Now in its second year, Byron Falls Festival continues its quest to make the NSW-based event authentically ‘Byron Bay’. Valley Lipcer is the creative producer of The Village, what many have called ‘the festival within the festival’. Seven spoke with Valley about what’s in store for Byron Falls.
How does the Village fit into Falls Festival?
The Village is a creative and fun oasis at the centre of the festival. It sits in a lush little valley between the two main music stages. There are four Village stages: an outdoor stage; the intimate Lola’s bar stage; and two mini-circus-tent stages programmed with acts that are unique, non-mainstream and incredibly fun. The Village also provides interactive creative spaces and diverse workshops for when the heaving masses at the main stages gets too much. You’ll find things such as: yoga, dance, body percussion, upcycled costume making, puppet making, love-letter writing, drawing, weaving with local Indigenous weavers, and more.
What are some of the highlights of The Village you have planned for this year?
The fiesta parade, which takes place on 2 Jan, will definitely be a highlight – with 20+ volunteers and three professional large-scale theatre-makers about to float a creation in a week-long art camp, and a dedicated workshop space during the festival for punters to create parade costumes. Other highlights include Trent Morris bangin’ out tunes in the 10-minute disco, The Button Collective, Shakshuka, The Underscore Orkestra and fantastic circus and sideshow acts by Suzy Leigh, Shep Huntley, Leif Lyall. I’ll also be looking forward to Sketch the Rhyme, live drawing and hip-hop, and ‘So you think you can interpretive dance’, an hilarious interactive event on each day hosted by Ilona Harker and various celebrity judges.
I’m also really looking forward to the local Indigenous weaving workshop – what a wonderful way to learn about our local culture, community and history.
Any small and unusual things we should be looking out for? Check out the daily schedules on The Village blackboards. There are 100s of shows lasting from five minutes to an hour. I recommend Ciel, a mesmerising adult puppet show by Gabrielle Griffin; The Houndstooth’s interactive drawing parlour by Claudie Frock and Rene Bolton; Daniel Oldaker’s Acts of Absurdity, ragtime singalongs in Lola’s Bar with Stafford Smith, as well as Kellie O and Mick Dick’s live digital drawing and Marion Conrow’s holographic projections.
I look locally first when I start to book acts. I’m looking for unique, engaging acts that are eclectic, theatrical, experimental, interactive and fun for a festival crowd. Glenn Wright has booked an awesome music stage in the Village with a lot of high-energy dance bands. It’s been fairly easy to fill most of the program from the northern rivers, but both Glenn and I have brought in a few extra acts from around the country that will complement local artists and perhaps even inspire some cross-pollination.
What should we be expecting at Falls this year?
A fantastic party to bring in the new year. Lots of great music and art, colour, dressing-up and spontaneous friendly encounters.
Thanks to an increase in capacity and the release of more tickets – Falls Festival tix are now available for all four days – 30 Dec to 2 Jan.