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Looking back at the 2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival

Despite some less-than-perfect weather, the 2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival (February 22 – 25, 2018) was a huge success. Over the four days, Byron Bay played host to a number of inspiring surf, art, film, and music events, each celebrating the inclusive spirit of surf culture.

Image by Elliot Kirkwood

The Byron Bay Surf Festival is unique among other surf events across the country. “BBSF has a non-competitive approach to surf events,” said the festival’s Creative Director, James McMillan. “We have a focus on culture, art and environment.”

Without the pressure of competition, surfers are free to express themselves in the water. This year, the beloved Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions and the new FreeRadical Surf Experiments invited surfers of all levels to have a bit of fun.

Image by Kane Skennar

“I was high as a kite after the Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions on Sunday,” said McMillan. “It was a really amazing day with so many stoked and smiling people, both surfers, non-surfers, families, kids and the oldest surfer in Byron Dr Bob even dropped by. The surf sessions on Sunday are about fun [which] creates a totally different and inclusive vibe to all who participate.”

Image by Alex T Roberts

The celebration of surf culture continued out of the water. The always-popular Surf Art Market drew a crowd on Saturday, despite the rainy weather. A curated collection of ethical and environmental vendors put their unique wares on display, drawing attention to the importance of sustainability in surfing. “Giving these companies an opportunity to show and sell their products educates and brings focused awareness to the public,” said McMillan.

In addition, festival-goers were treated to an incredible surf art exhibition at the Lone Goat Gallery, live music at the iconic Beach Hotel, and the crowd-favourite Sunset Cinema, which began with a traditional Welcome to Country by the local Arakwal People.

Image by Raffaella Creative

“Many surfers are creative, surfing is a very creative expression,” said McMillan, commenting on the many imaginative manifestations of surf culture on display at the 2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival.

“Every time a wave comes in you never know exactly how it is going to play out. You paddle, jump to your feet and start co-creating with Mother Nature as you weave your way along the swell... It all feels amazing. The feelings and emotions from surfing stir a certain thing inside many surfers and this sparks creativity in many different ways.”

With its beautiful beaches, creative spirit, and laid-back attitude, Byron Bay was – once again – the perfect backdrop to one of the most progressive surf events in the country. “[The area] is open and accepting of alternate thinking, arts, and activities,” commented McMillan. “The Byron Bay Surf Festival easily fits in and sends people home smiling.”

We look forward to seeing what the Byron Bay Surf Festival serves up next year.

Learn more at www.byronbaysurffestival.com.au

The Byron and Beyond 2018 Accommodation Guide

Discover the best of beautiful Byron Bay and surrounding towns and villages with the 2018 Byron and Beyond guides. Both the annual What’s On and Accommodation Guides are packed full of inspiring editorial content and informative business and event details, all alongside striking visuals.

What’s On – the Visitor Guide is Byron Bay’s official printed guide. Discover uniquely Byron activities, tours, and attractions in Byron Bay’s township and surrounding areas. Learn more about Byron’s beaches, check out the ever-growing list of Byron’s gourmet eateries, and find out more about watching whales during migration season.

Plus, this year’s magazine offers seven maps, which you can use to navigate the Byron Shire and beyond.

The What’s On Visitor Guide is distributed to over 400 outlets in the Northern Rivers, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. Or, read online.

Alongside the What’s On Visitor Guide, Byron and Beyond publish an Accommodation Guide, which includes information about Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores, Ballina, Lennox Head, Lismore, Nimbin and beyond.

In addition to the curated editorial content, you’ll find a range of practical information about transport, food, and an accommodation directory that covers the Byron Shire and surrounding regions.

The Accommodation Guide is distributed to more than 800 outlets across Australia. And like the What’s On Guide, it’s available to read online.

For anyone visiting the Byron Bay region, a flick through these popular guides is a must.

Learn more and read these guides at byronandbeyond.com

World Naked Bike Ride Byron Bay 2018

Join a group of like-minded individuals for a scenic bike ride around beautiful Byron Bay on Sunday March 11, 2018 at 3pm. The catch? The ride is clothing-optional.

Every year in March, thousands of ‘biketivists’ from over 70 countries around the globe take part in the World Naked Bike Ride.

