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Japan Festival Byron Bay presents Bon-Odori event 24th Jan 2021

Come and enjoy Taiko and Dance experience all evening on the sunset lantern atmosphere and drinks and foods. Children to seniors, all nationality, everybody is welcome in the drum & dance circle.

Japan Festival Byron Bay is an annual community event to introduce unique Japanese cultural experiences for understanding of diversity through the Japanese food stalls, Taiko drumming and music, dance experience, also markets of kimono, craft and workshops. 

Not only stage performances and markets but visitors will be able to engage in Japanese traditions through the workshops.

Festival is a non-profit free entry event usually, we fundraise annual public liability insurance and logistic cost by drink sales and workshops fee on Festival sites each years.

As our Festival is done in a digital way in 2020,  this time is a fundraiser workshop style event aiming to raise for the Japan Festival Byron Bay November 2021. 

We need your help to continue culturally diverse activities in Byron Bay.

Please prepare your picnic rug for your personal space, and a Dance workshop will be arranged with placed TAIKOs in personal distance.

Book your spot under limited space under restricted circumstances !

Date : Sunday 24th January 2021 
Time : 3pm - 8pm (Set up start 2pm - Pack up finish 9pm)
Venue : Byron Youth Activity Center Byron Bay [1Gilmore Cres, Byron Bay NSW 2481] 
Enter : $2 + Donation (Fundraiser for Byron Taiko’s Public Liability ) / $30 Workshops experience ticket
Wet weather : shrink in to inside and under cover outside area of YAC
Event Organizer : Japan Festival Byron Bay
Sponsor : Byron Youth Service

Experience authentic Japanese culture
Under the COVID restrictions, we downsized this year however the event designed as visitors will be able to engage more in Japanese traditions through the workshops with this "Bon-Odori" in this fundraiser event.The Japan festival is aiming to promote Japanese culture to Byron shire, and also promote Byron Bay to Japan, wishing to become a bridge between Australia - Japan.

What's "Bon-Odori"
BON festival dance is a celebration to worship the spirits of ancestors at the end of the summer annually in Japan, originally a Taiko+Dance to appreciate the health of children and family members. 

Japanese believe the spirits are protecting each family all the time, Welcoming them back  to visit their relatives during the BON term.

Learn more via the Japan Festival Byron Bay website.
Entry and workshop tickets are available online.

LIVE MUSIC BACK IN BYRON THIS SUMMER - Summer Stage Byron Bay - Red Devil Park - weekends 9 Jan through 28 Feb

Introducing Summer Stage Byron Bay, a bespoke music series reigniting the live music scene that embodies the heart and soul of the Northern Rivers community. Taking place weekends from 9th of January - 28 February 2021 at Red Devil Park Byron Bay.

Summer Stage Byron Bay is a unique initiative curated by local musician and icon Lisa Hunt and is set to push play on live music.

Opening Weekend
Saturday 9 January line up is Oka and Bullhorn
Sunday 10 January welcomes Lisa Hunt and the Hussy Hicks

Venue: Red Devil Park, Bangalow Road, Byron Bay (opposite Byron High School)
Capacity: 500 people
All ages (all minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times)
Fully accessible
Fully licensed (no BYO)
Gates Open: 4pm Saturday / 3pm Sunday
Venue curfew: 9pm Sat / 8pm Sunday
Event Hotline: 0410 759 465
Tickets: Prices vary. Please refer to www.summerstagebyronbay.com.au

Summer Stage ignites fresh energy into the ever-popular Byron Bay festival scene with headline acts and local producers and distillers coming together in a natural outdoor environment. Creator Lisa Hunt said “we have created a unique, glamorous music series, with intimate spaces and picnic circles to cater for all ages and music lovers of any genre-after a year on pause it’s time to get the bands back together”.

Hunt’s first foray into event management came from a necessity to perform again – facing the harsh reality of a declining live music industry, she began to dream of getting a boutique festival up and running. Operating out of Red Devil Park, the venue is able to host a crowd of up to 500 whilst adhering to a covid-safe plan.

The state-of-the-art stage will operate at Red Devil Park over summer, 9th of January through to 28th of February – marking the festival as a coming together of community and artists following the year that was 2020.  

For tickets and further information about the original festival series visit summerstagebyronbay.com.au

Activities for Kids in Byron Bay - Summer School Holidays (20/21)

There is plenty of fun things to do in Byron through the summer school holidays. On top of all the usual things to do, here's some of the extra activities for school aged kids.

