The inaugural Byron Spirit Festival presents mesmeric, healing music from 17 to 19 February. In addition to the three evenings of concerts and dances, spontaneous and programmed kirtans, sound showers, chanting circles, and jams will take place in venues night and day. From Sydney we welcome the rapturous rhythms of Edo & Jo and their eclectic live kirtan. Former Byronite Carmella Baynie is an award-winning composer and singer whose range of sacred music takes in renaissance, choral singing, and traditional forms from India and Africa. Bali-based Daphne Tse is the rare contemporary folk singer/songwriter whose source material is her spiritual practice. Mullum’s own Lucknow Sankirtan has developed a unique voice, and their playful approach to chant circles reaches deeply into the heart. Friday night’s concert begins with a Welcome to Country by local Indigenous elders, a blessing by Mother Maya, and a Greg Sheehan percussion circle (bring something to bang on!). Kevin James and Mel Dobra will lead the first kirtans of the festival, fresh from their hugely popular appearances at the Woodford Folk Festival, followed by Future Sound of Yoga. This Sydney-based duo have been taking their sensory and sacred live DJ dance event to festivals in Hong Kong, Bali and finally to Mullumbimby. The OKA boys will ensure nobody is unmoved as they bring their electric didj, pumping beats and message of love and harmony to the first-night dance party. On Saturday night, bring a cushion and settle in for a journey around the globe’s top conscious musical forms. Composer, multi-instrumentalist and true traveller through cultures is Mullum’s own Yeshe. From a start in Germany to a life lived through music in Africa, Asia, North America, and Australia, Yeshe’s multilingual songs performed on exotic instruments will mesmerise. Nomadic Voices blends Hebrew devotional songs, Middle Eastern, European, and North African melodies and rhythms to create moving traditional and original compositions. For the second half, Deva Premal & Miten, performing with Manose on basuri flute, and Denmark’s Maneesh de Moor on piano, will share their songs and chants from twenty years on the road. And for the first time anywhere, they’ll also perform two pieces with the Gyuto Monks. Sunday’s closing event mixes it up with a Healing Soundshower lead by Avishai Barnatan and his array of Tibetan bowls, flutes, chimes, overtone singing and natural soundscapes. GLO Dance joins Byron Spirit Festival in presenting Deya Dova and her tribal world dance fusion, plus Earthdance founder Chris Deckker’s DJ turn with global electro beats to insure our final gathering unites us all. Tickets now on sale at www.spiritfestival.com.au.
Image: Deva Premal & Miten perform at the Byron Spirit Festival