For the first time in Byron Bay Writers Festival history, Festival Saturday has sold out.

writ Byron Bay Writers Festival Saturday Sells Out

Festival Director Edwina Johnson is thrilled with the pre-ticket sales and keen interest in this year’s Festival and encourages locals to get online quickly to book tickets for Friday and Sunday.

Festival Friday

Friday features a star-studded line-up including international guests Jeanette Winterson, Geoff Dyer, Robin Hemley, Qaisra Shahraz, Poe Ballantine and Agustinus Wibowo.

Choose from over 35 sessions including Idiot Boxing:  Andrew Denton and Andrew Knight in conversation with Geoff Lemon; The Art of Song Writing with Darren Hanlon and Missy Higgins; Kitchen Confidential with Christine Manfield, Steven Snow and Jim Hearn moderated by Simon Marnie; History:  A Work in Progress including James Brown, Mike Carlton and Clare Wright chaired by Russell Eldridge; and Dream Boat Refugees with Julian Burnside, Carina Hoang, Antony Loewenstein, facilitated by David Marr.    

Join the excitement of two book launches: Over the Water by William Lane hosted by Sarah Armstrong, and Deeper Water by Jessie Cole hosted by Geordie Williamson.

Festival Sunday

Sunday also features acclaimed international authors Jeanette Winterson, Susie Orbach, Robin Hemley, David Finkel and Thando Sibanda.

Other highlights include The Cost of Free Speech with Julian Burnside, Antony Loewenstein and Thando Sibanda chaired by P.M. Newton; Secret and Lies:  Should the Catholic Church Confess? with David Marr, Joanne McCarthy and John Saunders chaired by Janet Steele; and A Murder of Crime Writers with Martin Chatterton, Terry Hayes, Tara Moss, P.M. Newton and Karin Slaughter chaired by Chris Hanley.

Sunday is also Kids Big Day Out with sessions led by Sally Rippin, Mem Fox, Asphyxia, Tristan Bancks, Nick Earls, Delta Kay, Jesse Blackadder and Andy Griffiths.

One-day passes are still available for $120 (Northern Rivers Writers Centre members $99) for Friday and Sunday. Youth Passes for Kids Big Day Out cost $40 (members $35).

To view the full Festival program or book tickets and avoid disappointment visit or call 1300 368 552.

Stay informed and learn more of What’s On in and Around Byron Bay.

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on July 30th, 2014

Splendour 2014 gave us fond memories of great music, happy people, huge variety of food, spectacular weather… all in a stellar venue that was easy and enjoyable to explore.

topsplend Splendour in the Grass 2014

Being a huge fan of the regions festivals, I am lucky enough to be able to attend most of them. The standout difference with this years Splendour was the use of The Amphitheatre – introduced at The Falls Festival last year with a mere 10,000 or so punters. Outkast on Friday (I’d bet) attracted most of the 27,500 Splendour attendees… I’m pretty sure it was the biggest crowd I’ve been in.

walksplend Splendour in the Grass 2014

Musically, everyone I saw put on a great show… personally, my top two;

  1. Courtney Barnett. I had my 13 year old with me in the second row, when Courtney jumped in the crowd my son was holding her up… it was a life changing moment.
  2. James Baker drumming for the Hoodoo Gurus. The last time I saw them was at James Baker’s farewell gig back in ’84!

crowds Splendour in the Grass 2014

…can’t wait till next year!

bottomsplend Splendour in the Grass 2014



Are you a dreamer? What role does art, music and performance have in modern day politics? Do art and activism have a unique relationship in the Northern Rivers?

NORPA dayofartful webpageimage An Afternoon of Artful Actions with NORPA August 9

NORPA, Lismore Regional Gallery and Northern Rivers Conservatorium are hosting a free afternoon of art, conversation, music and stories from 1:30pm on Saturday August 9th at Lismore City Hall as part of Arts in August.

AN AFTERNOON OF ARTFUL ACTIONS will feature short story readings from a new NORPA Generator work in development called Dreamer; live music from the Con’s Youth Jazz Orchestra; a lively panel discussion about the relationship of art and activism; a collection of artworks curated by Lismore Regional Gallery as an extension of their current Protest Songs- Artful Actions exhibition; and a pop-up diner catered by Olive & Luca and bar will operate throughout the afternoon.

