How does an annual event grow deeper roots and spread broader branches? How can a gathering promote our greatest assets to insure our future wellbeing and those of our descendants? It’s not necessarily about grower larger in size, but more meaningful, more connective, more collaborative and more mutually supportive of one another to create ongoing community strength. We’ll try with a little help from our friends!
For its fourth festival, Byron Spirit is collaborating with select local businesses that share the vision of our region as a mecca for healthy lifestyle, diverse culture, holistic and alternative healing, fresh fantastic food, and fun. The multi-award-winning Gaia Retreat has come on board as a gold sponsor. They’ll present the Gaia Spirit Village at the heart of the festival, and in their stall you’ll be able to try new organic facial products, receive a mini-facial, and relax and integrate in their zone of peace. Also featuring the sustaining food of Naked Treaties, the Kulchajam-sponsored Spirit Stage, hosted and curated by Kulchajam director Techa Beaumont. The daytime live program will include cultural sharing, morning warmups, poetry, live music, workshops, impromptu vox pops, interviews, and will be the place to meet old and new friends, or sign up to perform as well!
UPLIFT have created a series of ‘spirit sessions’, presenting two panels of interactive discussions with international presenters via Skype, plus local presenters, hosted by Chip Richards.
Check out Saturday’s UPLIFT Your Health – a dynamic panel discussing the key elements to health with Dr Oscar Serralach, Prof Mark Cohen, Annalee Atia, and Mira Stannard.
On Sunday it’s Uniting Your Purpose Skype sessions with Bruce Lipton PhD and Dr M Storoni MD, PHD.
Byron Spirit Festival, 15–17 April. www.spiritfestival.com.au
Harmony Day pumps out the love
From classical Thai dancers and Buddhist monks to Flamenco and Bollywood dancing, this Saturday will bring together a fantastic array of world music and cultures to celebrate the biggest multicultural festival ever held in Byron Shire. Celebrating our beautiful cultural diversity while raising funds for important refugee projects, Byron Harmony Festival will feature a dance spectacular with Aboriginal dance by Bunyarra Dance Group, Belladonna Dance Troupe, Spirit Bellydance, Bollywood Sisters, Barefoot Gypsies, Mana Aloha Hula, traditional Thai dancing, Balinese Mask dance and El Bari Flamenco.
The day will also feature some great performances from exciting young musicians such as Alexandra Von Reinhaart, The Accidentals and Global Kids Dance Group. Highlights of the day will include speakers such as mayor Simon Richardson and local MP Tamara Smith as well as refugee activists Jane Healy, Gunela Astbrink from Ballina Refugee Group and Rani Willis from Light the Dark, as well as some great world music and folk performances by Steve Manoa, Lucy Gallant, Kobya, Happy Africa, Mick McHugh, and Yolanda and Piu as well as great new group Soulsisters. For more info go to byronharmony.com.
The Upside Down River
Invoking the expansive beauty of regional Australia, Thomas Murray and the Upside Down River is a play about a man ravaged by drought, family secrets and love.
Written by acclaimed playwright Reg Cribb (Last Cab to Darwin, Country Song, Bran Nue Dae), it comes directly to NORPA at Lismore City Hall from Sydney’s Griffin Theatre, where it received rave reviews. The Murray family have been farming the land along the Darling River for five generations. For Thomas Murray, it’s all he’s ever known. When his childhood friends reappear, deep friendships are tested and secrets long buried are awakened.
120 mins (including 20-min interval). Adult $48, Senior $43, Concession $41, Under 18 $22. Saturday Matinee – all tickets $40 (Under 18 $22). Friday 15 April, 7.30pm and Saturday 16 April, 2pm and 7.30pm.
NORPA at Lismore City Hall.
Bound To Love!
Garth Knight, an internationally acclaimed rope artist, will be a highlight of the Bound to Love event at Mullumbimby’s Drill Hall, this Friday and Saturday. Knight is a master of Shibari, a practice developed by Samurai in Japan to restrain prisoners, and now adopted by erotic and kink communities around the world. However, Knight extends on the Shibari form to create intricate sculptures out of rope, weaving rocks and human subjects into evocative installations.
Knight’s work will feature in the exhibition of ancient and modern erotic Japanese art that preludes the Bound to Love event, but he will also be doing a two-hour installation to accompany the nights’ performances.
‘This is the first time I’m coming to the Byron Shire as an artist and performer, and I’m really excited. It’s shaping up to be a powerful show, and I’m bringing new work that I’ve never exhibited before,’ Knight said. ‘A two-hour tie can be gruelling. It takes a lot of focus. It takes a lot out of my muse too. To tie and be tied for that length of time takes a lot of mental discipline. But we’re up for it.’
Bound to Love follows a similar Shibari event at the Drill Hall last year. ‘Our show last year sold out a week in advance, so we’ve come back with an extra night this year,’ said EvolveSphere producer Debbie Buck.
‘We’re also amping up the rope work, with Knight’s installation and one of Australia’s most respected Shibari artists, Miss Gen, and her two muses.
‘There’re also an aerialist, a sword dancer, taiko and Shakuhachi musicians, and some erotic storytelling, so it’s going to be a feast for the senses,’ Buck said.
Bound to Love – Friday and Saturday at the Drill Hall Theatre, Mullumbimby. Exhibition opens at 5pm. Show doors open at 7pm. R18+. Tickets through: evolvesphere.yapsody.com.
