By S Haslam
Don’t be fooled by the name: the Festival of the Stone is not a pebble-centred period of introspection; it’s rather a community-based rock-out with live bands, Stone & Wood beer, and food trucks that somehow manages to combine family-friendly kids’ activities like dancing with fundraising in an atmosphere like a chilled long weekend afternoon that turns into an evening music festival.
The somewhat pagan name comes from the ancient tradition of using a wood-fired stone to heat the mash and wort for the beer, but the modern Byron version, held on the long weekend dedicated to the birth date of the semi-ancient female monarch, sees sharing, dancing, and drinking together in a very local style, which wouldn’t be Byron without at least a few folk in festival-style garb ready to party.
Last year the festival extended into the carpark of the neighbouring property, but this year is set to be the biggest Festival of the Stone to date, and for the first time it will be held inside Stone & Wood’s new brewery in Byron Bay on Saturday 8 June from 3pm till 10pm.
The friendly fun vibe at these gigs is partly a reflection of the massive amount of goodwill generated around Byron by the brewery’s continued support of practically every fundraising and community-based event. It would be hard to find to find a local who doesn’t have something good to say about Stone & Wood, and it’s not surprising that the night itself raises funds through the national not-for-profit inGrained Foundation for worthy local environmental organisations and charities.
General tickets are on sale now, and in the past tickets have sold out fast! With bands like Kingswood, Polish Club, Last Dinosaurs, and Tropical Zombie playing at past events, this year’s lineup will be revealed soon.
In addition to the food trucks, their Malt Disney kids’ area is a dancing space that made us want to join in the action, and of course there are beers pouring from the brewery’s dedicated beer truck and Troopie, Clyde and Trevor.
A family-friendly community event, last year the Festival raised $17,000 for Northern Rivers-based Big Scrub Landcare. This year, all event profits will again go to the inGrained Foundation for donation to a local charity, yet to be announced.
General tickets go on sale and are $45 through Eventbrite, which includes a tasting of Stone & Wood’s seasonal limited Stone Beer. Ticket sales contribute to the donation amount for the chosen local charity.
More info: stoneandwood.com.au