Circus Arts Byron Bay

Offers a comprehensive timetable of activities during both the QLD and NSW school holidays including full and half day circus programs, flying trapeze, indoor climbing and a kids play space. These school holidays Circus Arts brings you the regions only Ninja/Parkour classes for kids, available for 1/2 day and full day students.

Further details and bookings via circusarts.com.au/activities/byron-bay-school-holiday-programs/

Sandology

Come learn how to carve sand like a pro with Sandman Steve. In an unforgettable hour and a half you will learn how to make towers, archways, stairs, animals and balls out of just sand and water. You’ll never look at sand the same way again. What to Bring? Sensible beach wear, hat, sunscreen, water. Fun for all ages 5 and above!

Workshop 10-11.30am, On Belongil Beach (Across from the Treehouse), Byron Bay. $25 per person - Bookings are essential as numbers are limited. To book call or text Steve on 0428 699 614

Tuff Nutterz

Australian owned biggest inflatable obstacle course is landing in Byron to bring the fun for the whole family during these summer school holidays

Cavanbah Centre, Byron Bay 19 Dec - 5 Jan. 8.30am - 7.30pm (5 sessions)
90 Minute Session Pass $30pp. All ages welcome on any session (Under 5’s require an accompanying adult on one ticket). Book online at www.tuffnutterz.com.

McGregor’s Family Carnival 

The carnival will look a little different this year, but all nessecary changes are to ensure that we are running an APPROVED COVID SAFE EVENT for all to enjoy!

Opening on 17th December in Banner Park, Brunswick Heads to coincide with the “Bruns under the Stars” community event, and will finish on 17th January. Open nightly (except Xmas day) weather permitting from 6:30pm. The carnival is still FREE ENTRY and pay as you go attractions.

Farm Kids

Cows, flowers, bees, chickens, pigs and more... Farm Kids inspires and educates children through programs about where food comes from and introduces them to concepts like paddock rotation for the animals, the importance of pollination, organic farming, crops, healthy soil, composting and other ethical farming practices. 

There are a range of COVID safe kids workshops being running 14 Dec - 22 Jan. Full details and bookings available at thefarm.com.au/kids-workshops.
 

Byron Supper Club Brings a Taste of Broadway to the Shire

We all know Byron Bay as a unique and highly desirable tourist destination. The region as a whole offers a vast array of world-class entertainment options and it is about to add another string to its bow - high-end theatre with the Byron Supper Club.

Michael Cormick is an internationally renowned singer and actor with a diverse career throughout Australia, the United Kingdom and Europe. His leading roles include The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, The Woman in White, and many more.

Michael brings this wealth of experience as he embarks on his new role as Artistic Director of Byron Supper Club. Inspired by Broadway, the show will premiere on Thursday 7 January with two more shows on Friday 8 and Saturday 9.

“Byron Supper Club is a truly unique theatrical experience. It is completely different to anything Byron has seen before. A rare opportunity to dress up and enjoy a glamorous night out at the theatre,” says Michael.

If you've ever loved The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables or Moulin Rouge, this is your chance to experience musical theatre at its grandest and most intimate.

For three nights only, the Byron Theatre will transform into Byron Supper Club, with cabaret style tables replacing traditional theatre seating. The night will feature five pop-up shows over three hours in an elegant supper club setting. Expect the unexpected in this submersive, intimate theatre experience. 

“I love the live element of performing in a theatre. It’s an immediate exchange between the performer and the audience,” says Michael. “I have been a performer all my life, and have experienced this in many forms in lead roles across London, New York, Paris, Italy and at home here in Australia, but to be in such an intimate setting makes this truly special.”

West End star Michael draws on his extensive theatre experience as he presents some of Australia’s most iconic musical theatre stars, along with Byron’s best local talent.

Michael leads a world-class cast, with musical theatre icons Rachael Beck (Cats, Beauty and the Beast, Les Misérables), Blake Bowden (The Book of Mormon, Fiddler on the Roof) and Graeme Isaako (Aladdin). They are joined by soul powerhouse Lisa Hunt and jazz ensemble the Sharny Russell Trio.

“The audience can expect a night of incredible entertainment. Music all night and theatrical extravaganzas that pop up throughout the evening. Also, the luxury of table service and, of course, our Taste of Byron supper platters, full of delicious local produce,” says Michael.

The Byron Supper Club - A truly unique theatrical experience in the heart of Byron Bay!
7pm, January 7-9 2021
Byron Theatre, Tickets $120/pp Book a table of 2, 4 or 6

A Taste Of Broadway
5 theatrical shows over 3 hours in a glamorous supper club setting

For 3 nights only the Byron Theatre will transform into Byron Supper Club, with cabaret style tables replacing our traditional theatre seating.

