The surf is up!
Surfers, beachlovers and waterpeople! Despite the mayhem and destruction that COVID-19 has plagued us with, the 2021 Byron Bay Surf Festival (BBSF) is nearly ready to kick off in Australia’s much-loved beach town, Byron Bay. After the angst that defined much of 2020, it’s time for some surfing fun, music, art and culture. Yeeew!
The program includes Sunset Cinema Opening Night at the Byron Theatre, Wategos Wizards surf comp on Saturday, the Sunday/Funday Freestyle Stoke surf sessions at Wategos Beach and a very special live music event and party on Saturday night.
The festival begins on Friday 26 Feb at the Byron Community Centre Theatre with a special feature film, Girls can’t Surf, including some very special guests!
Following is the Opening Ceremony with a traditional Welcome to Country, live music, short films, special guests and then later in the evening, a feature film, A Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story. Produced by Dana Brown (Bruce’s son), the film documents the historic and enormous contribution that Bruce Brown made to surfing when he released The Endless Summer in 1966.
Saturday at 7am at Wategos Beach is the annual beach clean-up, with help from Patagonia and Dr Bronners. The Wategos Wizards surf comp will swing into action at 8am, featuring some of Australia’s best single fin log riders, many of them our local faves like Roisin Carolan, Kahu Andronicus, Jack Entwistle, Josie Prendergast, Jack Lynch, Elise Trigger and Lauren Hill plus some heavy hitters from Sydney and Noosa crew! The ultimate Byron Saturday will finish with live music, cold bevvies and Dear Doonan at Woodys Surf Shack.
Sunday signs off another big year with Fluoro Friday and the Freestyle Stoke Surf Sessions at Wategos beach, including a new Teams Challenge event and the ever-popular festival party wave! The party wave event is open to all, but limited to 50. Enter and try to win yourself the cash prize by being first back to the beach!
Friday 26 Feb–Sunday 28 Feb. Visit byronbaysurffestival.com.au for tix.
Lordi it’s Gordi
Starting 2021 with the same momentum carried throughout much of 2020, Gordi (aka Sophie Payten) yesterday released the Our Two Skins (Remixed) EP and announced additional shows for her forthcoming Australian tour throughout February and March. A seven-track offering, the EP features beautifully reworked tracks from 2020’s Our Two Skins by an impressive collection of Gordi’s friends and affiliates.
She plays the Byron Theatre on Saturday.
Tix on byroncentre.com.au
Talking about what matters
Do you love hearing new ideas? Do you love to hear how people have used defining moments from their personal narrative to change the way they think? Talk Bank is hosted by Mandy Nolan and showcases the life changing talks of 12 people.
Sunday at 1pm at the Byron Theatre – tix $15 on byroncentre.com.au.
Artist at Foxy’s
Foxy Luu’s hosts a monthly event, ART & BAO Talks, featuring a new local artist to entice your mind and your mouth. Cozy up to a colourful corner with a cold beverage in one hand – and a home-made bao bun to blow your senses in the other.
Kick back and enjoy live painting, and get the chance to win an art piece while meeting exhibiting artist Rafael Guma.
Musician Priscila Rios will bust out some summer vibe Brazilian tunes while GUMALAB presents a project with an indigenous background.
From the Megalopolis city of Sao Paulo, artist Rafael’s indigenous roots called him after a chaotic professional life as a graphic designer. Inspired by all the ancient knowledge that’s been lost – sometimes to natural disasters or greed – and the connections between ancient cultures, he immersed himself in a journey dedicated to exploring this world of possibilities, through recognition, self-awareness, feminine empowerment, and environmental knowledge.
Saturday, at Foxy Luu’s (Byron Bay). Time: 4.30–6pm
Every year women from around the community talk about their vaginas to raise money for the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre’s Domestic Violence support program. Directed and curated by our local Citizen of the Year, Zenith Virago, who I fondly also call Vagina of the Year. Zenith started these Vagina Conversations in response to the need in our community to have positive conversations around our gender, our sexuality, our pain and our pleasure. While Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler is a timely piece, it’s American and has dated. So every year Zenith assembles a bunch of women, including yours truly, to talk twats. It’s beautiful, funny, moving, amazing, shocking and reassuring. So I asked Zen – why do we need to keep talking about our vaginas?
‘Some people still find the word “vagina” confronting, or distasteful… we need to reclaim it, embrace it and shout it from the headland… if we can’t even say the word, how are we going to have discussions with our girls and boys about healthy sexuality, bleeding and birthing, and body autonomy? Grace Tame, the 2021 Australian of the Year is sharing her voice, loud and clear, on the issue of criminal grooming, rape and sexual assault. She is doing that on the shoulders of all of us who have worked in this field for years. The elimination of sexual assault and abuse of girls, women, boys and people generally would make for a healthier world.’
Vagina Conversations #6 at the Byron Theatre 15–16 Feb at 7.30pm.
Tix at byroncentre.com.au.
Another Round at the Palace
The Palace Movie Club is delighted to invite you to be among the first audiences in Australia to see the likely 2021 Academy Award-nominee for Best International Film, Another Round, at a special first-look preview screening on Thursday, 4 February. An intoxicating look at midlife-crises, Another Round is the latest superbly crafted social study from director Thomas Vinteberg (The Hunt), which reunites him with renowned Danish star, Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt, Hannibal, After the Wedding) in what many critics are hailing as the finest performance of his career.
There’s a theory that we should be born with a small amount of alcohol in our blood, and that modest inebriation opens our minds to the world around us, diminishing our problems and increasing our creativity. Heartened by that theory, Martin and three of his friends, all weary high school teachers, embark on an experiment to maintain a constant level of intoxication throughout the workday. Initial results are positive, and the teachers’ little project turns into a genuine academic study. Both their classes and their results continue to improve, and the group feels alive again! As the ‘units’ are knocked back, some of the participants see further improvement but others go off the rails. It becomes increasingly clear that while alcohol may have fueled great results in world history, some bold acts carry consequences.
Flickerfest, celebrating 30 years – great short film never dies
Fresh from its ten-day Bondi event in late January, Flickerfest, Australia’s largest short film festival returns to Mullumbimby; Thursday 18 February to Saturday 20 February for the first leg of its national tour, screening a smorgasbord of more than 40 incredible short films.
The Flickerfest 2021 program was selected from 2,700 entries, from 100 countries, giving Northern Rivers audiences a first look at the hottest short films in the world over three big cinema-packed days at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall. This is a one-off chance to see these amazing short films on the big screen before they continue their festival journey around the world.
The Flickerfest Mullumbimby program includes an amazing collection of award winners from Flickerfest Bondi, screening across Best Of International Shorts and Best Of Australian Shorts, direct from competition, and Short Laughs Comedy – a cracking selection of clever comedy shorts from around the world.
Info: www.iQ.org.au (tickets will be avail online and at the door). All sessions run approx 110 mins (Classification: under 15yrs must be w/adult). Thursday 18–Sat 20 Feb. Volunteers enquiries: pls contact 0414 779 881. Sessional fees or Season Pass: $55/$45