Monthly Archives: October 2012

Sing to win the ultimate festival experience!

Free social commerce website Community Engine and the Mullum Music Festival have put together a kick-arse prize pack for the winner of the Ultimate Festival Song Competition.

Mullum Music Festival
Anybody over 18 in this wide brown land can enter (there are licensed venues in Mullumbimby as well as peace and love), and all you have to do is sing your favourite festival song ever and upload it to Youtube.

Entries close 5pm Wednesday 14th November so there’s not much time. Create a short video (2 minutes or less) singing at least 3 lines from your favourite festival song ever. You can even get a little help from your friends.

Upload the video to Youtube with “MMF12 Fest Song” in the title then share it around. Mullum Festival Director Glenn Wright will be judging on originality, entertainment and popularity. The two women behind The Office Collective in Byron Bay cleverly promoted their business while singing Queen’s “Radio GaGa”.

Community Engine will be at the Byron Markets this Sunday 4th November filming video entries, so if you live nearby get on down with your friends.

Entry is free and you can enter as many times as you like. The winner as well as other entries will be published on on 16th November.

“We tried to think of the most fun way to come to the festival” said Glenn Wright. “As well as great music there’s great fun on the Magic Bus. Mullumbimby is very much a community and that’s why it’s so perfect that we’ve hooked up with Community Engine as our technology partner”.

Ultimate festival song kick-arse prize pack-

• Two nights for two people at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa

• Two Gold Passes to the 2012 Mullum Music Festival, being held 22 – 25 November

• Private concert with Little Bastard on the Magic Bus

• Festival pack including 20 signed CDs

• Dinner at Milk and Honey

Downloadable high res images:

Photo #1 – Mullum Music Festival

Photo #2 – Little Bastard, who will perform a free gig on the Magic Bus for the competition winner

Photo #3 – Magic Bus experience

Photo #4 – Mullum Music Festival

Photo #5 – Magic Bus Driver


World Champagne Day Vogue Living Dinner a sparkling success

The Vogue Living Champagne Dinner held on World Champagne Day Friday 26 October has been heralded a sparkling sell-out success.

“Byron at Byron put on a magnificent Champagne Dinner which I was delighted to host on behalf of Vogue Living” said Vogue Living Publisher Nick Smith, who attended the event along with 95 guests from around the country. The Byron region was proudly represented, with guests from Byron Bay, Lennox Head, Alstonville, Bangalow, Mullumbimby and The Pocket.

“Guests were stylish and sophisticated which topped off the night. We were treated to an amazing dinner by Justin North and who’d have thought you could enjoy Champagne with all of the five courses!”

The Byron at Byron has held these special dinners for the past five years to share the beauty and versatility of Champagne. Guests dined on Scotch quail eggs with sauce grebiche, Ceviche of kingfish with finger lime and pickled radish, Plum tomatoes with saffron jelly, crab meat, crème fraiche and chive oil and Gerry’s Wagyu baby beef roulades with tiger prawns and crustacean foam. And these were just some of the canapés.

Champagnes enjoyed during the event were Ayala Brût Nature, Agrapart Terriors Blanc de Blancs, Philipponnat Royal Réserve Brût, 2000 Pol Roger Vintage Brût and Bollinger Rosé.

“The highlight for me was working with the local produce from around the Byron shire area” said Justin North. Justin’s previous ventures include Bécasse restaurant, which was regularly awarded two Chefs Hats by The Sydney Morning Herald and three stars from the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards. “Matching it with the incredible Champagnes and working with the support of The Byron at Byron Chefs were also highlights”.

The event was styled by acclaimed Domayne Stylist Sue Kropp, who transformed the Byron at Byron Restaurant for the dinner. Classic whites and greens created a vintage French farmhouse feel with hessian, antique lace doilies, white roses and baby’s breath, camellia and magnolia leaves, glass domes and of course ornate silver candelabras. “Justin’s food is always sophisticated yet at the same time it’s comfort food” said Sue Kropp. “So I wanted to celebrate that”.

