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BIG SCRUB IS BACK! - LIMITED RELEASE -

New Age Lager reminds us to preserve the beauty of our backyard... 

Set to quench thirsts as the weather heats up, Big Scrub - Stone & Wood's refreshing new age lager is back. Only brewed from time to time, Big Scrub will be going on tap and hitting shelves across the country mid October.

Protect your local rainforest! With only 1% left of the largest sub-tropical rainforest on the East coast, the remnants of Big Scrub serve as a reminder to preserve the natural beauty of our backyard, and are the inspiration for our Beers from our Backyard limited release.

Our Big Scrub is a new age lager. It’s different to traditional lagers by being dry hopped, using new world hops and it’s left unfiltered. It pours golden with a slight haze from extended cold maturation (5 weeks), with a luscious, creamy head. Big Scrub balances floral aromatics, spicy herbal notes and hints of citrus from the dry hopping. It has a dry, firm bitterness that makes for a moreish finish.

We are lucky to live in one of the greatest places on Earth, with an incredible hinterland that needs to be protected and appreciated. Big Scrub is our local rainforest, that once covered 75,000ha prior to European settlement. It was the largest area of subtropical rainforest on the East Coast of Australia, and is an important part of Australia’s rich biodiversity heritage.

For us, we are conscious of treading lightly on earth and are inspired by the incredible regeneration and restoration work of our local community, work that has helped save our local rainforest. Leading the charge is Big Scrub Landcare, a not-for-profit we continue to support, working together to raise awareness and actively preserve our hinterland.

Learn more about Stone & Wood + purchase online, visit www.stoneandwood.com.au.

Street Removed: Connect with the Byron Shire Community

Discover the people that make Byron Shire’s communities so special with Street Removed. Lead by Bangalow resident Terry Brown of Byron Video, the videos provide an authentic look at beautiful Byron Bay and surrounds.

Street Removed goes behind the scenes of the town. The method is simple: Terry picks up a camera and microphone, walks through the town, and chats with locals. Everything is entirely unscripted and 100 percent real. These conversations help fellow residents, as well as visitors, get to know the warm and welcoming community and culture of the region.

Incredibly, Street Removed's walk around Bangalow was chosen as one of nine Australian finalists in QANTAS's #mytownspirit promotion. Voting has now closed, and we eargerly await the result. 

Check out this episode of Street Removed. You’ll meet Mon, an employee at Woods Bangalow with a passion for hats.

For even more Street Removed, head over the Street Removed Facebook Page for live walks through town, where Terry stops and connects with the locals for more insightful conversations.

Or, learn about the dedicated people who make local events – such as the Sample Food Festival – possible.

Terry believes that it’s the people – not the landmarks – that make a town unique. Through his Street Removed project, he hopes to encourage others to connect with one another. It’s as easy as saying hello!

11th Annual Byron Bay Film Festival October 6-15

#CINEMAFORTHESENSES

It’s time to answer the siren call of Byron Bay – to its beautiful beaches and bush, and to the rich cultural feast that is the Byron Bay Film Festival (BBFF).
 
Now in its 11th year, BBFF spans across ten days in six venues, featuring over 175 independent films, and attracting filmmakers and film-lovers from all over the world; it is the Australia’s most loved regional film festival.
 
Last year the festival celebrated its milestone 10th birthday, with celebrity endorsements from some of the film world’s top names – including A-listers Idris Elba, Chris Hemsworth, and Tom Hiddleston, who said it was “certainly the best film festival in Australia”. The festival had its stamp on the international calendar, and as it has done every year, increased its international reach.
 
This year the festival launched with a stirring video made by acclaimed Storm Surfers director and now local resident, Justin McMillan, with Director of Water Photography Stefan José joining other Byron locals to help out.
 