AN AFTERNOON OF ARTFUL ACTIONS will also herald the launch of local arts alliance Creative Lismore whose role is to support and strengthen the arts and cultural sector in Lismore and Nimbin.

NORPA – insight into new Generator work ‘Dreamer’

As part of the development of a new Generator work NORPA have invited four prolific local writers – Mandy Nolan, Melissa Lucashenko, Jim Hearn and S Sorrensen – to each write a story inspired by ‘dreamers’ that capture the unique spirit of the Northern Rivers. These funny, touching and poignant stories will be read by the authors on the afternoon (Melissa Lucashenko’s story will be read by Rhoda Roberts).

The stories will introduce you to Tony from Lismore who has locked on and is refusing to budge at Bentley; Dean Simmons, a screenplay writer who refuses to let go of his dreams despite an imploding family situation; Ellie who falls in love at rehab with a kickboxer from Byron Bay; and Jean who has became embroiled in a family tragedy while working on a farm at Crabbes Creek.

LISMORE REGIONAL GALLERY – Exhibition and Panel Discussion


Lismore Regional Gallery have curated an additional exhibition of artworks that will open on the Afternoon of Artful Actions on August 9 and will be on display at Lismore City Hall until 6 September. This collection of works is an extension of the Gallery’s current exhibition, Protest Songs: Artful Actions. The Lismore City Hall exhibitionwill feature works by Benny Zable and David Lowe, Indonesian/Australian artist, Aris Prabawa, and Indonesian artist, Peter Gentur, Redback Graphix posters from the 1980s and photographs by Tim Hixson of inspiring handmade houses in the region. The exhibition combines local and universal concerns about choice, personal empowerment and power and who holds it.

Panel Discussion

Celebrated artists and writers Deborah Kelly, Leonie Lane, Rhoda Roberts and S Sorrensen will engage in a lively panel discussion Art Over Apathy: Art and a Better World

Sydney-based artist, Deborah Kelly’s insightful political art can be found in all manner of places from international galleries to public bus stops. Locally based artist/designer Leonie Lane was heavily involved with Redback Graphix in the 1980s (with slogans such as Torture Can Be Stopped, Artists for Peace and Put People First, these posters upheld ideologies of ‘peoples politics’). Rhoda Roberts is a force in the Australian arts scene. She has done incredible work to increase visibility of Aboriginal artists, writers and performers in her various roles such as Head of Indigenous Programming, Sydney Opera House and Director of the Boomerang Festival.

S Sorrensen is a much loved local writer, comedian and orator who spends time worrying about the world. And leaf blowers.


The Northern Rivers Conservatorium’s Youth Jazz Orchestra will present original jazz arrangements of protest songs from across the decades – ‘changed-up’ especially for the Afternoon of Artful Actions.

The orchestra has been playing together since 2010 under the guiding hand of dedicated musician, improviser, teacher and community-minded rabble-rouser Julius Hofstetter. These skilled and committed young musicians play tunes from the songbooks of iconic composers such as George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Herbie Hancock.

“An Afternoon of Artful Actions is an example of what can be achieved when creative organisations such as this come together,” says Ros Derrett, Chair of Creative Lismore “Creative Lismore’s vision is for Lismore to be the pre-eminent centre for the arts in regional Australia. We think we can achieve this, given the breadth of talent and skill which exists in our area.”

AN AFTERNOON OF ARTFUL ACTIONS is a chance for the community to come together for a fun, entertaining and inspiring afternoon to celebrate, dream and explore art and activism in the Northern Rivers.

An Afternoon of Artful Actions

Saturday 9 August

1:30pm – 5pm

Lismore City Hall

FREE EVENT – everyone welcome

Presented by NORPA, Lismore Regional Gallery and Northern Rivers Conservatorium

More info at

Stay informed and learn more of What’s On in and Around Byron Bay.

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Early bird tickets to the 2014 Mullum Music Festival are available now! Visit
0JKit8rwP3AIhItRAykABKegZ3gfwtoWmMBQMwFJ RuPmAn9 I5tc4An0wkObHjV1qnRnUH6LNdrf0FQ7w T1AyIbuZowqpa5BefCAwOEBQs34z7NPacs0 d e1 ft Mullum Music Festival 2014 Early Bird Tickets on Sale Now!

