As one exits the blaring Pacific Highway and turns onto Ewingsdale Road, the air stops its rhythmic flapping through the rolled down window and begins to feel warmer as the anticipation builds.
“Look isn’t that The Farm”, “Oooh yeah I heard they do a beekeeping course!”
You drive a little further down the narrowing road and depending on what event’s on that weekend, a little line up of incoming traffic builds as you cross the threshold into downtown Byron Bay.
A town just past the Queensland border filled with laidback hippie locals, backpackers looking to escape the Northern Hemisphere winter and a few celebs and millionaires thrown in. Quite the motley crew, which is what makes this small town such a wonderful melting pot for the broad range of festivals that happen year round.
Here are our picks below:
Not only is Bluesfest one of Byron’s premier music festivals it’s also known as the best blues and roots festival in Australia. There’s usually around six plus stages and more than 200 performances from some of the best blues, roots, folk, soul and other artists in the world.
Falls Festival is an annual music and arts festival that happens in three different cities simultaneously over New Years, one of them being Byron. Heading into its 25th year the festival features food trucks, pop-up bars and beer gardens, interactive arts, makers markets, yoga and wellbeing classes oh and the music.
Splendour In The Grass
Another one of Australia’s largest music festivals, Splendour becomes its own community for a weekend featuring the best of the world’s contemporary performing arts. Past headline acts have included Coldplay, The Strokes, Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys, Devo, Mumford and Sons, and Bloc Party.
Byron Bay International Film Festival
Byron Bay International Film Festival is now Australia's largest regional film festival, its 10 day program spanning 220+ films from 35+ countries across 50+ sessions and six venues in three regional centres. The festival celebrates unique grassroots cinema while connecting international filmmakers with local audiences.
Byron Writers Festival
The Byron Writers Festival had its beginnings in 1997, when a small group of locals led by Chris Hanley wondered whether authors might accept an invitation to spend a winter weekend in Byron Bay. They did, and an audience of two hundred locals enjoyed a gathering of 50 Australian writers. Since then, the Festival has grown from a single venue event to fill five huge marquees and venues around town.
Byron Bay Triathlon
Known more for it’s relaxed vibes and as a top surfing destination, Byron Bay is actually host to one of the nation's must-do triathlons. The course offers up Byron’s phenomenal natural beauty from it’s iconic coastline through to the lush hinterland. As the last Olympic race of the Triathlon Australia season, the event is a celebration of the sport and the locale – a memorable and truly ‘Byron’ experience.
Byron Bay Surf Festival
The annual Byron Bay Surf Festival focuses on the creative culture within surfing. A three day celebration of today’s surf culture and industry including surfing, shaping, art, music, film, literature, markets, history, fashion, presentations and lifestyle events.
Byron Spirit Festival
The Byron Spirit Festival is based in the town of Mullumbimby, 15 minutes from Byron, providing workshops and entertainment celebrating spiritual and racial diversity as a key to building healthy communities.
This event is the first of its kind, a world Indigenous festival for all Australians. The holistic event features an array of music, dance, theatre, comedy, film and visual arts, along with cultural knowledge exchanges, and thought provoking conversations.