If you've ever loved The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables or Moulin Rouge, this is your chance to experience musical theatre at its grandest and most intimate. Brush off your top hat and tails for an unforgettable evening at the theatre!

World-Class Artists
Dazzling performances by Australia's most iconic musical theatre stars

Enjoy a series of spectacular pop-up performances the likes of which Byron has never seen before. 5 shows throughout the evening bring you a Taste of Broadway in Byron, featuring some of Australia’s finest musical theatre performers and Byron’s best local talent.

Musical theatre stars Rachael Beck, Michael Cormick and Blake Bowden are joined by soul powerhouse Lisa Hunt and jazz band the Sharny Russell Trio.

Bangalow Film Festival 14-23 January 2021

A trio of Bangalow locals have banded together to bring the hinterland village its very own Bangalow Film Festival in January.

An annual event, held in the Bangalow Showgrounds and A&I Hall. The festival is both an outdoor and indoor event launching for the first time on January 14 to 23, 2021. Screening features, documentaries and short films, both local and international.

Christian Pazzaglia, Ben Alcock and Lyn McCarthy all have experience in mounting film events. Christian has worked internationally as a curator and producer of film programs and festivals; Ben is the co-founder of Bangalow’s Flicks in the Field, and a well-known travel writer and marketing consultant, and Lyn is one of the founders of the Dendy Cinema chain and ex-General Manager of the Sydney Film Festival.

Christian Pazzaglia is an experienced festival curator. He has produced multidisciplinary programs and special events for leading festivals and cultural institutions in Europe, Asia and Australia—including Dark Mofo and The Sydney Film Festival. It was a walk-through Bangalow soon after arriving in early-2020 that sparked the idea for a local festival.

"The Showground's arenas and the gorgeous A&I Hall just seemed perfect for a film festival", says Christian.

A few keystrokes into a search engine later, and Christian was connected with the Flicks in the Field outdoor cinema team who continued the flow of introductions through the local creative community.

When Christian was introduced to Lyn McCarthy, the idea became a reality. Many in the Northern Rivers will know Lyn as a prolific local photographer and publicist. But as a co-founder of the Dendy Cinema chain and ex-GM of the Sydney Film Festival, her background and industry knowledge rounded out an already impressive team.

"Our aim is to deliver a memorable event dedicated to bringing the local community together to celebrate cinema. In a COVID-safe way, of course," says Lyn.

From January 14-23 the festival will light up the Bangalow Showgrounds and the A&I Hall, and will showcase an exclusive line-up of world-renown classics and new, critically acclaimed, films from around the world. The opening night promises to be a glamorous affair. Film lovers, fashionistas and anyone looking for a fun night out won’t want to miss seeing the beautifully restored version of Federico Fellini’s masterpiece La Dolce Vita.

Martin Scorsese called it, “the film that conquered the world”. An exquisite tale of celebrity, La Dolce Vita casts an adoring yet critical eye towards 60s Rome. Set over seven decadent days, we follow Marcello Mastroianni’s philandering journalist as he pursues a happiness that’s always just out of reach.

“It’s 60 years since La Dolce Vita won the Palme D’Or at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and this year Fellini would have also celebrated his 100th birthday,” says Christian. “We are very excited to be able to open our first ever Bangalow Film Festival with such a masterpiece of cinema.”

In keeping with the 60s theme, the screening will be an outdoor drive-in event, to be held in the Bangalow Showgrounds. Anyone with a vintage vehicle is especially encouraged to attend and the dress code will be Fellini’s 60s, which allows for a multitude of possibilities from gorgeous gowns and black tie to circus characters, vagabonds and paparazzi. This will undoubtedly be a night to remember.

The full festival program will be announced shortly. As well as La Dolce Vita, patrons can look forward to the Northern Rivers premiere of High Ground starring Jack Thompson and Simon Baker, the winner of Best Documentary at the Sydney Film Festival, Descent, the Australian premiere of The Truffle Hunters (an outdoor event where you can bring your dog) and an inspired blend of classics, new releases, film concerts and fabulous events for families.

"With our local Agricultural Shows, Christmas Carnivals, Music festivals, and other major events, being cancelled this year, we're looking forward to bringing the community together, attracting visitors to town to support local business, and showcasing some wonderful cinema," says Ben.

Full program and ticket sales available from December 14 at:  www.bangalowfilmfestival.com.au

The five best vegan restaurants in Byron Bay

Whether for taste, health, environmental or ethical reasons - a plant based cuisine is becoming more popular. While most restaurants offer vegetarian options, there are a growing number of vegan restaurants in Byron Bay.

