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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!

Byron Bay's best coffee in town

Byron Bay takes its coffee seriously.

When in town, we like to drop into a whole range of coffee shops for our caffeine fix. So, we asked our Facebook fans which cafe they believe serves up the best coffee in Byron Bay.

We tallied the votes, and here are the top five picks (in alphabetical order).

Bayleaf

Bayleaf has been a favourite spot for coffee in Byron for years. With a bustling atmosphere and hip interior, it’s the perfect spot to escape the heat in summer or cosy up with friends in winter.

Passionate about serving locally-sourced, seasonal produce, the team at Bayleaf offer an inventive, ever-changing lunch and breakfast menu alongside their top-notch coffee.

Combi

Dedicated to delivering the very finest brew, Combi was another favourite among our Facebook fans.

The baristas use a fair-trade blend of beans with a medium to strong flavour complimented by a pinch of sweetness. Plus, all coffees are made double shot, so if it’s a morning kick you’re after, Combi is a great option.

Dip

A popular spot for breakfast and lunch, Dip serves up some of the best coffees in town. Using local, organic coffee beans, the skilled baristas at Dip help locals and visitors alike take on the day – even if that means lying on the beach!

The outdoor seats are the ideal place to people-watch as you enjoy your cuppa – you’ll want to sit there for hours.

Safya Byron Bay

Speciality coffee, Egyptian-inspired food, and one of the homeliest café settings in Byron Bay serviced by a friendly, tight-knit team of locals: that’s Safya

Bringing in a new single-origin brew every week, Safya is a coffee-lovers paradise.

Sparrow Coffee Co.

Need coffee fast? Drop into Sparrow for coffee on the fly. At Sparrow’s Byron location (you’ll find Sparrow Coffee Co. in several spots throughout NSW and QLD), expect quality, hand-crafted Allpress coffee without the wait.

If you’re feeling peckish, indulge in organic sourdough bread and pastries from The Bread Social.

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

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

First Sun NYD Byron Bay

A dawn ceremony at Cape Byron Lighthouse

Start the first hours of 2019 with a guided meditation, relaxing music and yoga. This family-friendly event offers visitors and locals alike the opportunity to welcome the New Year with conscious intentions at the most Easterly point of Australia’s mainland.

All activities offered are free. Please ensure you are comfortable in these early hours by bringing a yoga mat, warm clothing, torch, a blanket, sunglasses/hat and water.

Parking is advised at Clarkes Beach carpark from 4am. We recommend walking to the lighthouse from here. A guided walk will depart at 4:15am. As an alternative for those unable to walk, free shuttle buses will operate between 4:15am – 8am.

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