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The Mullum Music Festival

From humble beginnings, the picturesque village of Mullumbimby has hosted the Mullum Music Festival (MMF) since its inception in 2008.

Nestled amongst the surrounding mountains in the Byron Bay hinterland, this diverse community of just over 3000 people has embraced this very different type of music event. The last decade has seen more than 600 world-class artists and thousands of people make their way to the festival, not bad for a little festival that started on the night of the electrical storm of the decade.

"The street parade kicks off the final day of a festival which shares a Shire with some of the country's biggest. Bluesfest, Splendour In The Grass and Falls all run around here, but it's Mullum Fest which is truly the jewel in this area's crown."- Rolling Stone

Over the past decade Mullum Music Festival has evolved into one of the most successful boutique festivals in the country, proving small isn't just beautiful, it's also economically & environmental sustainable.

No gates. No big headlines. No VIP areas. Basically a ‘No hassle’ festival. A festival where artists and performers mingle, where shows are held in halls, clubs and pubs rather than tents, and instead of driving hours to park in a field and trudge on site, patrons become enmeshed in the spirit of a vibrant village.

“It’s a great feeling returning to the usually sleepy township of Mullumbimby … It’s a beautiful, restful place any time you drop by, but you know that for one weekend a year it’s transformed into a vibrant mecca of music and community, and during that window there’s no better place to be.” - The Music

The town’s array of boutique performance spaces, cafés, parks, buses and streets are filled with some of the world’s finest international musicians alongside the regions incredibly diverse and talented artists.

"It’s not just about one act, but rather all the performers. Mullum Festival is about the experience. Everyone knows that. It’s all about the people. All of the people. Everyday People!” says Festival Director Glenn Wright

The 2018 event takes place November 15-18, for full details and tickets visit www.mullummusicfestival.com.

World Indigenous Leaders Converge at Byron Bay for Global Healing

UNITY EARTH presents “Fields of Healing: A Journey of Awakening”
BYRON BAY, NOVEMBER 24-25, 2018: 

  • An historic convergence of local and global Indigenous leaders joining artists, activists, musicians and healers for the inaugural “Fields of Healing” event at North Byron Parklands.
  • Legendary Eskimo Shaman from Greenland, Uncle Angaangaq to visit Australia for the first time 
  • Grammy Nominated Reggae Star Rocky Dawuni and other acclaimed international Artists coming to support the event
  • Hereditary Dakota Chief and Global Unity Activist Chief Phil Lane Junior’s first visit to Australia
  • Dr. Mindahi Bastida, Director for the Original Caretakers Program at the Center for Earth Ethics, returns to Australia for Fields of Healing
  • Commemorating the one-year anniversary of the momentous occasion of the Return to Country of Mungo Man. Indigenous people from the Lake Mungo descendants coming to Byron offering ceremony and songs for healing
  • UNITY EARTH is partnering with local indigenous community and other grassroots community organisations
  • Sam Cook, an indigenous Australian woman with a global profile and track record of event management is Event Director for Fields of Healing

A truly historic gathering, Fields of Healing, is to be held at North Byron Parklands, on the 24th and 25th November 2018. The event will bring together line-up of renowned healers, musicians, artists and thought-leaders for a historic “Convergence of Healing”. The event is co-hosted with local Minyungbal Song Man Uncle Magpie, traditional custodian of the land where this unique global-gathering is taking place.  UNITY EARTH is also working closely with neighbouring custodian Auntie Delta Kay of the Arakwal people and working in collaboration with the excellent Culture Aware initiative. The inaugural event Fields of Healing is delighted to also feature outstanding international acts Kristin Hoffman, Premik Russel Tubbs and GRAMMY® nominated Rocky Dawuni. Rocky was recently appointed a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Environment. Local artists including Áine Tyrrell and Dane Kennedy are also performing.  

Uncle Angaangaq from Greenland has been travelling the world since 1975 raising the alarm to the global community about climate change and the melting of the Big Ice in this homeland. 

He says “my father told me to never go anywhere without being invited and I am so happy to be invited and accept that invitation, I’ve never been to Australia, I’ve never had a chance to visit you, you are my family, I will come with an open heart. Most importantly I will come with peace in my heart.”

