Arts and Entertainment for the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 16 September, 2020

Don’t miss these intimate and unique bespoke concerts featuring Simon & Gyan at Byron Services Club on Friday, 2 October at 8pm.

Safe Sets… with Gyan & Simon & Mandy

It’s been 40 years since Gyan’s self-titled album Gyan shot her to national and international acclaim. She had planned some shows to celebrate… but COVID brought a stop to that!

It’s been a tough time for musicians with very few live gigs happening, and when they do, they are to much smaller and more intimate rooms. While many performers have gone online, there is nothing like the thrill of a live show. With COVID regulations expected to be a feature in the industry for some time, performers have had to adapt and innovate how they step out.

And so Safe Sets was born. Comedian Mandy Nolan steps up to present some of her favourite musicians; Simon & Gyan, in a socially distanced gig with a difference. The first set is COVID covers – where the audience is invited to email Mandy ( with music they would like Simon & Gyan to play. The feature set sees the two push out to sea on their new remix project, which started as versions of requested songs, and is evolving its own identity.

Long-time locals remember Simon (Si) in the Blitz Kids at the back room of the Top Pub, now the Beach Hotel, when it was made of corrugated iron with a cement floor. Since then he’s been in experimental band The Mood, a promoter for Byron Underground, and a founding member of the Byron Music Society – who has been given the keys to Byron Theatre for his longstanding support.

Gyan (the girl on the cliff) has an ARIA award for her early work, and international cred working with Bon Jovi, Ricky Martin and Leanne Rimes.

Together Gyan and Si (an item since 2000) have run Museagency Studios, and produced award winning shows, an album with Michael Leunig, as well as a CBCA shortlisted children’s book.

Gyan and Si actually met at the Byron RSL, so with nostalgic overtones they’ll be having a laugh, a cry, and diving in for some deep beauty with friends.

Mandy will be there to supply a few laughs along the way – don’t miss these intimate and unique bespoke concerts.

Byron Services Club – Friday, 2 October 8pm

Mullum Ex-Services – Saturday, 3 October 8pm

All tix $35 on

The Northern Rivers Conservatorium is delighted to present its first ever series of live streamed concerts this Friday and Saturday.

Concerts in the Twilight Zone

After a six-month hiatus owing to COVID-19, the Northern Rivers Conservatorium is delighted to present its first ever series of live streamed concerts this Friday and Saturday. The five Facebook live concerts will provide an opportunity for 40 students to perform to family and friends all around the world.

‘Since returning to face-to-face teaching, we’ve had to find other ways to provide opportunities for our students to perform within our COVID Safe plan,’ says the Con’s Executive Director, Anita Bellman.

Until March, regular twilight concerts provided opportunities for students of all instruments, ages and stages to perform, but the First Term concerts were cancelled owing to COVID restrictions.

‘Performance is a key element of music tuition’ explains Anita, ‘it provides a focus, a challenge, opportunities to share with family and friends, and a sense of accomplishment. It’s also lots of fun!’

‘These concerts also provide much-needed performance practise for our students who are preparing for HSC, AMEB and university exams, eisteddfods and auditions.’

The great thing is, the Twilight Zone Concerts will remain online to be enjoyed and shared by family and friends for months to come.

To join the audience, or for more information visit or

Greg Sullivan headlines the Big Gig Comedy at the Ballina RSL.

The Big Gig is Back! 

The much-loved Big Gig is back! The Ballina RSL has hosted the Big Gig for 14 years and it has proven itself the longest lasting and most popular comedy gig on the coast. With international and national headline comics featuring monthly, and signature MC Mandy Nolan at the helm, regulars have become part of the Big Gig family. The laughs are back on this month when Mandy, fresh from a socially distanced tour in the south of our state will be joined by the legendary Greg Sullivan. With 14 years on breakfast radio under his belt, Greg has honed the ability to take topical ideas and incorporate them into his set. Able to make the unfunny funny, Greg drills down on what it is to be human, and his understanding of fragility – one of his greatest gifts. One of the smartest comics on the circuit, Greg is a comic who many of the up-and-comers look to for inspiration.

Join Mandy Nolan and Greg Sullivan at the Big Gig on Thursday 24 September at 8pm. This is a socially distanced show so tickets, while free, must be registered online – go to


Emily Lubitz brings an intimate show to the Brunswick Picture House Saturday 26 September.

Emily’s New Sound

Emily Lubitz is best known as the lead singer and song writer of critically acclaimed indie-folk band Tinpan Orange. The band has toured extensively around the country and internationally over the last decade. She is also one half of We Two Thieves, a collaboration between herself and Mama Kin. Her voice has been described, in no particular order, as ‘brushed velvet’ (The Age), ‘gossamer’ (JJJ) and as the ‘ethereal voice behind Metro’s Dumb Ways To Die video hit’ (Sydney Morning Herald), which has been viewed over 150 million times. 

In this largely shutdown COVID landscape she is excited to play to a room, half full (social distancing considered) of real beating hearts. With two thirds of Tinpan Orange stuck in Melbourne under lockdown, Emily has found an exciting sound with local musicians, Freyja Hooper (drums) and Angie Hudson (guitar). She will be playing new material and some familiar songs. Support for this event will be Ash Bell and Danni Carr.

She plays the Brunswick Picture House on Saturday 26 September – tickets from

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