Book lovers bound for Byron Bay Writers Festival are promised more than three action-packed days of debate and conversation. The program also boasts several feature events to be held prior and during the festival at various venues throughout the northern rivers.
Festival director Edwina Johnson says these performances ‘will challenge, entertain and excite audiences, and hopefully be recalled in conversations long after the curtains fall.’
This year’s program is as diverse as it is rich and boasts literary dinners and lunches, conversations between some of Australia’s sharpest minds, music and maybe even a little mayhem.
Byron Theatre plays host to four BBWF feature events. First up is The Guardian’s much-loved cartoonist, First Dog on the Moon, as he scampers about in an adorable show on Wednesday August 5. Be thrilled as the nation is held to account by Australia’s handsomest, humblest, Walkley Award-winning marsupial-based cartoonist.
Celebrated performers Beccy Cole and Libby O’Donovan take to the stage of Byron Theatre on Friday August 7 to present their sell-out show The Cowgirl and the Showgirl. Who would expect the golden girl of country to swap notes with a critically acclaimed cabaret and jazz performer? Whatever the magic, the fusion of these two sassy, funny, engaging and explosive entertainers is a match made on a stage in heaven.
For one performance only, the stars of The Chaser present an unsparing send-up of every earnest ‘In Conversation’ celebrity Q&A you’ve ever had to sit through. Don’t miss Chris Taylor & Andrew Hansen In Conversation with Lionel Corn for a night of riotous laughter on Saturday August 8 at Byron Theatre.
Festival favourite, literary cabaret Liner Notes returns on Saturday August 8 at Byron Theatre. A spoken-word tribute to a classic album, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, as song-by-song a stellar line-up of writers, poets, and musicians explore their personal connection to a musical legend. Featuring special guests George Megalogenis, Hannie Rayson, Andy Griffiths, Krissy Kneen, Erik Jensen, Clare Wright, Marc Fennell and Zohab Zee Khan with Emilie Zoey Baker and Sean M Whelan and MC Michael Nolan.
Food and art take centre stage when BBWF partners with Tweed Regional Gallery to present Lines: The Enigma of Adam Cullen Literary Dinner on Friday 7 August. Join author Erik Jensen and curator Alison Kubler as they take you on the journey of a tortured creative life, focusing on one of Australia’s most controversial and celebrated artists, Adam Cullen.
Fans of The Movie Show and At The Movies should not miss the Literary Lunch on Sunday August 9 at acclaimed Byron at Byron resort. Join one of Australia’s most loved television personalities Margaret Pomeranz and her daughter-in-law Philippa Whitfield-Pomeranz for an afternoon celebrating film, food and family.
Byron Beach Café features an evening of economics, education and good eating in a Literary Dinner featuring one of Australia’s pre-eminent economic journalists, Ross Gittins, and the inimitable Maxine McKew, who defeated sitting prime minister John Howard. Join them on Saturday August 8 as Gabrielle Chan leads a discussion of the 3 Es over one of the best meals you will enjoy in Byron Bay.
• The 2015 Byron Bay Writers Festival will unfold over August 7–9 at the newly named Elements of Byron. It will be preceded by a series of hands-on skills-development workshops commencing on August 3 at the Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre. Tickets are available from the Byron Bay Writers Festival website.