Spring has arrived and the Byron Bay Surf Festival, beginning October 24th, is budding with exciting new announcements. With a traditional opening ceremony by the Arakwal Bundjalung people followed by a free outdoor screening/Australian premiere of the Beyond the Surface film and raging launch party by NZ blues rock band Bonjah at the Beach Hotel, the festival kicks off with a BANG.
Saturday 25th absorbs the seaside with a beautiful, rambling market hub bursting with surf-inspired creative initiatives, ideas, arts, music, workshops, demos and delicious edibles. Some of the highlights include health and wellbeing seminars such as that of raw chef/nutritionist Samantha Gowing, surf injury expert/physiotherapist Ryan Huxley and Yoga sage Geoff Brooks. Selected stalls will showcase some of the best and most innovative brands in surfing such as the newly launched Banks brand, international labels like Sanuk, Moonjelly and Free People. Additionally, there will be an entire arena on the northern end of the festival site dedicated to charities, sustainability and gift clothing initiatives such as Smile, Hippy Tree, Kiss Max and Toms. Down the way will be many small local and international artisan and surfboard shaper stalls to browse upon, design workshops, large surf culture art show and also a special retro/rockabilly area, 50's cars and bikes hosted by Uppercut Deluxe. Here you will also find a special Golden Breed surf history display with surfboard evaluation area. Sublime tastes will be found throughout the market hub with an array of local cooked, cut, raw or organic cuisines by the likes of AllPress Espresso, The Chia Co, Santos Organics and Loving Earth just to name a few. With two music stages onsite, there will be plenty of sweet tunes to listen, alternatively you might like to tune into some of the mind tweaking all-day presentations in the popular ‘Surf Literature Lounge’ featuring speakers, stories, far reaching ideas and chaired discussions by experts, writers, publishers and surf legends such as Tom & Nick Carroll, Brad Gerlach, Duct Tape surfer Pascale Honore or giant wave photographer Russell Ord.
At night, keep your eyes open for key events in town. Some of these include a presentation by freesurfer and activist Lauren Hill on ‘Third World Girls, social justice and surfing’ discussing seedlings of surf culture around the world, a special GoPro youth comp hosted by renown photographer Willem Ungermann, a last screening of the GoPro surf shorts film comp finalists, feature film premiere yet to be announced and even more music acts into the night.
For Sunday 26th, Wategos beach hosts its annual surf swap meet with shapers from all around the world, surf demo sessions and quirky surf-off-sessions. The infamous Corona Party Wave $1000 dash for cash event will round this off as a memorable and fun day by the ocean. This is the day to get wet, to be inspired by surfing, shaping and to simply chill out… until yet more nighttime festivities begin with indie rockers Griswolds at the Beach Hotel after party.