Wandering around The Arts Factory Village and Byron Bay chit chatting to locals and employees old and new, I have come across a few interesting facts I thought I should share with guests old and new…
1. It was founded by a surfer who loved rock music
The Arts Factory Lodge was founded by a man named Dan Doepel from California, he was a surfer who loved rock music. Him and his mates tried to find a place in Byron Bay to put on a gig, at that time the RSL was the only place in Byron Bay where you could hear live music, the RSL turned them down and that’s how the very first gig happened at The Buddha Bar now Byron Bay Premium Brewery.
2. There’s a brewery onsite
The Byron Bay Brewery mentioned above is just across the car park from our hostel and is the home of Byron Bay premium Ale. Full brewery tours are available. The Byron Bay Brewery has been a major part of Byron Bays history, it was once an art gallery. Approximately 20 artists used to create sculptures and art works there, lots of the artists stayed at the Arts Factory Lodge, the others were mainly Byron Bay locals. The Art Gallery was then open to the public every Saturday to view the artists work, there was also an Arts and crafts market. It has also been a sand depot and a pig slaughter house and is well known to locals as “The Piggery”.
3. The Piggery is a cinema
The Piggery (The Byron Bay Brewery) is also home to a cinema known as Pighouse Flicks.
4. It’s the birthplace of the Byron Bay Bluesfest
The very first Byron Bay Bluesfest was held at The Byron Bay brewery back in 1990!
5. The Arts Factory Lodge has a Guinness World Record
The Arts Factory Lodge holds the Guinness World record for the most people spinning fire at 112 people.
6. We have a vegetable garden
We also have our own sustainable vegetable garden, where people can volunteer in exchange for fruit and veg. We also had a South American veggie garden about 15 years ago in the front car park area.
7. There’s even a recording studio here
The Arts Factory has a recording studio on site. Hidden around the side of the hostel is The Byron Hive!
8. A staff member came for 2 days and has stayed over 20 years
The longest serving member of staff is Craig Shaw (known as Craigu to most) who came here over 20 years ago only intending to stay for 2 days!
9. The owner of Jim’s Tours used to be the Manager of the hostel
Jim from ‘Jim’s Tours’ used to be the Manager of the Arts Factory Lodge before he changed careers to ferrying backpackers around Nimbin.
10. Water Dragons are culturally important
The Arts Factory is the Aboriginal dreaming place of the water dragon.
So there you have it, some of the above you might have known already but it’s fair to say that our little hostel and The Arts Factory Village hold a fascinating part in Byron Bays history.