Downloadable high res images (photos by Jeff Dawson):

Photo #1 – Elisabeth Drysdale from The Champagne Bureau with Guest Chef Justin North

Photo #2 – Nick Smith, Publisher of Vogue Living with Stylist Sue Kropp

Photo #3 – John Parche, General Manager of The Byron at Byron with Caroline Baulderstone and Mark Baulderstone from Riedel

Photo #4 – Elisabeth Drysdale from The Champagne Bureau with Marcus Ross

Photo #5 – Guest Chef Justin North with Monique Phillips

A new engine for community

Free social commerce website Community Engine is growing its presence in its home turf, Sydney’s north. Many in the local area have already claimed their profile on the “engine”.

With its headquarters in Brookvale, the firm headed north for their pilot program, which has been underway in the Byron Bay region this year. Given the immense success of the pilot (Byron won Google’s “Best e-Town Award” last month) Community Engine is now focused on supporting its local community in Sydney’s north.

“The trial gave us the feedback we needed” said Power. “We have refined our toolkit to help individuals, community groups and businesses grow their support in local communities. The platform is being well received here because people have strong community values. The beauty of it is that even those who felt left behind by technology are now able to connect and interact online. We make it dead simple by providing a set of free tools which are easy to use and which replicate what people do naturally face to face”.

To encourage people to get to know them, Community Engine is donating $125,000 to the not-for-profit groups which make communities great places to live. “We are giving $1 for each person that follows a business or not-for-profit group” said Power. Businesses can collect followers and donate the money to the cause of their choice and not-for-profits keep the money they raise, up to $5,000 per group.

For more information go to

The multi award winning Byron at Byron Resort and Spa are involved in the giveaway. “Community Engine is a wonderful tool” said The Byron at Byron’s General Manager Lyn Parché. “With practically no effort we have raised money for The Byron Youth Service and at the same time increased our online presence”.

Community Engine is a free web tool which gives users a homepage, email and social sharing. For those that want it they also offer inbuilt e-commerce at a great rate.

Go to email or call 1300 266 686.

Downloadable high resolution images:

Photo #1 – Community Engine’s Dean Power with Koby Hagenfelds

Photo #2 – Community Engine’s Dean Power – Photo Carly Brown

Photo #3 – Community Engine’s Dean Power with business owner David Styles

Sample Festival stallholders stay in touch with patrons

Mouth watering praise for Sample Festival as Community Engine congratulates winners of the Sample STAY IN TOUCH competition, who have just been announced.

Sample Food Festival 2012

Community Engine stepped in to support Sample last month, ensuring the immensely popular festival could go ahead.

“We spoke to Remy about what would be the best way we could help” said Community Engine’s Dean Power. “Exhibitors are flat out serving on the day and don’t have time to get to know the people who come to their stall. So we created a system where patrons nominated the exhibitors they wanted to be kept in touch with”.

So as part of the partnership, Sample patrons were asked to text the number of their favourite stalls and describe, in just three words, their festival experience. Stallholders could focus on serving great food, knowing they were collecting contact details from their most passionate supporters. Best of all they now have the ability to follow up with those contacts using Community Engine’s simple web tools.

“Community Engine provided a lot of value for our stallholders with the STAY IN TOUCH competition” said Remy Tancred, organiser of Sample Festival. “They are a first class example of Northern Rivers community spirit, they are amazing”.

Community Engine was overwhelmed with responses from STAY IN TOUCH. The winner of the first prize, a weekend for two at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa (winner of the Sample Golden Fork Award for the best $10 dish) went to an entry who described the event as “Delicious, nutritious, sampliscous”. Other winners received wine from Mezzanine Wines and dinner at The Point Restaurant in Ballina. Honourable Mentions included “Food, beer, atmosphere”, “Better than Sydney’s” and “Ingest, imbibe, inhale”.

Selling produce on the day is only a part of the festival picture, according to Remy Tancred. “Sample is about awareness of the food businesses and industry in our region” she said. “Overall the event exceeded even my expectations. We had buyers from major national retailers and the Producer of Master Chef present, we had Community Engine networking our stalls with patrons who visited from near and far”.

For the first time people who attended Sample Festival this year can stay in touch with any exhibitor to receive news and special offers by following them on Community Engine’s Sample Festival page:

Downloadable high res images:

Photo #1 – Sample Food Festival 2012 – Carly Brown Photographer

Photo #2 – Stall at Sample Food Festival 2012 – Carly Brown Photographer

Photo #3 – Community Engine’s Dean Power at the Bangalow Showground -Carly Brown Photographer

Photo #4 – Dean Power from Community Engine with Remy Tancred from Sample at the Bangalow Showground – Carly Brown Photographer