The event promotes a number of worthy causes. First, it advocates for bike-friendly towns and cities that protect the safety of riders, walkers, and drivers. The nude cyclists draw attention to the unique dangers riders face on the roads and footpaths on a day-to-day basis.

Second, the World Naked Bike Ride protests against the use of harmful, unsustainable fossil fuels that damage the wellbeing of our people and our environment.

And third, the spectacle ignites discussions on body image and body acceptance. The clothing-optional dress code calls for both riders and on-lookers to celebrate imperfections, practice body positivity, and embrace our natural state of being.

Have a bit of fun and promote a number of great causes this year at the 2018 World Naked Bike Ride in Byron Bay on Sunday, March 11. Meet at 2.30pm at the Railway Station in Byron Bay, before setting off on a liberating ride around stunning Byron Bay at 3pm. Be prepared for onlookers – this one-of-a-kind event draws quite a crowd.

The easy ride will take about 30-minutes, and is suitable for all fitness levels. If you’re not keen on revealing all, you can still join in the fun. The dress code encourages you to come along ‘as bare as you dare.’

Learn more about the fantastic World Naked Bike Ride on their Wiki

ONE BILLION RISING REVOLUTION 2018: SOLIDARITY

As the sun rises on Main Beach on Wednesday 14th February, local women, children and men will gather again, rising up and dancing for a global revolution to end the epidemic of male violence against women and children. 

Wednesday 14 Feb, 6.30am for a 7.30am dance, Main Beach Byron Bay.

One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history. The campaign, launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. 

Byron Bay has its own high incidence of sexual assault and V Day is a great opportunity for us to find our voices in protest, by being a part of this pivotal moment, instead of thinking the problem is elsewhere. 

One Billion Rising provides an important opportunity for women and men to step up, speak up and be part of the solution, taking a stand against any male violence against women. Previous years saw hundreds of women and children dance together in Byron, reminding everyone of the importance of equal rights, and freedom. 

Come along, and be a part of this global movement saying ‘END all violence against women and children’. The world is stirring and enough is enough.

Here's  great video of the 2013 event on Main Beach Byron Bay

learn more at www.onebillionrising.org.

2018 Starlight Festival

Have a Byron Bay experience, discover your light and reconnect with your true essence at the Starlight Festival.

Join us for a festival of awakening and a celebration of infinite connection. This annual festival captures the essence of Byron Bay with a space for sharing information a bringing together of a community of like minded people. Starlight Festival is a diverse event, with live music, chanting, workshops and Yoga. It is the perfect opportunity to ignite your soul and celebrate conscious living.

The event attracts people of all ages and is a family friendly event. With renowned practitioners and specialists across a variety of fields including massage, yoga, natural products, beauty, sustainable goods, soulful food and healing. The Starlight Festival also offers connection with practitioners of ancient shamanic wisdom, soulful sound journeys and psychic knowledge.

Join us at the Byron Bay Starlight Festival in Bangalow from January 4th to 7th 2018 for four days of spiritual growth, enlightenment and expanding consciousness.

A&I Hall Bangalow
Jan 4th-7th 2018 
www.starlightfestival.com.au

First Sun 2018: New Year’s Day in Byron Bay

Welcome the first sunrise of 2018 in Byron Bay at the family-friendly First Sun event. Held each year on January 1 at the Cape Byron Lighthouse from 5am to 8am, First Sun encourages all to set a positive intention for the new year.

Set against sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, attendees with will be among the first in Australia to see the day break.

First Sun will kick off at 5am, with relaxing music as the first light of 2018 peeks above the horizon. After sunrise, the morning’s activities will include crystal bowl soundscapes, yoga, guided meditation, peaceful intent, and more. All activities are free, and suitable for all ages.

Please bring your own yoga mat, torch, sunglasses, hat, and water. Plus, don’t forget to dress warmly and bring blankets – it can get chilly early in the morning, even in the middle of summer.

Attendees are encouraged to park at the Clarkes Beach carpark from 4am, and then walk up to the lighthouse. A guided walk will leave at 4.15am. Please note, the walk to the lighthouse includes a lot of stairs.

For those that cannot walk, a free shuttle bus will run between 4.30am and 8am.

Parking restrictions will apply between Clarkes Beach and the lighthouse. And, Lighthouse Road will be closed off between midnight, December 31, 2017 and 8am, January 1, 2018.

