Renew Fest is Australia’s annual festival for ecological, economic and social renewal.
We bring together leading thinkers and doers across all sectors of regenerative culture, including: community-owned renewal energy, ethical economics, nature’s biodiversity, better food, and human habitats. And in the middle of all this sits humanity renewal, covering all aspects of the social, mental, physical and spiritual health of all of us.
We are entering our fourth year, and to date have connected dozens of organisations and partners, hundred of presenters and performers, and thousands of members of public, and will continue to do so.
Our audience is a mix of all ages made up of northern rivers locals, folks form the mid north coast, Sydney and people coming from interstate areas such as Melbourne, North Qld, Brisbane. We attract social and business / industry entrepreneurs, farmers, small town families, artists, activists, community organisations, alternative educators and students, new world thinkers, and generally earthy, spiritual, savvy engaged types.
The festival is designed to support both the inner heart journey and the outer innovations of what is needed for regenerative life on planet earth.Renew Fest celebrates our individual and collective hearts’ desires for a regenerative and caring society, and brings together the people and organisations doing great work towards this goal. Renew Fest speaks to our hearts, and speaks up for the generative gift of life, calling us to transform ourselves and our systems in the way we live. There is beauty and creative play here, as well as grief. We welcome it all.
Renew Fest is held in the lush surrounds of the Fig Tree Grove within the Showgrounds of Mullumbimby, a thriving and progressive small town in the heartland of Byron Shire in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales, Australia. The trees arch over the festival site, sheltering us and drawing us into a deeper relationship with our surroundings and the earth.
Festival host and team
Renew Fest is hosted by COREM (www.corem.org.au), a local non-profit volunteer organisation on a mission to transition the Byron Shire to 100% community-owned renewable energy. All festival proceeds go COREM for its projects to this effect.Renew Fest is directed by activist, organiser, artist and president of COREM, Ella Rose Goninan, who works with a range of local volunteers, some of whom belong to the core team of staff including Tom Keily (general programming), Luke Jaaniste (music and design), Meredith Elton (communal arts program) and Tess Eckert (youth program).
Key actions and approaches
We create empowering mass communal actions that show everyone how easy it can be to change the way we live.
ZERO WASTE… We are the first festival in Australia to be completely ‘zero waste,’ with a policy that disallows anything disposable on site, and have encouraged and influenced other festivals to take up this approach.
CULTURE AWARE… We are the first festival in the world to be certified ‘Culture Aware’, a first nations organisation working with festivals and venues to deal with cultural appropriation and ensure an understanding of the importance of local native protocol and lore, so that cultural programming can be in right relationship with the local indigenous people.
SOLAR POWERED… We power the festival with solar power and other renewable energy sources.
DEEP LISTENING, Indigenous Connection and Minute Silences… We work closely with our local indigenous custodians on the content of what is presented. With this guidance the over arching ongoing theme of the festival is “Dadirri”, a Ngangikurungkurr indigenous word meaning “Deep Listening”. As part of this approach, in 2018 we introduced one-minute silences at the top of every hour for the entire festival, for everyone to contemplate and connect with ourselves, the festival content, and the earth.
COMMUNAL ARTS engagement… We see the arts as a deep way to connect to ourselves, our dreams, our visions and our shared love and empathy for creating better relationships with the earth.