2014 Stall and Vendor applications are now open.

In 2014 the Mullumbimby Music Festival is expanding with new venues & locations, creating further opportunities for Vendors and Stall Holders. We are looking for unique stalls including Arts & Crafts, Food Vendors and community minded stalls that will add to our existing range of Vendors.

Applications close 5pm Fri August 8th.

Click here to submit your application now!

Stay informed and learn more of What’s On in and Around Byron Bay.

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Our Festival team has a great passion for children’s literacy and we’ve worked hard to develop a brilliant program for the 2014 Kids Big Day Out.

w Byron Bay Writers Festival Kids Big Day OutPopular television personalities Maddie and Possum of Prime7’s Possum’s Club, will host the event on Sunday 3 August. The exceptional line-up this year, designed to capture the imagination of children aged between six and twelve, includes Andy Griffiths, Mem Fox, Asphyxia, Nick Earls and Sally Rippin with local favourites Jesse Blackadder and Tristan Bancks and a special appearance by Bundjalung member Delta Kay.

As we want as many children as possible to enjoy the Festival, we offer a special discounted Youth Pass for just $40 ($35 for NRWC members) which permits access to Kids Big Day Out with an accompanying adult. BOOK

Book now and meet some of the ‘rock stars’ of children’s literature.


Getting The Crime ‘Right’ with  P.M. Newton 

If you think it is hard to commit the perfect crime – try writing one.

For many writers getting the crime ‘right’ is an intimidating prospect, it can work as a framing device for the spine of the plot as well as a way to develop character and setting. This workshop will explore three questions: What would be needed to solve this crime? This involves thinking about the elements or legal proofs of the crime – clues, evidence, witnesses, physical material, alibis, motives, means etc. It requires a little research and assembling the ingredients.

Follow former detective and crime author P.M. Newton as she shows you how to discover all of the opportunities that a crime provides.
Participants will need to select a crime novel of your choice – or you can use your own Work In Progress – and write a one sentence summary of the story. Then using no more than 6 bullet points, list the major plot points.

Thursday 31 July, 10.00am-4.00pm. Tickets are $100/$85 BOOK

Nature Writing with Inga Simpson

This workshop is ideal for fiction and non-fiction writers with a passion for the natural world, as well as professional writers in environmental fields.

You’ll focus on techniques for bringing landscapes, flora and fauna to life for your audience, including: evocative description, effective use of emotion, and the importance of story. You’ll also consider issues such as anthropomorphism, culture versus nature, and the challenges faced when writing with an environmental message.

Thursday 31 July, 1.30pm-4.30pm. Tickets are $60/$50. BOOK

If you don’t want to miss out, book online today, call us on 02 6685 5115 or drop into the festival office at Level 1, 28 Jonson St, Byron Bay (above Witchery) to purchase your festival passes.

phone our booking hotline on 02 6685 5115.3-day pass includes entry to the Festival site from 1 – 3 August.
COST: $265 or $230 students/members of the Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre
Please note all tickets are non-refundable, non-exchangeable and non-replaceable.
Please follow us on facebook

Full Program on sale  NOW
Workshops begin Monday 28 July
Secondary Schools Day Thursday 31 July
Main Festival days Friday 1 – Sunday 3 August
Primary Schools days Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 July

Stay informed and learn more of What’s On in and Around Byron Bay.

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Whether the topic is terrorism, refugees, the true cost of free speech, war, the Catholic Church, or failing media empires – the Byron Bay Writers Festival is not afraid to tackle major social, ethical and philosophical issues.

writers THINKING BIG at the Byron Bay Writers Festival

With a featured guest list of some of Australia’s brightest thinkers and creative minds joined by a cast of esteemed international writers, Festival Director Edwina Johnson says the Festival will both challenge and excite audiences in conversations, which are destined to be remembered long after the event is over.

This year’s program is as diverse as it is rich and boasts several Big Issue sessions including Dream Boat Refugees; How Vulture Capitalism is Swallowing the World; Secrets and Lies: Should the Catholic Church Confess; Shifting Sands: Lessons from Iraq, Afghanistan and The Cost of Free Speech. Wide-ranging, provocative and probing commentary will underpin this year’s Festival program.

One such session is destined to be Soldiers: Lambs to the Slaughter or Sacred Cows programmed on Saturday, August 2. Featuring James Brown, David Finkel and Rabia Siddique, it will be chaired by the former editor of The Northern Star, Russell Eldridge.

