Indigenous documentary draws big crowd at Byron Bay

WAVE OF NOSTALGIA: Competitors ready for the Corona Party Wave Invitational at the Byron Bay Surf Festival.
WAVE OF NOSTALGIA: Competitors ready for the Corona Party Wave Invitational at the Byron Bay Surf Festival. Tommy Leitch And Common Ground

DARK clouds didn't deter an estimated 2000 Byron Bay Surf Festival fans who packed Apex Park to watch Indigenous surfing charity doco Burra Jurra.

The free open-air event marked the official opening of the third annual three-day celebration of art, music, film, photography, and of course, surfing.

"The entire weekend was blessed with great weather, a mind-blowing turnout, and amazing vibes with surf elders and young hipsters saying this is exactly how Byron should be," said co-director Mike Jahn.

Festival highlights included the Tipi Pop-up Precinct at Main Beach, the Australian film premier of Bella Vista featuring surfer, artist and environmentalist Chris Del Moro, and the Corona Party Wave Invitational, which was won by professional longboarder Harrison Roach.

"We also had a standout selection of national and international master surfboard and handplane shapers sporting their unique and creative talents during the shaper exhibit, with displays and demos at both Main and Wategos beaches," Mike said.

Surfing devotees from Italy, Japan, Brazil, California and Hawaii joined a swag of East Coast surfers, many of whom kick-started the local surf culture back in the 1960s.

"We really wanted to bring people out of the woodwork and create a fully inclusive, community atmosphere, so we're happy to have achieved this," Mike said.


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