their music. The enigma that is Tricky took the crowd on a dark and light musical journey to finish off the night. On Sunday, the great vibe and brilliant weather continued.

At the Big Top, Melbourne’s British India showed why they are Australia’s band to watch, US band Vampire Weekend had the crowd jumping with their afro beat while Liverpool UK’s The Wombats stormed home with a set which made them the most talked about band this weekend. Iceland’s Sigur Ros, whose epic tunes and soaring melodies lifted the audience to a higher place while Wolfmother, held their status as Australia’s top rock band. At The Mix Up Tent, Katalyst lived up to his reputation of rocking the house right, while other highlights were the UK’s New Young Pony Club, and The Presets, who complete with pink tuxes and bowties showed why they are one of the biggest bands in Australia, with a cranking set. The GW McLennan Tent continued to showcase the world’s best songwriters. The crowd gave it up for former Go-Between Robert Forster and home grown favourites The Panics, while Mr Ben Lee, with his quirky charm rounded off the night with a beautiful soulful set of soaring beauty.

This year Splendour upgraded their medical response team by using Queensland’s largest provider of first aid services, Emergency First Aid Services, to provide a comprehensive care package for patrons. Stephen Barnes (Emergency First Aid Services Representative) said, “Most treatments were for minor complaints, such as blisters, cuts and abrasions. A doctor was on hand to care for a few pre-existing medical conditions that presented throughout the weekend, and thanks to this, transports to hospital were well down on last year’s event.” So as the sun sets on Splendour’s final year at Belongil Fields before we move on to our new home at Yelgun for 2009, we say goodbye to another year of amazing music, incredible vibes and the most fun you can cram into a weekend. See you next year & thanks for the memories! Splendour in the Grass Team

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