Chief Phil Lane Jr, founder of Four Worlds International Institute has been a global activist working on peace, human unity and reconciliation for decades but like Uncle Angaangaq has never before been to Australia. Uncle Phil who believes that “Fields of Healing, is part of the fulfilment of Indigenous Prophecies everywhere on Mother Earth” is being accompanied by his Dakoda “Koda” (spiritual brother) Darcy Demas. Chief Phil says “both myself and my Koda Darcy Demas are so looking forward to visiting our relatives in Australia for Fields of Healing in November.  We are fulfilling a journey my beloved father always talked about. He said they have very good horses in Australia”. 

Of further historic importance, the event will also mark the one-year anniversary of the deeply historic Return to Country of Mungo Man in November 2017. This profound healing moment when the ancient remains of Mungo Man, a 42 000 years old human ancestor, were returned to his country in the Willandra Lakes Region of New South Wales, marks an important moment for Australia’s waking up and growing up. Representatives of the Indigenous group associated with Lake Mungo will attend Fields of Healing, continuing the important healing journey of this Ancestral Spirit. 

Dr Mindahi C. Bastida Munoz is a caretaker of the philosophy and traditions of the Otomi Peoples of Mexico and Director for the Original Caretakers Program at the Center for Earth Ethics, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Dr Bastida was one of the international dignitaries at the Mungo Man Return to County commemorations in 2017 and is delighted to be returning To Australia for Fields of Healing, saying: 

“After attending the historic ceremonies of Return to Country of Mungo Man last November in Mildura, I am excited to be returning to Australia for Fields of Healing in Byron Bay. This is a great opportunity to strengthen our connections with aboriginal peoples and our aboriginal brothers and sisters from ancestral Australia. Also for the healing and balancing Mother Earth through ritual ceremonies in Australia’s Sacred Sites”. 

North Byron Parklands is a stunningly beautiful 660-acre cultural arts and music events venue. It is country which has deep significance for the local Aboriginal groups the Minyungbal and Arakwal people.

The two-day gathering is designed as both a “gathering” and a “retreat” offering an intimate experience capped at just 1500 people to ensure intimacy of attendees and delegates. Sam Cook is the Creative Director, herself an indigenous Australian and highly credentialed Festival director with decades of experience utilising the Arts as a force for healing and cultural expression. These two life-affirming days on the beautiful North Byron Parklands will be a deep shared experience of healing, intercultural community and personal transformation with powerful music, soulful food, healing ceremonies and healing circles. The event is alcohol and drug free and is designed to be family friendly with special activities for children who come along. It is a not for profit event. Unity Earth invite all who feel called, to come and gather for this powerful and historic event. Early bird tickets are available until September 30th. Go to www.fieldsofhealing.com.au for more info and to book.

Unity Earth Background
Unity Earth is a worldwide collective dedicated to promoting intercultural harmony, healing, and transformation through music, events and by weaving stories together into larger inclusive narratives. Unity Earth was a convenor and sponsor of the Return to Country Festival commemorating Mungo Man’s homecoming in 2017 as well as U Day Festival in Ethiopia in 2018. U Day Festival is planned for India in 2019 and Jerusalem in 2020. 

5 best breakfast spots in Byron Bay

It’s the most important meal of the day.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely Sunday brunch spot or a quick bite to eat before heading to the beach, Byron Bay is home to some excellent cafes, all of which serve up exceptional breakfasts.

We asked our Facebook fans to vote for the best breakfast spots in Byron Bay, and here are the results (in alphabetical order).

Bayleaf

Bayleaf is a true Byron staple, serving up an inventive menu of fresh and healthy breakfasts. The Bayleaf breakfast menu is inventive and ever-changing: think dukkah poached eggs, quinoa coconut porridge, and breakfast burritos.

Dip

Another top pick for coffee in Byron, Dip is the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and enjoy a long and laidback breakfast. The outdoor seating is a great place to people watch, and breakfast is served until 3 pm, so there’s no rush.

Dip offers all the classics, plus plenty for those with a sweet tooth – cinnamon and vanilla French toast, buttermilk pancakes with fresh berries, and wild rice porridge.

Espressohead

Espressohead has long been a favourite Byron cafe, and with breakfast this good, it’s no wonder hungry travellers come back again and again.

Espressohead has something for everyone, including a range of vegan and gluten-free options. You can build your own big breakfast from scratch, or opt for one of the cafe’s classics, like the grilled chorizo and house-made baked beans pictured above.

The Belongil

The Belongil offers beautiful coffee and generous breakfasts. Located in the beachside suburb of Belongil, in Byron Bay, known for its tranquility, undeveloped landscape and beach. Open for brunch: 7am – 2pm.

