Cultural Events in The Byron Shire and Beyond

The 13th Annual Byron Latin Fiesta hits town from Thursday till Sunday this week. To find out more about classes, social dancing, dance exhibitions and special workshops with some of the world’s best, go to

Byron Latin Fiesta

Byron Theatre, Community Centre, Byron Language School & Associated venues | Thursday–Sunday

This year the Hot 100 featured more latin songs than ever before. And it’s just going to keep climbing. It’s because the music is produced for a global ear, it’s language-agnostic and it’s danceable. It goes to our feet instead of our head and it’s driving people to the dancefloor in droves. I have a friend who found latin and now he won’t stop moving. So for those of you who already love latin, and those who are yet to engage, this weekend is the 13th Annual Byron Latin Fiesta. Running Thursday–Sunday with workshops and parties with international, national and local instructors and some incredible performers. Festival director Sky Blue has cleverly crafted an event that caters for beginners and seasoned dancers so that everyone gets something! Although the latin craze is a countrywide phenomenon, the Byron Latin Fiesta is one of the longest-running and most popular latin dance events in Australia. This year features the Paris power trio: Sabiha, who specialises in Dominican Bachata and Ladies Style; Azzedine, who is the king of Urban Kiz; and Kizomba and Umberto, whose special powers are in salsa and mambo. Two amazing live bands featuring El Timbon (Brisbane) playing the best Cuban salsa and timba plus Gonzalo Porta (Sydney) playing salsa, bachata, cha cha cha and more. 10+ Latin DJs from Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne will keep the social dancefloors pumping with the best salsa, bachata, kizomba and other popular latin styles. There are 40+ dance workshops for beginners to advanced dancers across two venues in a variety of latin dance styles – the Byron Theatre (main venue) and the Byron Bay English Language School (the beginners’ hub). 

After-parties at Guzman y Gomez. For more info go to

Gallery 7 Art Prize

Gallery 7, Byron Arcade, 13 Lawson St, Byron Bay | Friday | 6pm

Gallery 7 in Byron Bay is delighted with the positive response to its first Art Prize. Over 100 entries have been received and showcase the hugely talented range of artists in the northern rivers region.

Thirty-eight finalists have now been chosen by judges Tim Goodman, Julian Edwards and Andrew Hmelnitsky and will hang in Gallery 7 Byron Bay from this Friday until 18 November.

Tim Goodman was the founding chairman of Sotheby’s Australia Pty Ltd in 2009. In 2010 Tim was voted one of the five most influential people in the Visual Arts by the Australian Financial Review.During his 40-year career Goodman has changed the face and shape of the traditional Australian fine-art auction landscape. He is now the founder and executive chairman of Fine Art Bourse Australia.

Julian Edwards of JEFA Gallery in Bangalow has run JE Art Consultants in Sydney for the past 10 years and has been a fine-art consultant for over 15 years. Julian has a passion for detail and elaborate knowledge of art and the Australian/international market.

Andrew Hmelnitsky has been a practising artist for over 30 years. He has directed seven artist-run initiatives and exhibited in over 100 exhibitions. Andrew has been represented by Robin Gibson, Olsen Carr and Damien Minton and now owns and runs Gallery 7 in Byron Bay.

The Gallery 7 Art Prize will be opened by Tim Goodman on Friday at 6pm.

Pickled Pig Brewery will be providing a keg of their finest brew, and there will also be some delightful Lemoncello Spritzer provided by Imogen’s Farm Wines and, like any good exhibition, the champagne will be flowing.

There will be live music by local legend Stephen Lovelight Music and lucky door prizes all night!

At Gallery 7 in the Byron Arcade, Lawson Street on Friday at 6pm.

Women Like Us getting ready to bring home the laughs for Burringbar Public School with a big fundraiser at The Victory Hotel, Mooball, this Saturday night! For tix go to

Women Like Us raise money for Burringbar Primary!

The Victory in Mooball | Saturday | 6.30pm | $35

Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs are the comedic superstars behind the successful touring show Women Like Us and they’re coming to the Victory Hotel in Mooball for a fundraiser for the Burringbar Primary School.

