24.6 C
Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Nimbin parties at Aquarius finale

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and Beyond

A huge amount of entertainment all crammed into one space.

19-yr-old charged after alleged Mercedes joy ride in Tweed shire

A 19-year-old Tweed Heads South man faces a string of charges related to car theft on the Northern Rivers.

Editorial: The beef about meat

Firstly, let me declare an interest: I have been a vegetarian for 49 years, so tasty cow parts are not high on my agenda.

Thousands of sober stoners march for drug law reform in Nimbin

Nimbin HEMP Embassy President Michael Balderstone said he was surprised at the high turn-out, given a heavy police presence on streets surrounding the rainforest village.

Kingscliff man charged over rape allegations

Tweed Byron police have arrested a 35-year-old Kingscliff man over rape allegations.

No air for Ben

Rhonda Ansiewicz, Federal Stop giving Franklin air time. Mayor Richardson, in his usual fashion, joins up with his mate Franklin...


Party like it’s 1973… Aquarius founders Graeme Dunstan (L) and Johny Allen (R) at Saturday night’s ball with former Captain Matchbox frontman Mic Conway. Photo Jeff ‘A Query Ass’ Dawson

Dominic Feain

It was a fitting finale to the Aquarius Festival’s 40th anniversary celebrations at Saturday night’s masquerade ball in Nimbin as about 500 people partied late into the night.

Original festival organiser Graeme Dunstan described it as ‘simply the best’.

‘It was just wonderful in so many aspects, the beautifully decorated hall by Benny Zable, the catering by Tropical Fruits, the nicest bunch of caterers you could ever meet, and the music was just brilliant,’ he said.

‘The extraordinary thing for me was the average would’ve been about 60, all dressed up to the nines, dancing in a sprightly fashion to really boppy dance bands like Captain Matchbox and I’m thinking, what an amazing community where the elders are so colourful and energetic and creative.

‘There was so much going on, reunions and big hugs and the healing – you know people who hadn’t talked to each other for years hugging everywhere.

‘But being loved by old friends was what got me most, people I’d worked with years ago coming up and kissing me and hugging me and saying thank you Graeme … oh I’m weeping now.’

Prominent Nimbin permaculturalist Robyn Francis agreed.

‘It was just amazing, fantastic, I’ve never seen the hall so packed and it was just the best fun night I’ve had in Nimbin,’ she said.

The ball wrapped up weeks of celebrations and events to mark the anniversary of the festival considered to be the moment the hippy revolution hit Australia, including a two-day seminar hosted by Southern Cross University.

‘Hats off to the university for the two day conference, it was just brilliant,’ Mr Dunstan said.

‘I initially thought how can I sit through two days of hippy raves when I’d heard it all but I was absolutely entranced – there were so many wonderful insights that came up.

‘The fact it was a university-led conference lifted the game somehow I think – I’d been using the metaphor of a fig tree growing out of the old stump to describe the Aquarius Festival and how it’s provided shelter and fruit for the movement, and now I’m realising there’s a cascade of PhDs pouring from this tree.

‘There’s all this academic interest now in the cultural phenomenon and the consequences that flowed from the festival.

‘I guess it’s like a jewel with many facets and people pecking away at different ones – alternative media, healing therapy, politics etc, so it’s a wonderful returning for people like Johnny Allen and I and all these original Aquarians who worked to produced it.’


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

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.