Three Blue Ducks at The Farm

Breakfast doesn't get much fresher than at Three Blue Ducks Byron Bay. Situated at The Farm – a picturesque, fully operation farm just outside of Byron’s township – Three Blue Ducks serves delightful breakfasts every day until 11.30 am.

The innovative menu boasts modern takes on old classics and entirely new concoctions, as well as an enticing list of breakfast drinks.

Best of Byron

Discover our Best of Byron series. Find out where to grab the best coffee, brunch, burgers, fish & chips, Mexicanbreakfasts, pizza, ice cream, cocktails, and romantic dinners – according to you.

(note - businesses listed in alphabetical order as voted for by our Facebook fans - no 'pay for placement'. However, we do link to, and hope you will best support, business that advertise with byronbay.com)

SAMPLE FOOD FESTIVAL announce festival line-up for 2018

Sample Food Festival is proud to announce the line-up for the annual event, to be held on Saturday 1st September at Bangalow Showgrounds in the Byron Bay hinterland.

This year’s program, launched by long-time supporter of the festival and celebrity chef, Darren Robertson includes headliners, Shannon Bennett, founder of Vue de monde (Melbourne) and Zeb Gilbert, executive chef at Wasabi (Noosa) alongside appearances from Byron Bay Cooking School’s wellness chef, Samantha Gowing, and author and producer, Luca Ciano.

The one day event will celebrate the diverse and rich produce, chefs, artisans and producers Northern Rivers of NSW is renowned for. Since 2011, Sample has evolved into the largest gastronomic gathering in the Northern NSW calendar, attracting over 16,000 locals, travellers, guest chefs and food lovers alike.

Working with Gold Coast Airport as presenting partner for 2018, Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the airport was pleased to partner with the biggest one-day food festival in the Northern Rivers. “ We are excited to increase our sponsorship support in northern New South Wales, which is a key tourism growth area for the airport,” she said. “Sample Food Festival has become a landmark event on the region’s calendar, and we are proud to be part of its continuing growth story.”

Festival Director, Rose Taylor said “Every year we have visitors going through Gold Coast Airport to attend the festival from around Australia and overseas, and we’re thrilled to have them on board as presenting partner. This year holds an exciting array of makers, chefs and restaurants and I can’t wait to showcase the best of the region for festival-goers - whether they’ve travelled locally, or from far and wide!”.

Look forward to $5 and $10 tasting plates showcasing the menus of 26 regional restaurants, including Harvest, No Bones and Balcony Bar & Oyster Co., over 100 market stalls, designers and producers, live music and children’s activities, while cooking demonstrations from attending chefs will come to a head at the TAFE Celebrity cook off. To help cleanse the palate over the day, award winning Byron Bay brewery Stone & Wood will serve a range of beers, alongside offerings of local wines and Husk Distillers spirits.

As part of the lead up to the festival, Sample and Le Cordon Bleu will also offer a season of events, including one-day food photograph & styling and food & wine writing workshops hosted by Fran Flynn (local photographer and designer) and Justin Bergman (The New York Times, Time magazine, New York magazine and Monocle). Guests may also attend the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society Dinner, hosted by Jane Thomson (Thompson Estate) and Rebekah Richardson (Irvine Wines) with food by Byron at Byron, Bangalow Hotel Dining Room and Luca Ciano.

Friday’s opening lunch will be catered for by none other than Shannon Bennett and his Vue de monde team. Always the hottest ticket in town, this year’s menu, designed by Shannon using local produce, includes canapes, three courses, matched wines and Stone & Wood beers.

Sample Food Festival presented by Gold Coast Airport:

Date: Saturday 1 September, 2018

Time: 8am until 4pm
Location: Bangalow Showgrounds, 1 Market Street, Bangalow 2479
Cost: Tickets upon entry are $5 per person and children are free

Pre-festival events:

Food Photography & Styling Workshop with Fran Flynn presented by Le Cordon Bleu Thursday 30th August 10am – 5pm at The Byron at Byron

Fabulous Ladies Wine Society Dinner with Jane Thompson and Rebekah Richardson, menu by the Byron at Byron’s Executive Chef Matthew Kemp and Gavin Hughes, Chef Consultant, author and producer Luca Ciano and Bangalow Dining Room’s Executive Chef Michelle Wright Thursday 30th August at The Byron at Byron

Eat Your Words Food & Wine Writing Workshop with Justin Bergman presented by Le Cordon Bleu

Friday 31st August 10am – 5pm at The Byron at Byron

Sample Festival Lunch by Shannon Bennett & Vue de Monde Team Friday 31st August 12pm at the Bangalow Showgrounds, under the marquee

Visit www.samplefoodevents.com for more information as well as tickets for the Sample season of events leading up to the festival.
 