The Cape Café will be open from 4.30am for tea, coffee, and chai. Later, it will also offer a light breakfast menu with options for all dietary requirements and preferences.  

Start 2018 with an intention for peace, health, and happiness surrounded by the natural beauty of Byron Bay. Visit www.byron.nsw.gov.au/new-years-eve to learn more.

Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out with Byron Bay Merch

Byron Bay’s iconic “Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out” sign is loved by all, locals and visitors alike. Spreading good vibrations to everyone who drives into town via Ewingsdale Road, the sign has become a landmark and popular photo spot.

Now, you can take Byron’s chilled out, laid-back attitude with you wherever you go. Our new organic T-shirts, stickers, and tote bags are perfect reminders of your trip to the Byron region.

Byron Bay T-Shirts

Share positive Byron vibes with everyone you pass with a “Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out” T-shirt. Our tees are crafted from 100 percent fair trade, organic cotton, and are available in both men's and women’s fits.

Byron Bay Tote Bags

Say no to plastic bags Byron style with a canvas tote. Featuring our original sign graphic, this bag is made of 100 percent cotton canvas, and has reinforced shoulder straps.

Byron Bay Stickers

Decorate your car, laptop, fridge, notebook, desk, whatever with our iconic Byron Bay stickers. “Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out” stickers are 14.6cm x 10cm, and made from durable vinyl with a laminate coating that protects against scratching, rain, and sunlight.

Shop Byron Bay Now with Free Shipping

Check out the range of Byron Bay merch at byronbaynow.com. We offer FREE shipping Australia wide, and $5 international shipping.

2018 Byron Bay Surf Festival

The annual Byron Bay Surf Festival is back. From Thursday, February 22 to Sunday, February 25, 2018, experience the best surf culture has to offer. From art, music, and film, to board shaping, fashion, and of course, surfing, get ready to celebrate the many facets of the surf lifestyle.

2018’s festival is set to be bigger and better than ever, with a whole host of brand-new events and Surf Fest favourites.

First up, the Surf Festival has been extended by one whole day. That means more opportunities to immerse yourself in surf culture, and get involved in the many free and paid-for events the festival has to offer.

Secondly, Friday will now host its own surf event. More details to come, so stay tuned.

Finally, the crowd-favourite ‘Surf Lit Lounge’ is getting an exciting makeover. Now titled the ‘Surf Legend Lounge,’ this event will kick off the festival in style. Taking place in the Byron Community Centre, the Surf Legend Lounge will give you the opportunity to mingle with some of the surfing world’s greatest icons, and soak up their inspirational insights on adventure, surfboards, arts, culture, and sustainability.

Early-birds will enjoy food and drink, plus live music. This event is a fantastic way to catch up with old friends, meet new friends, and feel inspired about the days to come.

Plus, all FEELGOOD and FREE events from the last Surf Festival will be back in action in 2018. That includes the iconic Sunset Cinema, the Art Show, the popular Surf Art Markets, Live Music, and much more.

Don’t forget to head to the beautiful Wategos beach, and get involved in the Freestyle & Stoke sessions.

For all the latest info, visit www.byronbaysurffestival.com.au.

Byron Bay New Years Eve 2017/18

Bring in 2018 Byron style at the family-friendly Soul Street party. Hosted by the Byron Bay Community Centre, the upbeat, colourful spirit of Soul Street attracts thousands from the local region and beyond.

The centre of town will be filled with market stalls, food vendors, face painter’s, four stages, numerous bands, buskers, circus performers, fire twirlers, drummers, and children’s activities. All the market stalls will run down the centre of Jonson Street from Byron Community Centre to Lawson Lane and throughout Railway Park. Jonson Street is closed, along with Railway Park from 4pm.

For this event, the Byron Community Centre partners with Byron Shire Council to promote a ‘Safe Summer in the Bay’. Soul Street New Year’s Eve in Byron Bay will be a fun, safe, community-driven, alcohol-free event!

Byron’s main street, Jonson Street, will be closed off (see details below) and transformed into a celebratory community hub.

The aim of Soul Street is to create an inclusive, immersive New Years Eve event in Byron Bay that everyone in our community – young and old – can enjoy. You and your loved ones will be safe and secure from start to finish.  

