For those about to rock we salute you! Pic: Sarah West

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

California surf journalist and longtime Editor at Large for Surfer Magazine, Steve Barilotti, said “There’s nothing coming from such a pure love of surfing like this in the States.”

Barilotti, who wrote his first article for Surfer in 1987 added, “The Aussies bring such a high level of respect and legitimacy to surfing, giving it the gravitas it deserves. This festival offered a critically needed celebration of surfing’s better angels, showcasing the depth and maturation of surfing’s rich culture without the baggage of big money branding you get at traditional pro contests."

Surfer and filmmaker Lauren Hill said she had never seen so many women at a surf festival before. “I’ve travelled the world surfing and the Byron Bay Surf Festival has done such a great job making women and men feel equally included and valued."

Hill chose the Byron Bay Surf Festival as the place to hold the world premiere of her short film “Pear Shaped” which was one of the most popular screenings the whole weekend.

“To see so many ladies taking part in the surf sessions and cheering on from the beach is just awesome. Then you look at all the films, the artwork, the market stalls and conservation groups so strongly represented by the female surf community here, it’s really quite exciting.”

Festival partner and local brewery, Stone and Wood Marketing Manager, Jasmin Daly said "The festival took on an energy of its own. You could really feel the groundswell from the local community who were keen to connect, celebrate surf culture as inclusive, and showcase how creative and environmentally conscious they are."

This respect flowed into other many other aspects of the festival as well, especially in the yoga yurt, where guests, both new and seasoned, honoured their body right beside friends and strangers alike. The high attendance and natural flow of the yurt goes to show how much Byron values the important act of tuning in. No attendees seemed to mind the people around them, rather, they appreciated the warm company. The smiles and high vibrations were a testament to the work of those who ran the space all day, so a very special thanks to Paloma & Tara from Yatra Yoga and Victoria and Elisha.

Festival founder, James McMillan said, “We are so stoked with this year’s event. We want to thank all the surf community businesses and supporters, artists, surfers and shapers who all put in so much effort on individual productions from construction through to design. Thanks so much.”

“We all set the bar pretty high with this one,” said McMillan. “The creative highlights for me were the Surf Art Markets and the Art Show. Board Shapers were showcasing such incredible stuff and every stall or tipi looked so cool and interactive. And around the corner at the Lone Goat Gallery the Art Show featured work from some of the most inspiring and influential artists, not only in Oz but from the US and Japan too.”

For co-director Max Tischler, who has also been working as Jack Johnson's environmental tour manager for the past ten years, it was the conservation considerations that he was most proud of.
“We had a custom built Woodshed showcasing sustainable wooden boards, a buzzing Conservation Hub filled with NGOs from Byron alongside huge success stories from the other side of the world; our Yurts and tipis were filled with eco-friendly fashions and homewares; we had a recycling and waste management strategy going on the entire time that we all took very seriously and our film selections really got people thinking and talking. It all looked and felt so good. Better than I could ever have imagined,” said Tischler.

If anyone would like to be involved in the 2018 event, pre-planning will get underway next month. The festival organisers would love to hear from any of our supporters and please feel free to get in touch via email.




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