SURVIVING COVID-19: Incredible ways businesses are coping

MANY local businesses and organisations are making huge changes in response to the coronavirus threat. We are doing our to keep our subscribers up to date with these changes. If you have information you would like to share, please email us at

Today's headlines

UPDATE 4.20pm:

Bluesfest Byron Bay

Bluesfest Byron Bay will go ahead in 2021, Festival Director Peter Noble OAM has confirmed.

Festival organisers announced this week the 2020 festival was cancelled due to coronavirus concerns and implementations from the government.

What to expect in 2021 here.

UPDATE 3.15pm:

2020 Byron Bay Alliance Française French Film Festival

The  Byron Bay Alliance Francaise French Film Festival has been cancelled due to ongoing concerns around the impact of COVID-19, the CoronaVirus.

The 31st Alliance Francaise French Film Festival at Byron Bay was due to begin next Tuesday 31 March and continue until April 12.

Palace representatives will shortly contact patrons who have booked online. Any patrons seeking refunds for in-person bookings can contact Palace Byron Bay by phone (02) 6680 8555, in person or via email with images of their tickets.

We are truly thankful to any patrons who choose not to request a refund and instead donate the cost of their ticket back to the Festival as it will help us cover the immense costs associated with running the event.

Byron Council postpones public community consultation events

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic Byron Shire Council has postponed plans for a range of public community consultation events in the coming months.

This relates to activities such as workshops.

Council will however continue to offer a range of ways for people to engage with staff about different projects including opportunities for one-on-one (with social distancing and hygiene protocols of course) and telephone consultations.

People will still be able to provide feedback and submissions in the normal range of ways, including via the website, email, telephone or Council's digital engagement platform

Live Country Music Days

"Live Country Music Days" had planned two events in March and April. Considering that under normal conditions we usually attract 100 to 250  people, the edict is directed at crowds over 100.



Disabled Surfers Association of the Far Out North Coast
This weekends Disabled Surfing gathering at Byron Bay, Clarkes Beach venue, on Saturday the 21st.

UPDATE 1.25pm:

Byron Comedy Fest 2020 is now Byron Comedy Fest 2021
After a sell our inaugural festival last year we have become another Coronavirus casualty and had to cancel Byron Comedy Fest 2020.

Scheduled for 14-17th May our festival cannot go ahead as a 200 seat venue.

We are obviously disappointed for the community, the artists, the production crew and ourselves but we will bounce back in 2021.

Lennox Head charity Rafiki Mwema

Lennox Head based charity Rafiki Mwema have had to postpone their upcoming training events including "An African Affair" gala and their training 'Living With Trauma' in Sydney and Building Attachments in Melbourne. 

There is an online raffle called 'A piece of Africa' where patrons can purchase tickets now for $100 and purchasing a ticket means you are in for a 1 in 300 chance of winning a trip of a lifetime for two people to Kenya, as well as some incredible items going up for auction at the Gold Coast Gala which will now be virtual.

UPDATE 1.15pm

Harvest, Newrybar
NEWRYBAR-based Harvest restaurant, deli and bakery is offering takeaway meals for customers to enjoy at home.
This is comfort food at its finest, and you can enjoy it while observing social distancing.

Subscription boxes of local vegetables are also available at Harvest Deli.

They also supply bulk pantry essentials and immunity-boosting foods and supplements.

Friday night is Chook night with an organic roast lemon myrtle and mountain pepper chicken coming from the bakery's wood-fired oven and served with local root vegetables or salad.

Harvest is open 8am-5pm; call ahead on 02 6687 2644 and follow Harvest on Instagram for daily updates.

Barrio Eatery and Bar
BARRIO, in Byron Bay's Habitat, is making it easy for the community to take home their favourite dishes.

They have a selection of nutritious salads, hearty sandwiches, char-grilled meats, vegetables and desserts.

Call ahead on 041 1323 165 or download the Boppl app to order ahead.

Safety measures
FLOCK in Mullumbimby is temporarily not accepting customers' own reusable takeaway cups.

If you don't want to use a single-use cup, sit down to enjoy your cuppa and you can make use of the hand sanitiser provided while you're at it. 

UPDATE 12.40

Relay for Life, Lismore

Lismore & Villages Relay for Life 2020 at Southern Cross University, Military Road, Lismore to be held from March 28 has been cancelled. 

