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Fertile Ground - A Guide to Arts and Culture in and Around Byron Bay

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Byron Bay has long been a magnet for a diverse spectrum of creative cultures. The “Rainbow Region” was the birthplace of Australia’s hippy movement, and artists have been attracted to the area by its inspiring natural beauty and relaxed vibe. There are festivals scattered throughout the year, and artists’ studios and galleries dotted around the area.

Studios and galleries

 

A huge number of painters, sculptors, jewelers, and other artists call Byron Bay home. The Arts and Industry Estate has lots of studios and galleries where you can meet the artists and buy directly. There are also several galleries in the center of town where local and visiting artists exhibit.

 

Lone Goat Gallery

 

Located in the Byron Bay Library, this contemporary art space is a quiet cultural haven that sees exhibitions change every 2 or 3 weeks.

 

28 Lawson Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481Tel: +61 490 004 542

 

Lone Goat Gallery website

 

Retrospect Galleries

 

This town-center gallery has 3 spaces that host contemporary exhibitions by established and emerging artists, along with workshops and discussions.

 

52 Jonson Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481. Tel: +61 2 6680 8825

 

Retrospect Galleries website

Aboriginal arts and culture

 

Byron Bay is part of Nyangbul Aboriginal country, and Aboriginal Cultural Concepts leads tours of the region to put you in touch with the rich indigenous culture and traditions of the region. In and around Byron Bay, there are also a handful of shops and galleries where you can browse and buy Aboriginal art and artifacts.

 

Aboriginal Cultural Concepts

 

Aboriginal Cultural Concepts will take you on a journey through the traditions, culture, stories, and important sites of Nyangbul country.

 

Tel: + 61 0405 654 280

 

Aboriginal Cultural Concepts website

 

Mina Mina Art Gallery

 

Mina Mina Art Gallery, a 15-minute drive away in picturesque Brunswick Heads, specializes in contemporary Aboriginal works from remote community art centers.

 

Shop 1, 32 Mullumbimbi Street Brunswick Heads NSW 2483. Tel: +61 2 6685 0229

 

Mina Mina Art Gallery website

 

Live music in Byron Bay

 

Byron Bay has a thriving music scene, with lots of musicians living in the area, and live gigs most nights of the week. It’s also host to some of Australia’s biggest music fests. Splendour in the Grass festival happens each July, with international indie and contemporary acts, as well as workshops and performing arts.

 

Byron Bay Bluesfest

 

Bluesfest is one of the world’s foremost blues and roots music festivals, and takes place every Easter at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm.

 

Tyagarah, Byron Bay NSW 2481. Tel: +61 2 66 858 310

 

Byron Bay Bluesfest website

 

The Falls Music & Arts Festival

 

This boutique music festival features grassroots events as well as big-name acts. It takes place over New Year’s in the scenic setting of the North Byron Parklands.

 

The Falls Music & Arts Festival website

 

Film and cinema

 

Byron Bay has a flourishing movie scene, with lots of actors and filmmakers calling the area home, a film and television school, several cinemas, as well as one of Australia’s most important festivals. You can find out what’s showing in the local community paper "The Echo."

 

Byron Bay International Film Festival

 

One of Australia’s most important cinema festivals happens over 10 days in March every year. The program emphasizes films that seek to raise social, cultural, and environmental awareness.

 

Byron Bay International Film Festival website

 

Pighouse Flicks Lounge Cinema

 

This cinema is housed in a former piggery, along with Byron Bay Brewery and Nomads backpackers hostel. It specializes in art house, foreign, and classic movies.

 

1 Skinners Shoot Road, Byron Bay NSW 2481. Tel: +61 2 66855828

 

Pighouse Flicks Lounge Cinema website

 

Reading and writing

 

Byron Bay has a thriving literary community, with many authors based in the region. Their meeting place is the Northern Rivers Writers' Centre, which provides information, resources, and activities for writers and readers. It also puts on the annual Byron Bay Writers Festival.

 

Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre

 

The Centre hosts a year-round program of workshops, seminars, and events for writers and readers.

 

Level 1, 28 Jonson Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481. Tel: +61 2 6685 5115

 

Northern Rivers Writers’ Centre website

 

Byron Bay Writers’ Festival

 

One of Australia’s biggest literary festivals takes place in several venues in town over 2 days in August, and features many of Australia’s most respected contemporary authors.

 

Tel: + 61 2 6685 5115

 

Byron Bay Writers’ Festival website