11 C
Byron Shire
July 4, 2022

Art of surf on show at festival

Latest News

Council advertising

Thanks Council, for the advertisement on page 5 letting us know that you co-hosted a conference. It is good...

Other News

Council advertising

Thanks Council, for the advertisement on page 5 letting us know that you co-hosted a conference. It is good...

Lake Ainsworth

The heavy rain on 28–30 March 2022 resulted in flooding of Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head to about 2m...

Opinion: Lettuce end food shortages!

Whoever would have thought we’d need to pay $10 for a lettuce in a supermarket? This is a real sign of the times.

Rebuild of flooded school campus in North Lismore unlikely

At least one Northern Rivers-based school is likely to have a new permanent home thanks to extensive flood damage at its existing campus.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 29 June, 2022

The Nimbin Art Fair is on again after many postponements owing to covid and the floods. Hosted by Nimbin Artists Gallery, a not-for-profit organisation supporting local creatives, the Fair allows you to see the whole gamut of creative art from the vibrant arts community that is Nimbin and its surrounds.

Dry July to help you and Our House

In July 2008, three mates, Brett, Kenny and Phil, wanted to take a break from alcohol, so decided to abstain for the month of July, coining it their 'Dry July'.

Artist Justin Crawford with some of his work that will feature in Friday’s art and photography exhibition. The show, from 7pm at Byron Brewing Company and Surf Bar, is part of the Byron Bay Surf Festival. Photo Jeff ‘Webbed Feet’ Dawson.

There is a certain magic about Byron Bay that can’t be quantified. The stickers that once emblazoned the back of Kombis declaring ‘Magic Happens’ had a certain ring of truth, especially if you were one of the many drifters who found themselves joining the informal surfing tribe of Byron.

Mike Jahn, director of Byron Bay Surf Festival, is one such character. Originally from Germany, Mike moved to Byron nine years ago ‘because of the surfing! I was always chasing the surf,’ he said ‘and trying to make a living out of it.’ Not just a surfer, Mike had a sports tourism degree under his belt, and it seems that here in Byron he has managed to combine work and play with his Surf Festival.

According to Mike, it’s not just about standing on a board and carving up a wave, although that is the spiritual pinnacle, but it’s about ‘the culture behind the festival, the creative aspect – so we are focusing on the art and the photography. It’s all about the art and culture show at the Byron Brewery on Friday night. We have quite 25 different artists from different parts of the world: Hilton Dawe, Kuni Takanami, Justin Crawford, Ozzie Wright, Michelle Lockwood (NYC) Karlee Mackie and Heather Brown (Hawaii).’

This will be featured on Friday night at the opening ceremony at the Brewery and Surf Bar, with Bob McTavish and Rabbit Bartholomew speaking with Phil Jarratt as MC. ‘They will talk about surf culture – about professional surfing, and Bob, as the laidback surfer shaper and the forefather of the shortboard revolution, will also be having his say. What’s key to this event is that the festival is non-professional and non-competitive; we are focusing on community and kids’ events, and using surf and the culture to bring the community together.’

For Mike, the vision of the Byron Surf Festival was simple. ‘We wanted to take that whole carpark talk that you have with surfers, that quick talk that you have with each other when you are strapping your board onto your car, and with the festival take it to another level, and to connect with different parts of the world, we want to showcase how its developed in California and Hawaii and Japan and here, and how people have created that.

‘On Saturday another highlight we have is a surf short-film competition. The finalists have just been picked this week; they’ll be shown on the night, and the judges are pretty much surf era from the 60s – they will be judging the finalists and there are great prizes to win.’

Saturday sees the Surf Market at Railway Park with live music from midday until 9pm. ‘There is an environmental heart – it’s a big focus. One of our biggest sponsors is Patagonia and they are one of the most sustainable global international brands there is, and we wanted to highlight what they are doing – as an outdoor company that got into surfing. For example, they have a project where you hand in old clothing to their stores and they give it to charity – and their wetsuits are made of recycled materials.’

‘On Sunday,’ says Mike, ‘there is the event at Wategos Beach, a surf swap meet, where people exchange, swap boards, and engage in expression sessions called freestyle and stoke. There are 10 surfers in four different categories: there is the old mal, the twin fins, the finless boards, and mermaids all craft (all-girl event). There is no contest though. We have Hawaiian shirts so it’s fun – it’s about being evaluated for fun and funkiness on the waves by the crowd!’

Mike believes that surf culture is alive and well in Byron Bay. ‘Its a bit of an international mecca of creativity and laidback surfer vibe.’ And alongside our surfing patriarchs like George Greenough, Alan Ridge and Rusty Miller he believes a whole new generation is well on the way to one day filling their shoes.

‘We are definitely making new surfing characters – just look at Johnny Abegg. He will be showing Taylor Steele, one of his new films. We have such a great history. Talk to George Greenough – and Alan Ridge who lives in Ballina, who’s made significant films in the 60s. We have so many people here who don’t get a chance to shine – we want to connect generations, to get the older guys and the younger generations involved.’

Be part of the tribe. Byron Surf Festival Friday, Saturday and Sunday, on the beach, in the park and at Byron Brewery.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Teen missing from Coffs Harbour

NSW Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a teenager missing in the Coffs Harbour area.

A poem

Row upon row Lest we forget the rows of trees they planted to recall the rows of boys they sent to die in the war Jon Paul Summers, Suffolk Park

Destruction of Brunswick Heads mahogany

The foulest crime against the planet was committed secretly in the heart of Brunswick Heads during the pandemic lockdown. The rarest and most iconic...

Supply chain pain? Try localisation!

A community screening of Local Futures’ new film, 'Planet Local: A Quiet Revolution', will be held today, Friday, July 1, at The Farm in Byron Bay from 6pm. Damon Gameau and Pacha Light will be joining Helena Norberg-Hodge for a discussion afterwards.