Byron Writers Festival 2018 re-cap

The Byron Writers Festival 2018 (August 3-5) is now over. And, with over 150 sessions featuring more than 140 writers from Australia and abroad, the three-day event was entertaining, inspirational, and thought-provoking.

Over 12,000 festival-goers were treated to perfect weather all weekend long. In the late winter sunlight, the site’s many sculptures and rainbow flags create a vibrant yet laid-back atmosphere. Plus, the on-site food and coffee were sensational, especially when enjoyed picnic-style by the water.   

The diverse range of sessions, performances, and panel discusses celebrated story-telling in all its forms, from the political to the poetic and everything in between.

We can’t wait to see what next year’s festival will offer.

Crowds on the move

Christine Milne in conversation with Margaret Throsoy

Anxiety: is it just me? with Mat Haig and Sarah Wilson

One of the many sculptures dotted throughout the festival site 

Lunch time at the Byron Writers Festival

Frontier Wars discussion with Tom Keneally

Oliver Phommavanh during the Kids Big Day Out

Enjoying the winter sun

Learning from the resident poet

Captivated audiences

#byronwf2018 - see you next year!

 

5 best burgers in Byron Bay

Hungry? Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good burger.

Here in Byron Bay, the burger-lover is spoilt for choice. We asked our Facebook fans where they grab the best burgers. Here are the top five results in alphabetical order. Get ready to get hungry.

Beloporto

Beloporto, lovingly referred to as ‘Belos’ by the locals, has long been a favourite cheap-eats option in Byron Bay. Their specialty is Portuguese chicken burgers – marinated to perfection and topped with lettuce, cheese, house-made aioli, and optional chilli.

If chicken isn’t your thing, Beloporto serves up beef and veggie burgers, salads, and delicious fries. It’s all tasty, fast, filling, locally-sourced, and affordable. A true Byron staple.

Main Street Burger Bar

Main Street Burger Bar brings together a mix of classic burgers, real shakes, and craft beers. Their extensive menu offers everything from traditional cheeseburgers and BBQ brisket burgers, to truffle chicken burgers and vegan-friendly pulled jackfruit.

All burgers are made with 100% grass-fed beef, free-range pork, and locally sourced eggs.  

The Northern Hotel Restaurant and Bar

The Northern Hotel is a Byron Bay icon serving up classic pub fare including their delectable range of burgers – the wagyu beef burger, the lemon and herb chicken burger, and the baked ricotta and sweetcorn burger.

What’s more, every single day of the week you can pick up a burger and chips for just $10 between 12pm and 3pm. It’s one of the best lunch deals in town NOTE - this lunch special is no longer available.

The Rails Hotel

The Rails is one of the most-loved live music venues in Byron, offering local, national, and international talent every night of the week.

There’s no better way to soak up the laid-back atmosphere of The Rails than with a freshly made burger. Choose from beef, fish, chicken and bacon, pork belly and slaw, and grilled eggplant – all served with chips or a side salad. Perfection.

The Top Shop

The Top Shop is a go-to for many Byron Bay locals. Known for its single-origin coffee, great breakfasts, and exciting burgers, The Top Shop combines the best of hipster cafe culture and small-town hospitality.  

Their burger menu is pretty extensive and changes regularly. So, whether you’re looking for straightforward American beef burger or something a little more inventive, The Top Shop has it all.

Best of Byron

Discover our Best of Byron series. Find out where to grab the best coffee, brunch, burgers, fish & chips, Mexicanbreakfasts, pizza, ice cream, cocktails, and romantic dinners – according to you.

(note - businesses listed in alphabetical order as voted for by our Facebook fans - no 'pay for placement'. However, we do link to, and hope you will best support, business that advertise with byronbay.com)

Splendour in the Grass 2018 Re-Cap

Splendour in the Grass 2018 (20 – 22 July) is done and dusted, and what a fantastic festival it was. All 35,000 festival-goers were treated to perfect weather – clear, warm days and cool nights – and a jam-packed line-up of local, national, and international artists.

The site itself looked more colourful and dynamic than ever, complete with new flags, performers, art installations, and punters dressed-up and decked-out in true Splendour form. 