We surveyed our Facebook fans on their favourites and here are the results... The five most popular vegan restaurants in Byron Bay (listed in alphabetical order).

Elixiba

Good health and good times come together - from exquisite house-made meals to drinks infused with a variety of rare and wonderful active botanicals, come experience all Elixiba has to offer!

Elixiba Byron Bay - Shop 10, Feros Arcade, 23 Jonson St, Byron Bay. For reservation, phone (02) 6685 6845.

Manna Haven 

Exceedingly healthy, exceptionally delicious. Manna Haven takes pride in serving you with healthy and delicious vegetarian food made from fresh and local produce. Most items on their menu are vegan, with a large range of gluten-free options available.

Manna Haven Cafe Restaurant - 97 Jonson Street, Byron Bay. For reservation, phone (02) 6685 6926.

No Bones

No Bones is based on the belief that great food should be enjoyed by everyone. Their motivation has always been to create a more sustainable future alongside serving good food and good drinks. 

11 Fletcher St, Byron Bay. For reservation, phone (02) 6680 7418.

Yulli's Byron Bay

Yulli’s Byron Bay is 100% vegan. The plant-based menu is modern Asian and dishes are matched with a diverse vegan wine list, local spirits and cocktails, plus of course Yulli’s Brews range of craft beers, cider, kombucha and other beverages.

3/8 Byron St, Byron Bay. For reservation, phone (02) 6685 5711.

Yummify Byron Bay

Welcome to Yummify, food for the heart and soul that's also awesome for the planet. Our fabulously creative vegan meals are organic, preservative free, nutrient dense and made from scratch – with love.

Yummify - 74 Centennial Cct, Byron Bay and the local farmers markets. Phone 0432 260 927

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)

Extra Summer Markets in and around Byron Bay

The Byron region plays host to a variety of established and emerging community markets. 

Through summer, to satisfy both the Christmas shoppers looking that special gift and the the extra holiday makers - there are a few extra market days scheduled.

The regular community markets are also taking place to their schedule

Byron Beachside Market 6 January 2021

Byron Beachside Market
Wednesday 6 January 2021 - 8am to 3pm
Main Beach foreshore

The Byron Bay Beachside Markets are held four times each year (early January, Easter, mid-July and in late September)and are located on the foreshore of Main Beach, east of the Surf Club in Byron Bay.

Two extra Byron Bay Community Markets 13 dec & 10 Jan

Byron Bay Community Markets
Sunday 13 Dec & Sunday 17 Jan - 8am to 3pm
Main Beach foreshore

Come and enjoy the holiday season with extra Sunday markets in December and January! Whether you're looking for clothing, jewellery or homewares, there's a gift for everyone at Byron Markets. Browse the stalls and support local this Christmas.

The Bangalow Flea Market date change in Dec and an extra market 23 Jan

Bangalow Flea Market
Saturday 5 Dec & Saturday 23 January
Bangalow Primary School

The Bangalow Flea Markets are the newest markets to arrive in the region offering a collection of stalls from established businesses, regular market vendors and locals wanting to sell their pre-loved items - garage sale style. Regularly on the 2nd Saturday each month.

Habitat Fashion Flea Market 28 November 

Habitat Fashion Flea Market
Saturday 28 November 8am-1pm
Habitat Courtyard

This is a one off market in the courtyard at Habitat in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate. You're sure to find a bargin plus all the profit is supporting Bruns Brekkie. Parking is limited, please car share where possible. 

The Bangalow Designers’ Christmas Market 12 December

Bangalow Designers’ Market
Saturday 12 December 8am - 3pm
Bangalow Public School

Bangalow Designers’ Market, showcasing the best of local design on Saturday 12th December at the Bangalow public school 45 Byron St, Bangalow from 8am – 3pm. Parking is available in the Bangalow showgrounds entry via market street.

New Years Eve 2020 accommodation in Byron Bay

With international and state border restrictions in place, Byron Bay is shaping up to be as busy as ever over New Years and into the summer school holidays.

For New Years week (27 Dec - 3 Jan), booking.com says 98% of places to stay are unavailable and Airbnb says 86% of places in Byron Bay are already booked on Airbnb.

If you're looking to stay over New Years - I've compiled this list based on my own search Saturday afternoon 21 November, things may change with last minute cancellations &/or additional inventory being added to the online travel agents.