With seven kids between them, and more stories than a Liberal Party leadership challenge, Mandy and Ellen are smalltown girls who know how to make a big noise. They have taken the raw power of their solo standup and combined forces to create not one but two hours of rapid-fire standup, delivering laughs every 15 seconds. It’s relentless, and show after show audience members continue to be amazed that the two can not only keep the pace, they build throughout the night, bringing audiences to their feet cheering for more.

Women Like Us is standup at its best, where Ellen and Mandy talk about housework, chickens, love, big undies, disappointment, resentment, sex when you’re drunk, fit bits, yoga farts and being a menopausal woman dealing with teenage angst.

They’re overworked, overweight and over it.

They head to The Victory in Mooball on Saturday. Doors 6.30pm. Show. 8pm. Curries available.

Tix are $35 online at or at the pub.

Much Ado about Nothing by Bell Shakespeare is one of the shows in the new NORPA program for 2019

A show for all seasons

I performed in NORPA’s first-ever show. It was also their first touring show. It would have been over 25 years ago and the whole concept of a regional theatre company that toured its own work as well as curated a program for regional theatre lovers that kept everyone in the cultural curve was the brainchild of Lyndon Terracini, an unconventional director who now sits at the helm of the Australian Opera. For well over a decade Julian Louis has been the artistic director, and he’s certainly broadened the program to create what is heralded as one of the most exciting regional performing arts companies in Australia.

But great shows don’t happen by accident. They happen because of great programming and audience engagement. NORPA have just released their 2019 program and tickets for all the shows are now on sale – offering a 20 per cent discount for subscription packages of three shows or more! Many shows do sell out so make sure you jump in early.

So what is in store?

To find out more or to buy tickets/ season tickets go to

Want to Know What Love Is : The Good Room

Based on 800 anonymous love stories submitted by the public, I Want to Know What Love Is throws a spotlight on long-buried memories, bedroom fantasies, crushes and conquests as secret confessions are transformed into magnificent declarations centre stage.

29 & 30 March | Lismore City Hall

Dreamland: NORPA

NORPA’s sell-out show Dreamland, re-imagined for Bangalow’s iconic A&I Hall. When a young man wanting to hire the hall interrupts the hall committee meeting, a crash course in local history ensues. Transporting us through different waves of settlement, from the Big Scrub to hippies and tree-changers, Dreamland is for all of us who have come here to invent a new life.

16–25 May | A&I Hall Bangalow

The Lovers Of Viorne (L’amante Anglaise): Critical Stages

A classic psychological thriller from one of France’s most renowned authors, Marguerite Duras. Based upon a true crime, The Lovers of Viorne is a beautifully poignant and emotionally powerful portrait of lost passion.

14 &15 June | Lismore City Hall

Fold – A Domestic Circus: NORPA

Ordinary moments are made extraordinary as the circus of life is revealed. Fold is a show that explores how relationships grow more complex over time where memorable and familiar gestures are transformed into acrobatics.

28 & 29 June | Lismore City Hall

My Urrwai By Ghenoa Gela

My Urrwai is a revealing reflection on and celebration of cultural and familial inheritance, and an unflinching comment on race relations in Australia.

10–13 July | Lismore City Hall

Roald Dahl’s The Twits: Spare Parts Puppet Theatre

Roald Dahl’s The Twits is a comedy of rebellion and justice in which Muggle-Wump the monkey races to outwit Mr and Mrs Twit, two of most terrible and disgusting people ever to have lived.

20 August | Lismore City Hall

Much Ado About Nothing: Bell Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing is a saucy and razor-sharp battle of wits between the bickering Beatrice and Benedick, who wield words as weapons, their banter betraying their love and loathing of each other. Will truth and honesty win the day, and does love really conquer all?

24 & 25 August | Lismore City Hall

Serenades For Strings: Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Aco Collective

A romantic program of the finest classical music and new Australian work led by ACO Principal Violin Helena Rathbone.

25 October at Lismore City Hall

Katie Noonan and the ASQ: The Glad TomorrowKatie and the Australian String Quartet will be performing The Glad Tomorrow project: a song cycle based on Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s poetry.

1 November at Lismore City Hall

Ever thought of doing Stand Up comedy? Mandy Nolan’s Adult Community College Stand Up Comedy Course starts Wednesday – to sign up call 66843374

Virgin Sacrifice


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