Childs’s Position for Yoga
Join international artist and transformation yoga facilitator Toni Childs in a very special class where she combines yoga, music, meditation, story and sharing – unfolding a magical journey that will allow you to effortlessly let go of past baggage, embrace positive traits and find a new sense of balance and acceptance. Toni Childs, Emmy winner and three-time Grammy-nominated recording artist, is back in Byron following on from her packed-out session at Evolve in January and as part of her world tour. Toni has been travelling from the US to Europe to offer her incredible celebration-of-life experience Because You’re Beautiful. This is your chance to be embraced by her amazing energy and to access Self – Soul Evolved Life Force. The workshop is at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre from 10.30am till 4.30pm on Saturday 2 April. Tickets are $160, which includes a delicious vegetarian lunch. Accommodation is available at the eco-haven, so you could extend the workshop into a weekend retreat to truly incorporate and integrate the experience.
For more information and tickets, see Workshops page at www.byronyoga.com.
Celebrating wisdom of our elders
Cape Byron Playback Theatre Company are offering a one-day workshop on Saturday 9 April thanks to a NSW Seniors Week grant (which is open to ALL community members). This fun, dynamic workshop will explore the art of Playback, where you will be guided through the basics of improvisation, encouraged to explore your physical and creative self-expression through body and voice while sharing our stories of Wisdom of the Ages.
Wisdom of The Ages, Saturday 9 April, Drill Hall Theatre, Mullumbimby. Entry by donation, open to all ages 14+. For bookings call Lisa on 0403 023 693.
Australian circus troupe Head First Acrobats are returning to Byron Bay for the school holidays in April, ready to entertain the young and old alike with an amazing pirate acrobatic performance. Arrr we there yet is? is an incredible new circus show for the whole family. The show is already making waves at festivals around Australia, including coming runner-up for Best Children’s show in Perth FringeWorld Festival. The show is a beautiful story about acrobatic pirates in search of treasure and friendship across the high seas, and is showing in the Byron Theatre. If you’re looking for something to entertain the kids in the coming holiday period, this is definitely not to be missed. Wednesday 13 and Friday 15 April at 6pm Sunday 17 April at 5pm, Byron Theatre at the Community Centre.
All tickets are $18. Book tickets at www.byroncentre.com.au.
Happy refugee comes to Lismore
Comedian Anh Do brings his best-selling memoir The Happiest Refugee to life in a ground-breaking new standup show.
Performed at the Lismore City Hall for one night only this April, this moving, inspirational and unforgettable theatre experience combines humour, real-life stories, photos and filmed pieces to retell Do’s amazing story. The Happiest Refugee: A Memoir charts his journey from starving refugee to one of Australia’s best-loved entertainers, and was described by Russell Crowe as ‘the most surprising and inspiring read I have had in years’. It was recently awarded Book of the Year with sales in excess of 350,000. Saturday at Lismore City Hall at 8pm. Tickets $46.90–49.90 through NORPA – norpa.org.au.
ANZ – CACK laughing it up for the Byron Bay War Memorial
Local comedians join forces in Byron Bay on ANZAC weekend to raise money for the Byron Bay War Memorial. With the Aussie sense of humour being so often credited for survival in trying times, it seems the perfect fit that five cracker comedians should come together to spin a few yarns for the cause. Hosted by Mandy Nolan, the evening features longtime comedian Nick Penn, who has also been a regular performer for the troops both here and abroad, Paul McMahon, Ellen Briggs and geologist-turned-comedian Peter Willey. Willey has a particularly funny song about a CWA meeting gone horribly wrong and ending up in some sort of jam-and-cream-scone massacre!
Tickets are limited and are available at the Byron Bay Services Club or can be booked on 6619 0529. Saturday 23 April. Show is at 8pm. Tickets are $30 or $25 per person if booked for a table of 10. This will be comedy at its best!
Twas the Night Before Mothers Day…
Well it seems like Mandy Nolan’s and Ellen Briggs’s Women Like Us is causing something of a sensation, selling out shows wherever they go! With a full house at Federal a few weeks ago, Nolan recalls entering what she calls a ‘performing time warp’ and, instead of the usual hour of standup, delivered 90 minutes’ worth. ‘There is a clock onstage that we use. I checked my phone before I went on, did what I felt was close to time and the clock said 9.47! I thought, shit, how can that have only been 17 minutes? So I did another 30. Later Ellen tells me that the clock onstage was still set to Adelaide time! That’s a half-hour behind! Wow, I thought I’d hit some sort of menopausal vortex of heat and confusion. Turns out the clock was wrong!’
The girls performed to full houses at the Adelaide Fringe, scoring a four-star review from Glamadelaide (who gave Steven K Amos only three!).
The reviewer loved our Mullum Mamas and declared, ‘two totally relatable ladies who hit the nail on the head of charismatic female comedy’. For those of you who have missed this middle-aged train wreck of mirth and self-deprecating joy, they’re doing a very special Twas the Night Before Mothers Day performance at Ocean Shores Country Club on Saturday 7 May, just two weeks after their return from the Melbourne Comedy Festival. At a time when they should be experiencing the mysterious curse of invisibility, these two hornbags are more visible than ever! For tickets to their Ocean Shores Country Club show book on 6680 1008.
Tix are $25, doors at 7pm, show at 8pm. The fabulous new deck will be complete so come and enjoy the soiree!