If you plan to stay sometime in the school holidays - be sure to browse our Byron Bay Accommodation guide

Byron Bay Hotel and Apartments


This property is just 150 m from Byron Bay’s Main Beach, located right in the town centre. Byron Bay Hotel and Apartments offers hotel style rooms and 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments. A delightful lap pool with sun lounges awaits your arrival.

Gosamara Apartments


Gosamara Apartments offer one bedroom self-contained accommodation just a 5-minute walk from the Byron Bay's Belongil Beach, Main Beach and town centre. The property features a heated saltwater swimming pool, tropical gardens and free parking.

The Great Byron Getaway


The Great Byron Getaway offers accommodation in Byron Bay, three bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, and swimming pool - 1.7kms from the centre of Byron Bay.

Your Luxury Escape - The Loft


The apartment has 3 bedrooms, a TV, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 2 bathrooms with a shower.

Airbnb Byron Bay for the week 27 December - 3 January


Airbnb lists 33 places to stay in Byron Bay for New Years Eve 2020.

Byron Bay New Years Eve 2020 for Foodies

Things will be COVID different on New Years Eve in Byron Bay this year. Falls Festival has been cancelled, the Byron Community Centre is NOT hosting their Soul Street - street party, there haven't been any announcements from the pubs, and we haven't had any official news from Byron Council.

If you are a foodie, you are in luck as there are a number of New Years Eve dinner events in and around Byron Bay. 

Beach Byron Bay

Welcome in the New Year with a beautiful beachfront dinner party at Beach Byron Bay. Come together with friends and family for a very special New Year’s Eve celebration to toast to the new year ahead! Enjoy Champagne and caviar on arrival and a delicious eight-course menu by Head Chef Simon Palmer.

$300 per person, bookings essential. Call - 02 6685 8445, email [email protected] or visit www.beachbyronbay.com.au.

Fishheads

Why not spend New Years Eve in Byron Bay with an exclusive beachfront table until 1am and enjoy an amazing multi course meal and a glass of sparkling wine on arrival.

Tickets are $110, bookings essential. Call - 02 6685 6011, email [email protected] or visit www.restaurantbyronbay.com.au.

The Italian Byron Bay

NEW restaurant location at 108 Jonson Street. Serving delicious food, wine and cocktails in a relaxed fine-dining atmosphere in the heart of Byron Bay. This New years Eve enjoy a 5 course Degustation & Champagne on arrival.

$155 per person, bookings essential. Call - 02 5633 1216, email [email protected] or visit www.theitalianbyronbay.com.

Harvest Newrybar

This years’ NYE, Harvest will be hosting dinner with a focus on the best in Australian wine and produce. Guests will be greeted with a glass of bubbles on arrival, followed by an exquisite meal designed by chief of food David Moyle and head chef Santiago Socrate.

Pricing starts at $195 per person *Complimentary bubbles on arrival, for booking phone 02 6687 2644.

Loft Byron Bay

Loft's highly anticipated NYE ticketed event is now available to book! Celebrate the new year Byron-style at Loft. 4 course set menu + spritz cocktail on arrival. Two seating options: Sitting 1 - 4:30pm-7:30pm or Sitting 2 - 8:00pm-close, for bookings phone 02 6680 9183.

Three Blue Ducks

See 2020 off on a high with a delicious three course NYE dinner - Ducks style! From 6:30pm on the farm for free flowing bevvys, flavoursome food and cracking tunes. Tickets are limited and selling fast - please contact (02) 9389 0010 to secure your spot.

Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2020 in the Byron Shire

NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations will be held from 8 November to 15 November this year under the theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’.

Residents of the Byron Shire are asked to use the week-long celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to acknowledge their connection to country.

 Rob Appo, Council’s Project Officer Social and Cultural Planning, said the theme ‘Always Was,  Always Will Be’ is due recognition that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for more than 65,000 years.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were managing the landscape, caring for country and maintaining cultural practices long before European settlement and NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for everyone in our community, and across Australia, to recognise this,” Mr Appo said.

NAIDOC Week is traditionally held in July but celebrations were postponed this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the public health orders, activities next week will be on a smaller scale. 

A flag-raising ceremony will be held on Monday 9 November with representatives from the Arakwal people and the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Land Council, along with Byron Shire Councillors and the Executive Team.

“Byron Shire Council has also extended an invitation to surrounding Local Government Areas to host similar events as a symbolic acknowledgment of NAIDOC Week in the Northern Rivers,” Mr Appo said.

“While it is unfortunate we will not be able to have community representatives at the flag-raising event, as we normally do, I hope people take the time to mark NAIDOC Week in their own way,” he said.

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