Splendour has Sprung, the Byron Writers Festival Unfurls
So you’ve showered off the last of the glitter, your thighs have finally stopped throbbing after three days of full-on mosh, your ears are starting to stop ringing and even if it might take a while for your wallet to recover from Splendour 2019, now it’s time to sit back and feed a drip into your brain.
Yes, the 23rd Byron Writers Festival, the Shire’s annual ingestion of big ideas is upon us.
Blissed-Out Bookie-Types and Tents Bursting With Talent
BWF is the most popular writers festival in the country – for writers and for readers. Every year, Festival Director Edwina Johnson has to turn away many more writers than she can fit on the program. And every year, thousands of blissed-out bookie-types bask in the midwinter sun at Elements Resort and soak up three days of mind-expanding, heart-opening discussion of books and ideas.
This year there’s over 140 writers, 121 panel discussions, 17 satellite events and 15 workshops. And yes, the tents are again bursting with talent.
Maths, Space, Meat and #MeToo
A taste from the banquet: Maths super-teach Eddie Woo will go all giggly over the wonder of numbers with arithmetic fanboy Adam Spencer. Ethical carnivore (yes, an oxymoron for many Byronites) Matthew Evans will chew the gristle with local author Sarah Armstrong. Astro-archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman will dodge space junk with astronomy fanboy Adam Spencer. Lapsed local David Leser will put #MeToo under the male gaze. And Bruns local Marele Day will discuss how the hell her lauded novel Lambs Of God survived the evisceration of television to become an equally lauded mini-series.
Dangerous Devices, Dead Dads and Devine Music
Bangalow filmmaker and author of 2040 Damon Gameau will suggest a really dangerous Idea – that the future might not be as bleak as we think. Teen brain expert David Gillespie will discuss the danger of devices to our yooff. The best chair in the known universe, Mick O’Regan, will go surfing with Ash Grunwald, And uber-author John Birmingham will talk softly about his grief following the death of his father.
Corruption, Quaadvileg and Comediacs
The best investigative reporter in the country, Fairfax’s Kate McClymont will root out corruption in the Border Force with its former boss and human alphabet, Roman Quaadvlieg. There’s Leigh Sales, there’s Kerry O’Brien, there’s the Kids Big Day Out on Sunday – and did I mention, there’s Adam Spencer? And if that’s not enough, there are piano recitals for breakfast, sublime choral group Dynasty 8 to serenade out Saturday arvo and local comediacs Mandy Nolan and Mark Swivel will round out the weekend with a bloody good belly laugh last thing on Sunday.
And you’re right, there’s a lot of locals in the mix of visiting wannabee locals – – but then we all know that Byron has more creative talent and more talented creatives per head of population than anywhere else on the planet.
For anyone with a brain or a heart (sometimes both!) it’s the most stimulating weekend on the calendar. There’s laughter, there’s tears, there’s poems and politics and controversy. Come Sunday evening you’ll stagger home fully stoked, a head full of brain food, a bag full of books and a heart full of hope.
Celebrate thinking, feeling, reading, writing and living. Be there! Go to byronwritersfestival.com for complete program and ticket sales.