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Photo: @chris_mclennan1 / Chris McLennan courtesy of Tourism & Events Queensland

So what’s happening out of the water at the Noosa Festival of Surfing?

25 February 19


The Noosa Festival has always been about more than simply riding waves. In 2019, this tradition will see the action, entertainment, surf culture and stoke spread far beyond the shores of Noosa’s iconic First Point.

Inviting local Noosa businesses and individuals to be a part of the 28th annual event, the Noosa Festival team has created a vibrant, diverse schedule of events for all ages to enjoy from dawn to well beyond dusk.

Sand sculpture workshops will keep the kids entertained throughout the week, while the wonderful team at Noosa Beach Yoga will once again be offering free classes each weekday morning from 7am on the sand at Main Beach to get your day off to a healthy start.

The University of the Sunshine Coast’s Dr Javier Leon will be presenting daily workshops on ‘the Science of Surf’, highlighting the need for environmental awareness by surfers, as well as the protection of the Noosa World Surf Reserve. In addition, Dr Javier will be leading “The Surf Effect” - a research presentation combined with surf films, food and a bar and a market night at The J Theatre in Noosa Junction.

With the VetShopAustralia Dog Surfing Championships taking place at 2pm on Sunday 3rd March, there will be action aplenty on the sand of Noosa’s Main Beach. However, the action and entertainment of the 2019 Festival isn’t just confined to the sandy shores of Laguna Bay.

Collaborating with the Noosa community, the Festival has aligned with numerous venues to create a variety of non-surf entertainment throughout the week. Live music, film, art and more will make for a dynamic, exciting and complementary element to this year’s celebration of our surfing culture. In addition, a free shuttle bus is being provided to help alleviate the pressure on carparking, to minimise traffic at the beach and to help Festival goers get to the variety of venues.

On Saturday 2nd March, after the formal opening ceremony and traditional paddle out at the beach, Thomas Surfboards will host the official opening party at their premises.  No-one better than the Thomas crew to launch the Festival with a bang!

Land & Sea Brewery, also a venue closely tied to the local surfing community, will present several events, including a surf-inspired trivia night on Monday 4th March. Land & Sea will also be wishing a very happy birthday to surfing icon, Festival head commentator and proud Noosa resident, Tom Wegener. Say Happy Birthday to Tom in person on the evening of Tuesday 5th March. Surf films and locally-brewed beers will be in abundance at Land & Sea for an entertaining evening in honour of our innovative surfer/shaper and local legend.

Two art shows will showcase local, national and international surf art during the week. After a resoundingly successful event in 2018, ‘She to Sea’, an all-female surf art exhibition, will return to one of Noosa’s favourite venues, Halse Lodge. Offering live music, a great bar and the Lodge’s delicious menu of food, the night will have something for everyone. There will be fine art, photography, locally-designed swimwear and textiles on display, featuring works by Let Me Sea, Fenna de King, Marnie Morat, Beck Payne, Amanda Davidson and many more talented women artists.

Celebrated surf artist Owen Cavanagh will be curating a week-long exhibition of surf art and workshops at the newly-opened Heads of Noosa Brewery, with artists from around the world presenting their works, many of which will also be for sale. Artists will also be offering the public the chance to try their hand at their own surf art, and to witness the creative process of such skills as sculpture and pyrography (and if you don’t know what that is, come & see for yourself!).

Everyone is encouraged to enjoy the entertainment that is spread throughout the community during the Festival. For those more in favour of beach vibes and the exceptional sunsets across Laguna Bay, the Vonu Beach Bar will be the place to be to kick-start every evening. A smorgasbord of live music, including local performers Dosed, Andrea Kirwin, the Sandflys and Los Laws, will be setting the atmosphere at the fully-licensed beach bar. The Festival is also incredibly excited to announce the addition of former Beautiful Girls front man, Mat McHugh, to the lineup of talented musicians.

Speaking of talented musicians, iconic surf-rock band, GANGgajang will be rocking the Festival in style on Friday 8th March at Noosa’s Reef Hotel, with their own classic blend of surfing beats for an excellent surfy-stomp night. This is an original Rock n Roll party, hosted by Gary “Kong” Elkerton and one event that should not be missed. Tickets are available now from the Vonu Noosa Festival of Surfing Facebook event page.

Going out with a bang, the festival will be concluding with not one, but two closing parties. One for the younger (or younger at heart) festival contingent, Café le Monde is once again proudly hosting live music for the festival from a collection of local Noosa bands. Dosed, The Flat Whites and Los Laws will be cranking up the volume and jamming hard at Café le Monde on Saturday 9 March, while up at the other end of Hasting Street, the World Surf League World Title leaders will be crowned at Miss Moneypenny’s.

As smooth DJ vibes pulse on the night air, winners of the first of the four-stage Longboard World Championships will be announced and celebrated at the conclusion of the WSL Noosa Longboard Opens and the final celebratory evening of an incredible nine days of surfing.

For all information regarding the 2019 Noosa Festival of Surfing, presented by Vonu Pure Lager and a full schedule of entertainment,  visit the website

The Noosa Festival of Surfing presented by Vonu Pure Lager is supported by strategic partners the Noosa Malibu Club, World Surfaris, the WSL, Tourism and Events Queensland and Tourism Noosa.

 - REPORT BY THOMAS ALEXANDER / NFOS

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