Jump Aboard the Byron Bay Surf Festival 2018
Are you a surf junkie? Love riding the waves? Or perhaps you are a fan or just appreciate the surfing vibe? Then you should plan to take a holiday to Byron Bay for the weekend of 23-25 February. The Byron Bay Surf Festival will feature everything from actual surfing to art and film about surfing. Founded in 2010, the festival serves to bring together surfers and those who love the culture surrounding the sport to celebrate both the industry and lifestyle in an internationally famous surf community.
The Byron Bay Surf Festival, a three-day event (with a few pre-festival events), will feature approximately 20 programs, both free and ticketed, that includes everything from surf sessions, surfboard markets, art show, film viewings, yoga workshop, presentations, panels and demonstrations.
Most of the events take place in the main town centre of Byron Bay, on and off the beach, as well as Wategos Beach where the main surf sessions on Sunday will be held.
Pre-Festival and Friday Events
- New this year! Surf Legends Lounge: Kicking off the festival early this year on Thursday night (22 February), the Surf Legends Lounge by Electric, held at the Byron Bay Community Centre, will include music, short films, special guests and discussions about “all things surf.” This is a ticketed event (tickets will be available at the community centre) with doors opening at 6:30 pm for a 7 pm start.
- Also new this year! Free Radicals: An “alternative shred session” presented by RVCA & Electric will begin at 8 am on Friday morning. This is the festival’s first short board event! Check out freesurfers showing their stuff.
- Art Show: Held at the Lone Goat Gallery at the Library from 5:30 to 7 pm on Friday, the 2018 BBSF Art Show will have a showing from three featured artists, Tim Kerr (United States), Otis Carey and Byron local and world famous surfer and artist bohemian Ozzie Wright, or Wrong.
- Sunset Cinema: Held at Denning Park, beachside, check out this year’s Sunset Cinema from 6 to 9 pm, which will includ a Welcome to Country by the local Arakwal Bumberlin people, an acoustic music set, a short film from the States by Jack Coleman and a surprise feature film.
- Friday Night Live Music: For the 18 and over crowd, head over to the Beach Hotel for live music and drinks starting at 9 pm, Friday night. Local brewers Stone & Wood also sponsoring the event.
Surf Art Markets: From 9 am to 5 pm in Denning Park, you’ll find, according to the website, “a wide range of the best surfboard craftsmen, artists, fashion designers, environmental groups, activism workshops, live music, yummy food and bevs, and so much more!”
- Yoga Sessions, 8-11 am: Three sessions of yoga will be offered with Paloma, starting with Vinyasa flow, Acro Yoga next and finally a Yoga philosophy session.
- What’s the Catch?: Check a free demo of the latest Catch Surf boards at 10:30 am.
- Fallen Broken Street Headwear: Stop by for a hat workshop from the popular hat makers Fallen Broken Street Headwear from 11 am to noon.
- Jay Nelson Directing an Experience: Presented by VISSLA, this program, from 2:30 to 3 pm, gives visitors a chance to see Jay Nelson in action creating one of his custom Adventure Vehicles. Nelson, who comes from Ocean Beach, San Francisco, builds custom campers, water crafts, treehouses and various dwellings, using as much reclaimed wood as possible.
- Main Stage will play host to a variety of events all afternoon including:
- 1 pm: a Surf Activism Panel Discussion
- 2 pm: Q&A with freesurfer Asher Pacey
- 3 pm: Live music from Dear Doonan (Noosa)
- 4 pm: Atmosea Gurfer parade
- Sonic Immersion: Make sure to nab a ticket for Saturday night’s event at the Byron Bay Community Centre. You’ll be treated to Kassia Meador’s Sonic Immersion, a “sonic bath,” from 5:30 to 7 pm followed by a feature surf film documentary from 7:30 to 9 pm.
Sunday Surf Sessions
Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions: These non-competitive surfing sessions, the highlight of the festival, are available for all ages and are decided by peer vote. Advantage is awarded to “those presenting their surfing with style, wave and equipment adaptability, flare and freestyling fun during each session,” according to the website. Registration opens on the beach at 7 am, with the first session starting at 8 am. This day of surfing will be held on Australia’s easterly point at Wategos Beach.
- 8–8:30 am: Torpedoes (bodysurfing)
- 8:30 – 9 am: Wood Sniffers (presented by Wood Surf Co.) – Surfers must ride wood boards.
- 9 – 10 am: McTavish Trim (presented by McTavish Surfboards) – “The trim is a unique surfing event whereby the longest distance surfed is the goal for each of the 18 invited trimmers. Surfboards must be over 10 feet in length, requiring a significant amount of skill and panache to surf.”
- 10 – 10:30 am: Finless Slide (presented by RVCA) – Any board welcome, but no fins allowed.
- 10:30 – 11 am: The Extraterrestrial Soft-board Experiment – Foam only, 20 surfers allowed.
- 11 – 11:30 am: Log invitational – BBSF Premiere event. Invite only. Modern or classic log 9ft+. Single fin only.
- 11:30 am – Noon: Mermaid Paarty (presented by Atmosea) – Just for the ladies.
- 12 – 12:30 pm: Ying/Yang – Two people surf the same wave.
- 1 – 1:45 pm: Festival Party Wave – Open to one and all! Register before noon to join in the fun. All surfers on one wave to the beach.
Wrap Up Party: Head back to the Beach Hotel for the Wrap Party, live music from the Beautiful Girls and cold brew served by Stone & Wood. It starts at 4 pm.
Plan to stay at Broken Head for the Surf Festival
Get off the beaten path and relax in the quiet surrounds of Broken Head Holiday Park for your holiday weekend. After the busy days and evenings of the Byron Bay Surf Festival, it would be nice to stay in a place where you truly can enjoy some peace and quiet. Plus, you’ll save a few dollars by staying at the campsites or beach shacks at Broken Head Holiday Park. So if you love to surf, used to surf and still love it, collect surfboards or just like to soak up the culture, make reservations to come to Byron Bay at the end of this month!