While journalist after journalist gleefully predicts “the next Byron Bay” (depending on who you believe that could be anywhere from Noosa to Crescent Head to Coffs), Australians all along the East Coast are really hoping, when it comes to their town, that doesn’t end up being the case.
Case in point: a recent article published here on DMARGE, which innocently – we thought – claimed Crescent Head was better than Byron Bay. Crescent Head is a quiet – but hardly secret – beach town on Australia’s east coast, about 5 hours drive north of Sydney.
We argued that it’s time to pass on The Pass and head somewhere a bit more chill. But when we posted the story to Instagram, we realised that there are some peope in Crescent (and some people who aren’t from Crescent, but who like Crescent), who are really not chill at all. At least not when you talk about their town on the Internet.
“Can ya not”
“Then stop talking about it”
Another pertinent comment was:
“Unfollow! Whats the point in blowing up another beach town. Kooks 👎🏾.”
Another comment left beneath our post was: “Do we really need to keeping awaking the small regional towns to the masses. Crescent is no secret especially to the surfing community, this stupid obsession with finding the new Byron, which is now destroyed by the masses.”
Further honourable mentions go to: “that’s why it’s my fav place in Aus,” and “Byron Bay is a toilet.”
Though our initial instinct was to justify our blatant exposure of a well-known town that people have been surfing for 50 or more years, after seeing some of the comments, which pinned down what we like to call the Byron Bay effect (see: “Anyway Place is better than Byron.. totally ruined” and “Keep all the dickheads in Byron that place is completely fucked now”), we finally twigged: people are that worried their town could become ‘the next Byron Bay’ they are legitimately concerned about talk of their town…
Looking into things, there are real issues that come with the exploding popularity of a place. From ‘hate crime’ coffee orders (see: ‘You’ve Got To Be Joking’: Yuppie Coffee Order Leaves Byron Bay Barista Stunned) to Sydneysiders on holiday parking their Range Rovers like absolute pelicans, there’s a lot to put up with.
Also, as one commenter on a surf blog wrote a year or two ago, speaking about Byron Bay, the place has really changed.
“There was a time, not so long ago, that it was considered an uncouth act to drive a luxury vehicle in the Byron Shore. I used to joke that the secret to success around here was to have lots of money but pretend that you didn’t.”
“Now the Black SUV is the new surf van, Byron is long past trying to hide wealth, now it’s a matter of letting it all hang out.”
On the other hand, some people like the new vibe, their logic simply being, ‘more people = more party’. Anyway: something to mull over before you book your next trip…