Soul Street Byron Bay New Years Eve Details

Soul Street runs from 4pm to midnight, December 31, 2017. The event is all-ages, and alcohol-free.

Road closures

Jonson Street will be closed between Byron and Lawson St from 6am on December 31, 2017 until 8am on January 1, 2018.

There will also be no parking permitted in the Lawson Street South car park, the Main Beach car park, the Middleton Street car bark, or in Bay Street between Jonson and Middleton Streets from 6am on December 31, 2017 until 8am on January 1, 2018.

Free parking will be available at the Butler Street Reserve, which is located a short walk from the Soul Street festivities.

Signed detours will be available, but please expect delays.

You can download the road closures map here.

Taxi and bus services

Byron Bay’s taxi rank will be located at the main bus stop for the duration of the above road closures. The bus stop will relocate to the taxi rank near Marvel Street.

Taxis will offer the Nightrider bus during peak times. The Nightrider will depart from the taxi rank at a flat fee of $5 to Sunrise and Suffolk Park.

The Falls Festival Shuttle bus will run along Ewingsdale Road into town, and between Byron Bay’s centre and Suffolk Park. Non-festival-goers can catch the Falls bus for a flat fee of $5.

Plus, Blanchs Bus Lines will offer a 24-hour timetable during New Years Eve. Phone 6686 2144 or visit www.blanchs.com.au for timetable information.

Learn more at www.byron.nsw.gov.au/new-years-eve

NORPA reveals 2018 Season

13 shows, 12 Australian works, 5 premieres. 

NORPA (Northern Rivers Performing Arts) has revealed a gutsy, adventurous and exciting year of performing arts for 2018 that firmly places the theatre company as a maker and champion of brave new Australian work at front and centre.

 
NORPA will premiere its new work Wildskin directed by Julian Louis, a thriller set in local bushland featuring an all-female cast, as well as Rovers, Wonderbabes and Horses Mouth, three powerful new theatre works created by NORPA Associate Artists Caroline Dunphy, Kate McDowell and Kirk Page.


 
“This year, we’re venturing even deeper into the wild, as we confront all kinds of animals, truths, and potentially the wilder parts of ourselves,” said NORPA Artistic Director Julian Louis “With provoking and challenging performances — plus a few laughs along the way — we’re inviting anyone who’s interested in examining the changing world around us, as well as the emotional landscapes within, to come along.”

 
Among other highlights at NORPA in 2018 will be the premiere of Peepshow by internationally acclaimed contemporary circus company Circa; Paul Capsis in his award-winning portrayal of Quentin Crisp in Resident Alien; and Catherine McClements in The Events, a Belvoir, Malthouse Theatre and SA State Theatre Company co-production that will feature a local Northern Rivers choir.
 
For young people and families there’s The 78-Storey Treehouse the newest, biggest blockbuster in the Treehouse series; 360 ALLSTARS created by local multi instrumentalist Gene Peterson featuring World Champion BMX riders, breakdancers and freestyle basketballers in a radical urban circus; two inventive and hilarious re-imaginings of classic fairy tales with Red Racing Hood and Big Bad Wolf.
 
NORPA has also launched a comprehensive year-round Education, Youth & Families program supported by Southern Cross University that includes a Summer Theatre Intensive (22-25 January, 2018), on-demand theatre workshops for schools, a student theatre club and work experience opportunities for young people. For performers wanting to further develop their practice there are regular Training Ground classes in physical devised theatre practice, a curated Masterclass Series and Artist in Residencies.
 
“NORPA couldn’t exist anywhere else, which is why we’re motivated to keep bringing the stories of the Northern Rivers to life and cementing its reputation as a cultural heartland,” says Julian Louis “We do this by collaborating with talented artists and creating original work that’s ingrained with a real sense of this place we all call home. In a small way, we’re shaping the Australia we want to live in by creating art that’s culturally respectful, inclusive, brave and playful, and by working for a company that’s been built around the same values.”
 
All 2018 NORPA shows are now on sale with a 20% discount for subscription packages of 3 shows or more. Many shows sell out so it is advised to jump on board and get your tickets early at www.norpa.org.au or call the NORPA Box Office during business hours on 1300 066 772.

NORPA 2018 SEASON now on sale
Tickets and information at www.norpa.org.au
Telephone: 1300 066 772
3 shows from as little as $60 for Under 25s or $90 for adults.

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