By Caitlin Weatherstone
The iconic Surf Art Market returned to the Bay with a bang as part of the much-loved Byron Bay Surf Festival’s epic weekend line-up.
On the morning of Saturday 25th February, the sun touched the most easterly point of Australia and revealed a tipi forest which had popped up overnight along Byron Bay’s foreshore. By 9am, the foreshore was buzzing with over 160 stallholders decked out in tipis, marquees, yurts, bell tents and bamboo huts and thousands of visitors came along to help us celebrate ‘surf culture now’.
Looking at Saturday’s program there was a massive list of activities to be ticked off from Apex Park to the Community Centre; everything from all-day yoga in the Yoga Yurt, surf culture artshow at the Lone Goat Gallery with works by Andy Davis, James McMillan, Ozzie Wright and Paul McNeil to live surfboard-making demos with Sustainable Surf and Deus and of course, eating, shopping and strolling your way through the Surf Art Market mecca.
Some of the highlights of the day included:
The Surf Literature Lounge’s discussions hosted by Taylor Miller, with the likes of surfing industry legends Bob McTavish, Rusty Miller, Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart, Gary McNeill and Steve Barilotti.
Browsing the large selection of wooden boards at The Woodshed, featuring the 9th annual Wooden Surfboard Day hosted by Grant Newby and Wood Surf Co’s new creations by Wooden Anchor’s Andy Ceglinksi, Dana Watson and surfer/shaper Joel Fitzgerald.
A new addition for 2017’s event – the Patagonia Yurt – featured inspirational talks and films and included the founder of Take 3, Tim Silverwood, founder of One Wave, Grant Trebilco, founder of Five Oceans, Luise Grossman, founder of ethical bikini label Ocean Zen Bikinis, Steph Gabriel, and Patagonia’s own ambassadors, freediver Kimi Werner and surfer Belinda Baggs.
The Community Centre’s Byron Theatre also had a day-long program of film screenings and panels including Lauren L. Hill’s short film about a day in the life of a lady slider, ‘Pear Shaped’, Dave Rastovich hosted Patagonia’s ‘Activist’s Toolkit Workshop’, and there was a selection of short films from international filmmakers such as Cyrus Sutton, Patrick Trefz and Chrystal Homcy.
And then there were the spontaneous things that popped up on the day which made everyone smile – MT Warning belting out a set atop the fallenBROKENstreet bus, Marvell St Coffee setting up SUPER early, just to caffeinate the hard working and sleep deprived staff, Uncle Project’s fundraiser – a mechanical surfboard, which was adored by all the grommies, all our visitors, locals and internationals alike, who brought their good vibes along and of course, the cracker weather we were fortunate to have all weekend!
Photos thanks to Karise Schork, Sarah West and Taylor Miller