Panellist Rabia Siddique is a woman of many talents. She speaks four languages, has run the London marathon for charity, undertaken human rights and community aid work in the Middle East, South America, United Kingdom and Australia and is a mother to five-year-old triplet boys.

Siddique is also a criminal and human rights lawyer, a retired British army officer, a former terrorism and war crimes prosecutor and published author. In 2006, Siddique was awarded a Queen’s commendation for her human rights work in Iraq, and in 2009, she was the runner-up for Australian Woman of the Year UK. She has recently written and published her memoir, Equal Justice.

Siddique is delighted to be involved in the Festival. “I’ll elaborate on the story told in my memoir and will further explore the issues of equality, resilience, authentic leadership and the need for us all to have courage in our convictions.”

Fellow human rights barrister, Julian Burnside will tackle the emotional topic of refugees in the session Dream Boat Refugees to be held on Friday, August 1. Burnside will be joined by Vietnamese refugee, award-winning author and publisher Carina Hoang and Antony Loewenstein, Guardian columnist and best-selling author who will also feature in another powerful Festival session, How Vulture Capitalism is Swallowing the World.

Then the Big Issues turn to politics and the environment…

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and Pulitzer Prize winner David Finkel will explore Australia’s relationship with the US, prompted by influential commentator, David Marr, while journalists Mike Carlton, Terry Hayes and Kate McClymont will discuss The State of the State.

They will be preceded by retired politician Bob Brown and Tim Flannery, who will explore their environmental vision for our wide brown land…

‘You may laugh, you may debate and you may even shed a tear or two, but above all you’ll be privileged to hear and discover powerful evocative stories that will echo and ripple into the community and beyond,’ says Johnson.

The Festival runs from 1- 3 August with workshops commencing on 28 July. For more Festival information and feature event tickets, or call 1300 368 552.

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on July 8th, 2014

NRCLogo colour Northern Rivers Youth Orchestra

Northern Rivers Youth Orchestra is a three-day school holiday event held at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium in Lismore, culminating in a public concert at SCU’s Whitebrook Theatre on July 10 at 6:00 pm.

60 students aged 7-21 from Yamba to the Tweed will converge in Lismore along with 10 buddies from the Sydney Conservatorium tertiary program and a guest international conductor, Mr Luis Fernando Madrid, from Colombia.

The full Orchestra will be playing two original pieces written and arranged by Wendy Turner. These are: Moods of Ireland and Symphony Funtastick (a play on words on the famous Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz ).  They will also play a prize -winning American orchestral piece especially written for Junior Orchestra, called Millennium.

The String Ensemble will play two pieces- one from the traditional string repertoire- Romanian Dances by Bartok and a modern piece called Legend.

The Concert Band will play a piece called Synergies which will show their talents.

The Senior Orchestra, comprising students from Year 6 and above will play John Williams’ challenging film score, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The repertoire chosen for the workshop will capture the musical imagination of the students and all pieces include technical and performance challenges. Adaptations to scores have been made to make the experience inclusive for all students.

Tickets are $10 and $5 and are available from the Conservatorium on 6621 2266 or at the door

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Entries are officially open for the 2014 Byron Bay Surf Festival Surf Shorts Film Comp presented by GoPro.

Film Comp social media ad 2014 1024x1024 Enteries Open for the 2014 Byron Bay Surf Festival Surf Shorts Film CompThis year we’ve upped the ante on prizes, sponsorship and media coverage including a GoPro cash/prize package of $3000 and more. The clip time limit is TEN minutes and the theme ‘Citizens of the Sea’. Also is a new ‘democratic’ online voting format; the most voted wins! So, the earlier you enter, the more time you have to accumulate votes and to be featured with our video partners including Coastalwatch, Korduroy TV, Skuff TV and all social network platforms. Everything weird & wonderful welcome.

Get shooting and enter!


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Inject some adrenalin into your life.

The Byron at Byron is thrilled to present extreme health experts Dr. Glenn Singleman and Heather Swan for a night of mind-blowing inspiration.

Dr Glenn Singleman and Heather Swan 1024x768 Byron at Byron presents Dr Glenn Singleman and Heather Swan This husband and wife team has set three World Records in extreme sport, including the world’s highest BASEjump in a wingsuit over the Himalayas. The achievement is made even more remarkable by the fact that Heather was a corporate executive who was afraid of heights.  Over six years she trained with Glenn to become physically fit, mentally focused and emotionally tough enough to climb a Himalayan mountain and fly off the top.

