Andrew Stafford: on the bill at the Byron Writers Festival

Billed as Australia’s largest regional literary event, the 2019 Byron Bay Writers Festival, now into it’s 23rd year, is a three day extravaganza of the written word, taking place this coming 2 – 4 August at the Elements of Byron Resort.

This year’s Festival will deliver over 120 inspiring and diverse workshops and sessions, featuring 140 authors, thinkers and speakers from both Australia and abroad, covering a plethora of literary themed topics within such diverse genres as fiction, memoir, crime, environment, society, politics, poetry, art, comedy and music.

For those with a predilection for all things music, one of the most anticipated writers appearing at the festival is Brisbane freelance journalist and book author, Andrew Stafford. Having left his legacy on the Australian music landscape with the publication of his much lauded 2004 work, Pig City, it wasn’t until fifteen years later that Stafford delivered his follow up book, Something To Believe In, earlier this year.

While Pig City masterfully laid out the story of a city (Brisbane) and the evolution of its music scene within a social and political context, particularly under the repressive Bjelke Petersen regime of the 70’s and 80’s, his latest foray into the world of literature (named, in fact, after a Ramones song), is a much more personal account into the life, times and psyche of its author, within the framework of the music that goes ’round his head. To steal a quote from the back cover of the book, it’s “a memoir of music, madness and love”.

Keep an eye on the pages of Blank GC over the coming months, when we publish a review of the book, coupled with some insights into its genesis.

In the meantime, if you’re heading down to Byron Bay for the Writers Festival, be sure to catch Andrew (appearing with a bunch of other literary luminaries) when he regales with tales and tribulations at the following sessions.

  • Memoir: Running In The Family: Friday, 2 August, 12pm – 1pm at the Greenstone Partners Marquee
  • Writers and Music: Friday, 2 August, 2:30pm – 3:30pm at the Saturday Paper Marquee
  • Writing The Country: Sunday, 4 August, 10am – 11am at the Saturday Paper Marquee

These sessions (and the entire three day programme for that matter), promise to be a real treat. In the words of Andrew himself:  “It’s always enjoyable to be around other people who are fizzing with ideas. It’s about engaging with a crowd of people who want to be stimulated by the world of ideas and reading.”

As a freelance journalist, Andrew also writes about a lot more than just music. To check out a range of his musings, head over to his Patreon site.

The Byron Writers Festival 2019 takes place 2-4 August in the beautiful grounds of Elements of Byron Resort. Full program and tickets at

2019 Writers and Presenters at Byron Writers Festival

Nicole Abadee, Sarah Armstrong, Amal Awad, Sunil Badami, Bronwyn Bancroft, Paul Barclay, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Tony Birch, John Birmingham, Jesse Blackadder, Paul Bongiorno, Behrouz Boochani, Phil Brown, Jennifer Byrne, Barbara Carmichael, Isobelle Carmody, Gianrico Carofiglio, Gabrielle Chan, Melanie Cheng, Jennifer Clement, Matthew Condon, Maddison Connaughton, Tim Costello, Sophie Cunningham, Marele Day, Karla Dickens, Tishani Doshi, Jill Eddington, Sara El Sayed, Russell Eldridge, Claire L. Evans, Matthew Evans, Richard Fidler, Carly Findlay, John Flanagan, Tim Flannery, Tony Flowers, Clementine Ford, Karen Foxlee, Antony Funnell, Damon Gameau, Simi Genzuik, Lisa-ann Gershwin, David Gillespie, Morris Gleitzman, Alice Gorman, Ginger Gorman, Stan Grant, A.C. Grayling, Peter Greste, Ash Grunwald, Chris Hanley, Sarah Hanson-Young, Lynda Hawryluk, Ashley Hay, Jess Hill, Chloe Hooper, Shep Huntly, Daniel James, Zacharey Jane, Erik Jensen, Gail Jones, Toni Jordan, Sarah Kanowski, Samia Khatun, Sarah Lambert, Christina Larmer, Vicki Laveau-Harvie, Benjamin Law, Hung Le, Angela Ledgerwood, Debbie Lee, Min Jin Lee, David Leser, Alison Lester, S.L. Lim, Caro Llewellyn, Zanni Louise, Melissa Lucashenko, Scott Ludlam, William MacNeil, Alex Mankiewicz, John Marsden, Kate McClymont, Phillipa McGuinness, Miles Merrill, Karen Middleton, Rosemarie Milsom, Evelyn Ida Morris, Di Morrissey, Rick Morton, Sisonke Msimang, Melanie Mununggurr-Williams, Joanna Nell, Mandy Nolan, Georgia Norton Lodge, Zoë Norton Lodge, Patrick Nunn, Kerry O’Brien, Kristina Olsson, Mick O’Regan, Bruce Pascoe, Mark Pesce, Ailsa Piper, Helen Pitt, Stephen Pyne, Roman Quaedvlieg, Hannie Rayson, Michael Robotham, Kevin Rudd, Harry Saddler, Omar Sakr, Leigh Sales, Margot Saville, Julianne Schultz, Nathan Scolaro, Jock Serong, Julia Shaw, Joanne Shoebridge, Adam Shoemaker, Dominic Smith, Jeff Sparrow, Adam Spencer, Tracey Spicer, Ranjana Srivastava, Megan K. Stack, Andrew Stafford, David Stavanger, Jason Stephens, Natasha Stott Despoja, Gabbie Stroud, Adam Suckling, Mark Swivel, Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Omid Tofighian, Barbara Toner, Kate Veitch, Michael Veitch, Don Watson, Peter Watt, Jessica White, Debbie Whitmont, Michael Williams, Geordie Williamson, Tara June Winch, Eddie Woo, Clare Wright, Nevo Zisin, Markus Zusak.

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