The video captures not just the glory of surfing on this part of the coast, but the freedom to be found in the Byron landscape, and embodies the high-quality aesthetic of the festival, and lights up the sensory experience of both the unique Byron Bay experience, as well as the immersive wonder of film. It captivates and offers the viewer ‘Cinema for the Senses’ – the perfect taster of what festival goers might experience in 2017. View the trailer now, via www.bit.ly/2iA5jJ5
 
Once again there is a unique and diverse line-up from around the world. This is truly an international event, with documentaries, drama and comedy from some of the most remote corners of the earth, as well as the best from young Australian filmmakers and their contemporaries overseas. Find out more about the Young Filmmaker Award via www.bbff.com.au
 
Virtual Reality (VR) and other high tech of the moving image will be explored and shared. The Byron Bay Film Festival has been a pioneer and leader in the burgeoning Byron Bay innovation movement, which has created countless entrepreneurial and industrial opportunities for the creative industries and beyond. The Ncubat8 Program offers the opportunity for a young filmmaker to work on VR with a local industry professional. More information on this can be found on the festival website.
 
Move seamlessly from one world into another: dry off, brush the sand from your feet, and step into the infinite universe of the cinema, to be transported to another place and time.
 
Then there’s the parties, the meet-the-stars and film-makers events, the workshops, live music and action!
 
The Byron Bay Film Festival is illuminated with two dazzling red carpet gala events in the heart of town. Opening Night offers a chance for industry networking and a taste of the flavour of the festival to come, and features a highlight film screening. The culminating celebration event is an exciting night of recognition for filmmakers, the festival, Byron Bay, and the international film industry, and not to be missed. Early ticket purchases are recommended to avoid disappointment to these two popular events.
 
The 11th Annual Byron Bay Film Festival is held on Friday 6 – Sunday 15 October 2017 in multiple venues throughout Byron Bay and surrounding suburbs.
 
Program will be released over the coming weeks.

Tickets are on sale now via www.bbff.com.au
 

Nudge Nudge Wink Wink

Cunning Stunts presents the monthly Nudge Nudge Wink Wink sundown event. Family friendly with activities for kids, it's held on the first Sunday of the month at The Billinudgel Hotel. 

The party with a conscience is now a TICKETED monthly event running from September - June that brings the community together in an all inclusive way, whilst raising much needed funding for beloved and deserving local charities that help improve the lives of Northern NSW residents.

Food trucks, an outside bar and amazing raffle prizes all contribute to this special family friendly event the first Sunday of the month has become.

Bringing their together collective artistic skills, knowledge and community spirit to create awareness and generate funds for incredible local charities that tirelessly devote themselves to supporting and helping Northern NSW residents achieve a better quality of life.

The core team - Darren & Sarah Sutton, Laura Peck & Dale Stephen tirelessly devote themselves to putting our fundraising events on every month as a charitable endeavor, assisted by our sponsors, supporting businesses and the nudgers - our amazing event patrons.

The season features an assortment of highly experienced, diverse and amazing local DJ’s playing deep and blissed-out Balearic beats, delicious dubs, left field excursions, oddball disco and killer obscurities are world class.

Raising over $54,000 thus far for local charities across 17 events, Cunning Stunts Nudge Nudge Wink Wink eclectic events continue to set the bar.

Fundraising at their events is raised through ticket sales, vendor and attendees’ donations, merchandise sales and the selling of raffle tickets. 100% of profits donated to local well deserving charities.

For further information on Cunning Stunts:
Website: www.cunningstunts.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/cunningstuntevents

2017 Destination Byron Tourism Symposium Re-Cap

The theme Beyond The Byron Boom, How to Ensure Our Visitor Economy is Sustainable, allowed the local industry to come together for a one day conference at the Elements of Byron Resort and share some detail on how different sectors are working sustainably.

The event began with an introduction by Cr. Simon Richardson, who did an excellent job as MC with insight and humour, followed by Delta Kay's engaging Welcome to Country.

The program started with Stephen Mahoney and Anthony Laver of Destination NSW, presented Projections and Updates, providing visitor statistics and outlining many of the services they provide to the region's industry and businesses. 

Vanessa van Uden, a past Mayor of Queenstown New Zealand, presented a real-life experience of Queenstown Avoiding Death By Popularity. She highlighted the importance of industries working together to come up with innovative solutions, such as using sewerage charges as a bed tax alternative by charging $612 per year for the first toilet, then $306 for each additional toilet. The larger hotels end up contributing over $100,000 per year.

