Byron Surf Festival - A Cyclonic Good Time!

The 2019 Byron Bay Surf Festival was a festival to remember. Offering
five epic days of world class waves thanks to Cyclone Oma, cranking live
tunes, inspirational surfy flicks, juicy art exhibitions, enviro chats and
Q&A panels with a few of surfing’s most influential competitors. Despite
extreme weather, a dedicated and happy crowd were stoked on the
annual celebration of surf culture.
The opening event, Tom Carroll’s Photo Exhibition, Wednesday 20
February, at McTavish Factory saw over 300 locals and surfing enthusiasts
absorb Carroll’s insightful images from the 1980’s surfing era and a film
screening of Nat Geo’s Salt in the Blood.
Thursday morning the first of Cyclone Oma’s swell began to push into the
Bay, building the excitement for the weekend ahead! In the arvo, winners
of the festival’s Photo Competition were announced at McTavish Outpost.
Following, the Surf Legends Lounge kicked off around the corner at the
Byron Community Centre, a Q&A with surf royalty, Mark Occhilupo, Taylor
Steele and Dick Hoole.
Friday Main Beach was cranking, hollow barrels had arrived just in time
for the weekend’s festivities. The morning began with a pop of colour for
Fluro Friday at Wategos Beach. Iridescent colour against grey clouds, a
group gathered adorned in fluro to listen to live tunes and talk through
beating mental health one wave at a time! Following, a packed-out crowd
at the Beach Hotel listened to a Q&A with Lisa Andersen, Vahine Fierro,
Cait Miers and Kelia Moniz for the Women’s Panel event. Host Liv Phyland
chatted success, motivation, challenges, social media, the future of the
industry and more.
In the afternoon the BBSF Art Show was held at Lone Goat Gallery, an
exhibition of exceptional local and international talent. This year’s artist
line-up included; Nanda Ormond, Ted Grambeau, Luke Day, Filippa
Edghill, James McMillan, Jaleesa Vincent, Kentharo Yoshida and Duncan
As the sun set at the Beach Hotel, an inspired crowd gathered to watch
Lisa Andersen’s film Trouble, the powerful story of a female surfing
pioneer and her rise to become 4 x World Champ. The film was premiered
by GoPro. To celebrate the beginning of the festival the Beach Hotel put
on live tunes by Drop Legs and Tones & I. Cold beers in hand surf fest
goers were gearing up for a fantastic weekend.
With extreme weather warnings, the weekend’s events experienced shifts
in locations and times. Saturday live talks were held from the Surf Club
with chats by Small Giant’s Dan Fitzgerald, BBSF’s community partner
Waves 4 Water and Atmosea. Talks spoke about conscious investment,
W4W’s OZ Program, female empowerment and self-love. The perfect wet
weather activity, surfy flicks were held at the Community Centre. Films
Beyond Limitus, Momentum Generation and Overcoming were all well
received. At night PLTS and Sunrose rocked out at The Beach Hotel,
groovy and loud the night’s excitement could not be tarnished by wild
The waves and BBSF events continued to attract surf enthusiasts from all
over. Post surf, Sunday everyone headed to the Beach Hotel to wash off a
wonderful five days. Stone & Wood’s cold beers flowed, as Seaside, The
Vanns and Waax took to the stage for smashing live sets.
2019 was an incredible Byron Bay Surf Festival with mother nature
providing an iconic swell to make it a true “surf” festival plus exciting
events to keep everybody frothing and connected! Bring on 2020.
Founded in 2010, the annual Byron Bay Surf Festival is a non -
competitive event with a focus on surf culture, highlighting creativity,
innovation, environment and sustainability. The 5 - day event is a fusion
of 'Surf Culture Now'. With over 10 free and ticketed events, become
immersed in surf sessions, surf shaping, design, art, music, film, fashion
and yoga, while having fun and caring for the environment. The Byron
Bay Surf Festival is proudly an “Ocean Friendly” event aiming to set a
clear path towards reducing environmental and community impacts of
surfing contests. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. For
more information please visit
For VIP Guest Interviews and press info please contact:
Bronte Stephens
+6431 627 056
2019 Festival Imagery:
Please credit photographer when using images.
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