“Heather’s transformation was inspirational,” said Glenn. “She had never planned to climb anything higher than the corporate ladder but by overcoming her fears she attained much more than she ever imagined possible”.

By changing her diet and exercise regime she changed her body fat content and became physically strong. Through techniques like meditation and visualization she overcame her fears and by joining Glenn on a ‘Vision Quest’ their relationship “was deepened and enriched beyond measure”.

Accompanied by spectacular photos and videos, Heather and Glenn will share their story and their process at the Byron at Byron.

Dr. Glenn Singleman is a world famous professional adventurer, expedition doctor and award winning documentary filmmaker. He has accompanied expeditions to Antarctica, the North West Passage, the Himalaya and the Andes. He was a part of James Cameron’s recent expedition to the deepest part of the ocean; the Marianas Trench and has accompanied the Hollywood director on expeditions to the Titanic and the hydrothermal vents. His own films have won 25 international awards and been seen by hundreds of millions of people. He has twice been named as one of the ‘Top 5 Presenters in Australia’ and is a popular media commentator on extreme sport, fear and managing risk.

After the Harbour Jump 1024x680 Byron at Byron presents Dr Glenn Singleman and Heather Swan

Heather is an award-winning author of two non-fiction books and freelance photojournalist. Before her radical career change she was a corporate executive managing International and Australian businesses. She has received a ‘Spirit of Adventure Award’ from Australian Geographic and has presented to hundreds of audiences around the world.

Heather and Glenn have been married for 18 years and together have four children. They have appeared twice on Australian Story as well as 60 Minutes, A Current Affair, 7:30 Report, Sunrise, HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Revealed and Wide World of Sports (to name a few).

Join them as they share their recipe for being brave, being healthy and having a great relationship. Hear how you too can tap into the wilder side of life over some intriguing menu choices that will match the flavour of the evening.

“We are so excited to bring two great Australian adventurers as a part of our Byron at Byron Presents series” said General Manager of The Byron at Byron Lyn Parché. “We kicked off this series with the irrepressible Bettina Arndt, and haven’t looked back. Australia has so many creative people to inspire us along our journeys. We are lucky we live in such a beautiful place so that we can entice them here to share their stories”.

Thursday July 10, 7:00pm.

$70 including two courses and a glass of wine.

Bookings are essential.

Please contact 02 66392105 or

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Circus Arts Byron Bay & Varietyville Productions presents Dandyman this school holidays.

edit School Holiday Fun At Circus Arts Byron BayDANDYMAN takes you on a journey of the imagination.  Everyday objects transform fluidly in the hands of this talented physical comedian. Armed with just a pocket full of drinking straws, Dandyman fills the stage with characters, landscapes, and wild adventures. Rediscover the joy of playfulness as Dandyman sweeps you up in this invigorating and crazy world.

A master and maestro of the moment “Dandyman” aka Daniel Oldaker is an award winning, 5 star,

circus and physical comedian who’s performed one man, duo and ensemble physical comedy shows in over 25 countries for the last 15 years.

Take a dash of Mr Bean, throw in a pinch of Ed Grimley, a handful of Jacques Tati, some juggling balls, a bowtie made of straws and a whole lot of charisma and you’ve arrived somewhere in the neighbourhood of Dandyman. He’s a true original who draws on comedy, top-notch circus skills and blends them into something entirely fresh and a little bit chaotic.

“Daniel Oldaker maximizes the subtlety of live performance, often using little more than his eyebrows to get huge laughs from the audience” 5 STARS – CBC Manitoba – Sarah Michaelson

“Oldaker is a master of object manipulation.” 4 1/2 STARS – Herald Sun – Stephanie Glickman

“withdrawing the predictability to offer a genuinely unique Festival experience” The Pun – Jonathan Rivett

“High energy clowning rivals Buster Keaton.” The Adelaide Advertiser

Dates and times: Monday 30th June – Friday 4th July at 12:00pm – 12:30pm

Venue: Circus Arts

Where: 17 Centennial Circuit, Byron Bay

Tickets: $8

Dries Trapeze Catch web School Holiday Fun At Circus Arts Byron BayFor further information about Dandyman, and other activities available this school holidays, visit

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