WHEN given the opportunity of playing in front of surfing legends focused on finding ways to save our iconic coastline, legendary Australian rocker James Reyne jumped at the chance.
"I grew up in that culture and a lot of my friends surfed,” said Reyne, who hails from Mount Eliza on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula.
"I haven't surfed for a long time but everyone I knew did. I went to school on the Mornington Peninsula and that was the world I knew.”
Reyne will take centre stage at Currumbin RSL for the inaugural International Surfing Symposium on Friday, March 17.
The surfing summit will look at ways of creating sustainability and conversation for the Gold Coast region, which was endorsed as the eighth World Surfing Reserve in March last year.
Surfing Symposium, A legend speaks: https://www.tweeddailynews.com.au/news/surfing-legends-create-waves-for-the-future/3145700/
Reyne said while he gets asked to play at all kinds of events - including people wanting him to serenade the opening of a new deck in their backyard - he jumped at the chance to be involved with the Symposium.
"The symposium is important, and it's just becoming more and more important to protect what we can,” Reyne said.
"I'm in a position to help raise awareness and it's a serious effort to really try and raise the profile of problems and potential problems we have.”
Originally the frontman for legendary rock group Australian Crawl, Reyne is no stranger to the world of surfing in his professional life.
The iconic group had a long association with the sport and became the first Australian band to sponsor an ASP surfing competition when they supported the Rip Curl/Australian Crawl Bell's Beach Surfing Festival in April of 1984.
"We got associated with that world early on, which I guess was logical, and we get a good a reaction with the surf crowd,” Reyne said.
It's no secret a surfing crowd can be a rowdy crowd and Reyne said it would be interesting to see how his set unfolds.
"We'll be playing all the stuff people know - solo stuff, Aussie Crawl. It'll be a big fat rock and roll set,” he said.
While surfers, surfing celebrities and academics make for a unique James Reyne show mix, he said being able to help shine the spotlight on conservation was serious business.
"I don't even know how the night will pan out, but the fact that it's supported by a lot of surfers and scientists means (the symposium) is something you need to do,” Reyne said.
"For all the climate change deniers, it's obvious things are changing. So if we don't do something about it, we'll be screwed.”
Reyne will be supported by Felicity Lawless and Band.
James Reyne: The Big Gig
- Where: Currumbin RSL
- When: Friday, March 17
- Ticketss: $55 online at www.goldcoastworld surfingreserve.com