Alongside the music, we enjoyed the science tent, forum discussions, the comedy tent, the craft tent, and the family-friendly Little Splendour. There truly was something for everyone. Our favourites were Henry Rollins in discussion in the forum and Aunty Donna’s comedy set.

As always, there was plenty of food to indulge in-between sets.

Finally, our musical highlights. 

Photo: Stills in Time

Photo: Jess Gleeson

On Friday, we caught Murray from The Wiggles with DZ Deathrays, who played a few songs including an AC/DC cover. Lorde was the headliner, and she put on a great show.

Photo: Stills in Time

Saturday highlights include Franz Ferdinand, an old favourite, and Lil Xan.

Photo: Jess Gleeson

On Sunday, we watched Ball Park Music in the GW McLennan tent. We’d only seen them in the amphitheatre previously, and it was great to catch them up close on the smaller stage. And headliner Kendrick put on a killer performance – the crowd loved it.

Photo: Ian laidlaw

We can’t wait to see what next year has in stall. Thanks, Splendour in the Grass!

Mother’s Day Byron Bay 2018

Celebrate Mother’s Day (Sunday, 13 May 2018) Byron style. Many of the region’s eateries host specialty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, with a treat for mum thrown in for good measure.

Here are a few Mother’s Day 2018 events in Byron Bay.

Three Blue Ducks

For relaxed vibes, farm-fresh produce, and a seriously impressive menu, pop into the Three Blue Ducks in Byron Bay. Drop in on the day, or phone 02 9389 0010 to book a table for dinner. Visit www.threeblueducks.com to learn more.

The Byron at Byron

This year, the Byron at Byron restaurant is hosting an indulgent three-course menu handcrafted by renowned Executive Chef Matthew Kemp, accompanied by live music and drinks on arrival. Treat your mum to rainforest luxury this Mother’s Day for $85 per person. Phone 02 6639 2111 to book your table.

Go the extra mile and send your mum to the stunning Spa at the Byron at Byron. Enjoy 20% off all Gift Voucher purchases before 13 May. Drop in, call 02 6639 2110, or visit www.thebyronatbyron.com.au to purchase.

The Balcony Bar & Oyster Co.

Take your mum for a meal at the iconic Balcony Bar & Oyster Co. on Mother’s Day, and she’ll receive a glass of bubbles on arrival, one of Chef Sean Connolly’s chocolate tortes, and a gift to take home. This extra special offer is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Spoil mum – book your table at balcony.com.au.

The Byron Bay Golf Club

Enjoy the views from the deck of the Byron Bay Golf Club this Mother’s Day. Greg Lyon and the Hip Operation will be performing from 2pm, so drop in for a late lunch. Book now at byronbaygolfclub.com.au to secure a table.

Beach Byron Bay

Join Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs at Beach Byron Bay as they launch their brand-new book Women Like Us. With prizes for the best-dressed and a delightful three-course menu, treat your mum to picture-perfect views, incredible food, and a good laugh. Book now at beachbyronbay.com.au

Byron Bay Bluesfest 2018 Re-Cap

The Byron Bay Bluesfest 2018 (29 March to 2 April) has come to an end, and what a festival it was. Despite a little wet weather over the long weekend, the world-class musical talent and showmanship, friendly crowds, and colourful festival vibes surpassed expectations.

In true Bluesfest tradition, the festival kicked-off on Thursday with a downpour. Although the mud didn’t dampen the festival spirit, we were all grateful to see blue skies and spectacular sunsets on Sunday and Monday.

This year’s line-up was packed full of incredible artists. Our favourite was Eric Gales, the virtuoso guitarist, who we saw for all three performances last year and all three performances this year. Watching such a master musician play up-close was mind-blowing.

Some performances were truly heart-wrenching. Blues musician Walter Trout – accompanied by his son on guitar – paid tribute to the stranger who saved his life by donating their liver. The crowd went wild as the set ended, and Walter broke down in tears.

Darren Hart of Harts played a killer set before hinting at his retirement and smashing his beloved guitar.

Other highlights included Canned Heat, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Gomez.

We also ran into Michael Franti walking among the crowd, singing, and taking selfies with his fans.

As always, the food at Bluesfest was an experience in itself. The coffee tent was a great place for a much-needed rest, and the Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts – the longer the line, the better the doughnut tastes – did not disappoint.

Finally, the vibrant market stalls, kids’ activities, circus performers, dancers, and polite and considerate crowds made the festival a real pleasure to attend. We cannot wait to see what Bluesfest has in store next year for its 30th anniversary.

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

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