UPDATE 11.40am

Byron Bay Brewery

The Byron Bay venue is connected with the brewery, and have temporarily closed as a precaution - this is about minimising visitors to the brewery site so they can keep on brewing.

The venue will be closed from Wednesday 18 March. Stay tuned on social channels and website for more updates.

UPDATE 11.20am

Choux Choux Pattiserie, Bangalow

Owners are addressing the slower-than-usual trade and the difficulty in accessing certain food items by selling spare ingredients to the public.

This includes regular and gluten free flour, rice, oats, eggs, sugar, butter, yeast, salt and pasta. Read more HERE.

Small businesses, Lismore

SG Asian Supermarket, Goonellabah Quality Meats and Clunes Store are ready for customers with plenty still in stock and more coming. Read more HERE.

The Lismore Regional Gallery and The Quad

The Gallery and the Quad have taken the unenviable step of suspending our events and public programs until further notice. This will be effective immediately.

This includes upcoming exhibition openings, the Dorian Gary performance, Renjie Teoh workshop, Biennale of Sydney public talk, Thursday Night Live, Hannah Cabinet openings, our very first Quick Draw Club (sad emoji) and the Lismore Youth Festival.

Existing ticket holders for workshops will receive a refund if the event is not going ahead, or for those people taking part in our after-school workshops - a partial refund.

Flood Stories at Lismore Quad (March 31 - April 9) is a project that involves individual audio experiences and is not a crowd or gathering event.

Individual participants collect a listening device and map from a shipping container in The Quad before taking short walking tours to various locations within Lismore CBD while listening to the audio stories, returning the listening device to The Quad on completion. Participants can also bring their own listening devices and listen via

All equipment and surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized before and after each use. The staff member distributing listening devices from The Quad will follow guidelines including social distancing, limiting contact and limiting the number of people collecting listening devices at any one time.

Australia Post

To minimise risks to everyone, all parcels - be it at a post office or at a residence - will no longer require a signature for delivery or collection. Our team will continue to record your name and delivery on our handheld device.

In order to make it easier to pick up or send parcels, please consider using free 24/7 Parcel Lockers, which can be found in over 400 convenient locations across the country. 

Orgasmic, Byron Bay

Middle Eastern restaurant Orgasmic Falafel in Byron Bay has begun free deliveries around the Byron Shire to keep help to give their business open.

Call 6680 7778 , they are requesting cash payment.

Council lifts supermarket delivery restrictions

Lismore City Council has removed all restrictions, delivery curfews and planning constraints on supermarket loading bays to help them meet current demand in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The move is consistent with current government advice.

"We are trying to proactively respond to the current surge in demand, which is expected to last at least several weeks," Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said.

"This will assist with restocking shelves more quickly and increase the public's confidence. This is an unprecedented health event and we need to work together as a community during these challenging times."

Public services closed

Tenterfield Shire Council has put in place changes to meet guidelines for public safety. The following facilities will be closed from Thursday:

  • Tenterfield, Urbenville and Torrington libraries
  • School of Arts Cinema & Museum
  • Tenterfield Memorial Pool
  • Visitor Information Centre
  • Depot access by appointment only
  • Council will not be maintaining a face to face customer service desk. Customers are asked to make every effort to pay invoices via phone, internet banking or by credit/debit card on 13 18 16.
  • The March ordinary council meeting scheduled to be held at Torrington will now be held at the RSL Pavilion in Tenterfield. Members of the public are discouraged from attending.

Dirty Wilson, Lismore

Taking to social media, the eatery said it is "not business as usual".

"We are adapting to this new reality and have made changes to our business... are staff is confused and scared. And so are we," they wrote on Instagram.

"We are sh---ing ourselves on how we can run a business on an 80 per cent downturn."

Dirty Wilson will be taking things "day by day" and may have reduced opening hours. 

Some items may not be on the menu as they run out of stock.


Ballina Book Shop

A home delivery service has now been started. If you buy items over $20 in total, home delivery is free in the Ballina area, and $5 to Alstonville and Lennox Head. Phone 6686 2436.


Clunes Store & Cellars

The shop is now taking orders for home delivery of groceries and alcohol. Place an order by emailing Payments will be made over the phone and orders will be left at the front door.

The store and cafe will operate as usual until advised otherwise.