Liz Price discussed the Strategic Master Plan for the Great Ocean Road, which until recently went without any central management. Liz highlighted the issues they face with a fragmented industry servicing 5 million (mostly day trippers) each year. 

The 140 or so attendees then enjoyed a Local Producers Morning Tea supplied by Nimbin Valley Dairy, Salum Australia, Brookfarm and Byron Bay Cacao.

The first panel discussion was Sustainability of the Events Visitor Economy, facilitated by Cr. Simon Richardson with Jane Magnus, Jen Murphy, Mat Morris and Chris Hanley. A mature industry pointed out that better regulation and better infrastructure would help the events industry. And, the importance of event managers sharing best practice improvements amongst themselves.

Before lunch, Anthony Laver, David Jones and Brenda Miley, facilitated by Cameron Arnold, discussed Defining Brand Byron. The consensus was it's the feeling of Byron that best defined the brand, as there are beautiful beaches, great restaurants, exciting festivals, etc. all over the world - but only one Byron Bay.

A quick lunch with time to stretch before Pam Brook facilitated the Heroes of Regional Tourism discussion with Tom Lane, Brooke Hudson, Sue Walker and Jasmin Daly. They each talked about change, collaboration and the importance of allowing staff to work to their own passion.

The program ended with Delta Kay, Vanessa van Uden, Liz Price and Carly Weiland discussing How Will Byron Tackle Quality vs Quantity facilitated by Jane Laverty. The lively discussion ended up with the idea that a quality service or experience will encourage the desired quality of visitor behaviour.

The attendees finished the day with a drink supplied by Brookie's Gin and Stone & Wood, and some networking.

Overall, the theme of people and collaboration ran through every discussion, with the best, simple idea coming from Delta Kay who suggested we all greet Byron's visitors with 'Jingi Walla' (Welcome).

The Byron Writers Festival 2017 Re-Cap

This year, the Byron Writers Festival enjoyed perfect weather, an inspiring line-up, and a chilled-out atmosphere. With a myriad of thought-provoking talks and panels, festival goers were treated to 3 days of world-class political, historical, and artistic insight.

Unlike last year’s festival, the 2017 Byron Writers Festival was dry and sunny. In fact, through Friday and Saturday there was not a cloud in the sky.

Festival goers took full advantage of the warm weather, with many choosing to enjoy a picnic style lunch, a snooze in the sunshine, a quick cup of coffee, or a few minutes of quiet time with their brand new book.

Each day from 9am until 5pm, the tents came alive with discussions on all things writing. Pictured below is Tony Jones in conversation with Sarah Kanowski.

From journalism to poetry (including performance poetry by Arielle Cottingham, pictured below), historical fiction to memoir, there was something for every reader and writer.

Although much of the subject-matter discussed was quite serious, the tents and venues often erupted in laughter and applause.

Sunday – the last day of the Byron Writers Festival – was the Kids Big Day Out.

Kids met their favourite authors (include the very funny Peter Helliar), competed for book prizes, and watched hilarious performances by this year’s Sunday line-up. Even the adults were cracking up.  

Overall, the 2017 Byron Writers Festival was a unique and memorable experience. The lessons learnt, ideas debated, and viewpoints bought to light will play on our minds for weeks to come.

See you next year, Byron Writers Festival.

Splendour in the Grass 2017

Warm blue sky days and cool clear nights made for an easy and enjoyable Festival. 

Splendour in the Grass 2017’s line-up of over 100 acts played to a capacity 32,500 audience across four main stages - The Amphitheatre, Mix Up Stage, GW McLennan Tent and Tiny Dancer - while the festival’s campground became a home away from home to 19,500 music fans.

The music, artwork, light installations, sunny days and excess glitter helped provide colour and movement across the whole festival.

Appreciative audiences for all performances added to the energy.

Fun bars and interesting food all around - my favourite were the Mary's Burgers. All up, another excellent Splendour - I can't wait for next year!

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.

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