Freshwater’s Hardbord Hotel announces Froth Fest: Ruby Fields, Layne Beachley, and more

Freshwater’s recently refreshed Harbord Hotel has been drawing praise from beyond the Northern Beaches thanks to a swift, smart update. The legendary hotel, a Northern Beaches fortress of frothies, good food, and – quite honestly – the best spicy margs in Sydney right now, is now gearing up for their first big event.

That would be Froth Fest, a 10-day celebration of Northern Beaches surf culture with live music, art, film and more on a stacked programme of events.

Not only is it a way to re-assert the Harbord Hotel as one of the pillars of the Northern Beaches community, but it’s also one of the biggest and most diverse festivals Sydney has seen so far this year. Given most of our major festivals have been either cancelled and delayed, that’s a big deal for more than just Northern Beaches locals.

The Froth Fest programme is clearly curated with Northern Beaches history in mind, aiming to celebrate the various heroes of surfing and Australian counter-culture through a multi-faceted series of events.

Seven time world-champion surfer Layne Beachley will host a “Lunch & Learn” sessions, there’ll be two live recordings of surfing podcast ‘Ain’t That Swell’, a live performance by Ruby Fields, a photographic exhibition, and more.

Whatever event you head along to, just make sure you try the kitchen’s flatbreads and those aforementioned spicy margs at the Balsa dining room.

For the full program of events head to

Highlights include:

Flow & Feast hosted by Divine Flow Yoga – Friday 16th April, 7am

Glide through your morning with Freshwater local and founder of Divine Flow Yoga, Eliza Hayward, as she guides an intimate morning zen-flow similar to how a surfer feels when they are in the zone. The practice will be followed by breakfast in the courtyard. All proceeds will be donated to Waves of Wellness, a mental health surf therapy charity committed to changing lives by delivering for-purpose, innovative support programs for people experiencing mental health challenges.

Tickets are $35pp and include 45min yoga flow followed by coffee and breakfast.

Ash Holmes Art Exhibition – Friday 16 – Sunday 18 April

Northern Beaches local Ash Holmes has been painting for as long as her hands could hold a brush. A fourth-generation artist, she developed her painting practice from a vocational pursuit into a fully-fledged professional career and has become one of Sydney’s most hotly-tipped artists. Ash is responsible for the stunning mural that warmly greets you when you enter Harbord Hotel, and the team are proud to feature more of Ash’s works throughout the venue during Froth Fest.

Ruby Fields LIVE – Wednesday 21 April, 8:30pm, $65pp

Ruby Fields will be playing a very intimate live gig in Harbord Hotel’s main bar. Ruby is an Australian singer-songwriter whose use of simplistic but poignant lyrics has garnered the attention of the Australian music industry and fans alike. After uploading a single to Triple J Unearthed and gaining national airplay that same day back in 2017, Ruby’s indie rock chords with punk rock delicacy have amassed over 12 million listens across streaming platforms — her song ‘Dinosaurs’ took out ninth place on Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2018.

Tickets are $65pp entry, and Ruby will be supported by Love Drunk Hearts.

Lunch & Learn with Layne Beachley – Thursday 22 April, 1pm

Layne Beachley is a seven-time world champion and the only surfer in history to claim six consecutive world titles. Standing firm in her values with a clear vision for the future, Layne lives a life of unapologetic honesty, with humour and humility. Her no bullsh*t leadership style blazed a trail for equality, in and out of the water — and led her to create Awake Academy, an online self-empowerment platform designed to help people unlock a life filled with fun, freedom and flow. Join Layne for an intimate lunch in the Balsa dining room, where she will share her lived experience and reveal how to transform your life. Tickets are $150pp and includes a three-course set lunch menu and a welcome drink.

Harbord Shakes with HaydenShapes – Friday 23 April, 8:30pm

Haydenshapes is a modern performance surfboard brand, founded in 1997 by Hayden Cox at the age of 15. Inspired by design, technology, innovation and a simple, clean aesthetic; Hayden and the brand are recognised for notable projects both within and unconventional to the world of surfing. Join Hayden Cox as he takes over the Balsa dining room and gives away Dion Agius’ new signature board (a customised Raven), with tunes from DJ Rad Dan and a screening of ‘These Violent Delights’ featuring Dion alongside Craig Anderson, Micky Clarke, Dylan Graves, and Jake Kelley.
Tickets are $45pp and includes a drink on arrival and canapés.

ANZAC Day – Lest We Forget: Sunday 25 April, 7am

Harbord Hotel will open right after the dawn service for coffee and breakfast on the terrace. Renowned for being the best place to meet up with mates on ANZAC Day, the car park will then come alive from 10am til dusk.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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