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May 18, 2022

Aquarius – a series of Echo articles

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The Byron Echo and Echonetdaily published this series of articles in the months leading up to the 40th anniversary of the Aquarius Festival on 23-25 May 2013 in the Nimbin Town Hall. We have collected them all together on this page for easy reference.


Getting ourselves back to the Garden

21 May 2013. By Aquarius Festival cultural director Johnny Allen as told to Graham Askey.  ‘I don’t remember exactly how we lucked on Nimbin but when we pulled into Cullen Street we both said, ‘Eureka, let’s recycle this sleepy village.’…


Making the Aquarius dream a communal reality

7 May 2013. By Terry McGee/Graham Askey. The Tuntable Falls Cooordination Cooperative was a large ‘intentional community’ founded after the Aquarius Festival…


The birth of Aquarius and beyond

30 April 2013. By Mira (Carole) Stannard/Graham Askey. Everything passes, everything changes. Just do what you think you should do. Bob Dylan’s lyric certainly applied to Australia in 1972…  The Healing Centre, acupuncture and ‘free-birthing’ by a pioneer of the home birthing movement of the time…


The Pied Piper of Aquarius

23 April 2013. By Paul Joseph/Graham Askey. Paul was part of Kohinur, one of Mullum’s original communes, established before Aquarius.  He recalls how the locals weren’t keen on sharing their paradise, and also how ‘May the long time sun shine upon you…’ became the Anthem of Aquarius…

Aquarius through the eyes of the festival psych

16 April 2013. By Dr Harry Freeman/Graham Askey. ‘Memory is not false in the sense that it is wilfully bad, but it is excitingly corrupt in its inclination to make a proper story of the past.’ – Jenni Diski. Dr Harry Freeman reopened the Nimbin Hospital as medico to the Aquarius Festival, purchased a communal property after the festival and still practises ‘anti-psychiatry’ at the Lismore Base Hospital…


Witnessing the dawn of Aquarius on the north coast

2 April 2013. By Pat Walsh/Graham Askey. Pat was one of the original New Settlers, later labelled as hippies. In 1971 she pioneered a community in Burringbar, a couple of valleys north of Main Arm. This is her story of the Aquarius Festival, with its ‘doers’ and ‘cosmics’…


Nimbin or bust

28 March 2013. By Chris Dobney. That was the provocative sign taped to the window of the little VW that drove with four of us – and as much baggage as we could carry – from Melbourne to the Aquarius Festival in May 1973…

The pre-Aquarian far north coast

27 March 2013. By Graham Askey. The patchwork of Northern NSW small farming blocks established as a result of the ‘selection’ policies had, by the sixties, been decimated by competition from the large efficient flat farms of Queensland. Eden had been partially deserted. The stage was ready to accommodate a new wave of settlers – the hippies…


The Age of Aquarius set to dawn again

Harsha Prabhu looks back to Nimbin’s Aquarius Festival and forward to its 40th anniversary.



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