Regrettably and with a heavy heart we have made the very difficult decision to cancel Byron Writers Festival 2021, which was scheduled to run from 6-8 August.
We have been following Covid developments in Greater Sydney and nationally very closely over the last few days. As positive cases continue to emerge and borders are closed to NSW, it has become clear that the current restrictions will push too close to the Festival to make it feasible to proceed in early August. Especially given a large portion of participating writers are located in either Greater Sydney or interstate and are subject to travel restrictions. In addition, of course, is growing community hesitancy to travel in such volatile circumstances.
Our primary and abiding concern is, as ever, the health of everyone involved in the Festival – presenters, attendees, volunteers, staff and of course the safety of the wider Northern Rivers community.
We are devastated and we’re sure everyone associated with the Festival will also feel the disappointment and loss that comes with a second year of cancellation. We will continue to watch developments and consider all viable options for future programming but for now, we believe that cancellation is the only responsible course of action.
We offer our sincere thanks for your support and please, stay safe.
Information for ticket holders
If you have bought a ticket to Byron Writers Festival 2021 you will automatically receive a refund within the next 14 days. We’ll process the price of your tickets to the card you booked with—so there’s no need to contact us.
We’ll get in touch if there are any issues processing your refund. If you bought a ticket in person at the Festival Office, we will contact you via phone in the coming days to arrange your refund.
If you have purchased tickets to Satellite Events or Festival Workshops, please bear with us as we work through refund arrangements with event partners and venues.
Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
Dive into our three-day Festival program of 115 sessions with writers, commentators, environmentalists, poets, politicians, comedians and artists who together shape stories of hope, courage and change.
The sun shone under a bluebird sky after a rainbow-dappled Friday to the delight of weekend Festival-goers. An unforgettable weekend for our guests and patrons alike.
And we’re off!
Babara Toner finds her funny bone with Toni Jordan and Mandy Nolan
Lessons in scarf-wearing: Head, neck and shoulders.
Nevo Zisin on growing up queer in Australia
#MeToo: Where To? with Amal Awad, Ginger Gorman, David Leser and Tracey Spicer
Tara June Winch lays down the law when it comes to creativity and motherhood
The PM Years with Kevin Rudd
John Marsden on The Art of Growing Up
No pots of gold unfortunately, but plenty of golden nuggets at the end of these rainbows!
Vicki Laveau-Harvie on Memoir: Running in the Family
Dr Julia Shaw delves into our darker thoughts on Exploring Evil with Gianrico Carofiglio
Markus Zusak on crossing his Bridge of Clay
Storm Clouds stayed at bay for most of the day
Natasha Stott Despoja, Scott Ludlam and Dennis Atkins tackle the question: What’s Happened to our Politics
Lisa-ann Gershwin on the joys of jellyfish
Crusaders Against Corruption
Roman Quaedvlieg on Crusaders Against Corruption
Kate McClymont on Crusaders Against Corruption
Ash Grunwald shares some acoustic tunes in his session
Bruce Pascoe, Bronwyn Bancroft and Karla Dickens share a joke with chair Adam Shoemaker in The Stories Embedded in Landscape
Bruce Pascoe enjoys a good ribbing
Streaming in on Saturday under our Festival flags
Delta Kay takes flight for Welcome to Country
Mob reunions with Melissa Lucashenko, Uncle Jack Charles and Delta Kay
Getting their kicks
Well… THAT was funny
Sarah Hanson Young shares a laugh on ‘The Mental Load: A Woman’s Lot
Gabbie Stroud’s heartfelt experiences resonate with many
Sharing the load in The Mental Load
Natasha Stott Despoja on Domestic Violence: A National Emergency
Full house for Resilience, Strength and Adversity with Leigh Sales, Chloe Hooper and Tim Costello
Soaking it up
Uncle Jack Charles had us laughing and crying in his memorable conversation
The Sculpture Appreciation Society strike a pose
Dr Julia Shaw strikes a pose
Bruce Pascoe’s conversation with Kerry O’Brien drew capacity crowds under a sunny winter’s sky
A standing ovation for Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu conversation with Kerry O’Brien
Adam Spence and Eddie Woo get their geek on in Amazing Mathematics
An overflowing room sits riveted to Behrouz Boochani, live streamed from Manus Island
Min Jin Lee, Benjamin Law, Jennifer Clement and Markus Zusak on the Family as Saga
Jennifer Clement reflects on Family Saga
Question time with Alison Lester at Kids Big Day Out
Hands up for Morris Gleitzman at Kids Big Day Out
Our 2019 Story Sleuths with Tristan Bancks
The StoryBoard Story Space in action at Kids Big Day Out
Alison Lester’s mural gets some finishing touches
A.C. Grayling inspires the next generation of philosophers
A.C. Grayling delivers the annual Thea Astley Address on Democracy and its Crisis
Sitting back for Democracy and its Crisis
Hung Le relives one of many awkward moments…v
And the audience laps it up!
Taking time out to reflect
Dmon Gameau on his hopes for 2040 with Nathan Scolaro
Ending the weekend on a high note with Shire Choir
Shire Choir’s Malea Naughton
Coming together as community to celebrate and rejoice!
A HUGE thank you to all of our WONDERFUL volunteers!! Your smiles and generosity are what make this Festival truly special!A HUGE thank you to all of our WONDERFUL volunteers!! Your smiles and generosity are what make this Festival truly special!