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Residents attempt to halt 'tacky' Byron Baes reality show

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Byron Bay residents are banding together in an attempt to stop the controversial Netflix show Byron Baes from filming in local businesses.

Ben Gordon, co-owner of Byron Bay General Store, has taken to the Byron Bay Community Board on Facebook to urge other business owners not to allow the "tacky" show to film in their venues.

Byron Baes Netflix poster
Byron Bay shop owners are banding together to put a stop to the 'tacky' Netflix show Byron Baes from shooting in their beachside town. Photo: Netflix

"ATT: Byron Bay Business Owners," he began. "There is a good chance you have been, or soon will be contacted by the Byron Bae production crew looking for somewhere to film their tacky show. So far myself and several other local Cafe/Restaurant owners have been approached and have declined to let them shoot in our venues. 

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"They will try to convince you with words like 'huge exposure' and 'free marketing' but I believe it will do much more damage to your business than good. This is not the kind of exposure you want."

He continued, "If you care about the future of this town and don't want this show to go ahead, it's simple... Don't let them film in your venue. It will limit their content drastically and also will continue to send the message that Byron does not want to be portrayed to the world in this way."

Many of Ben's fellow Byron Bay residents immediately took his side.

The Byron Bay General Store sign
Ben Gordon, co-owner of Byron Bay General Store, is urging other business owners not to allow the "tacky" show to film in their venues. Photo: Instagram/Byron Bay General Store

"'Huge exposure' is influencer-speak for having no interest in paying you with real money," one user responded. "It doesn't pay the bills nor put food on the table."

"Thank you and to all those businesses that are taking a stand saying no..." another said.

"Thank you Ben for refusing to let the tacky Netflix series film in your venue," someone else wrote. "Thanks for sending them the message, that our towns folk are not happy about being portrayed through the eyes of blow in Instagram influences. 

"I suspect any business in Byron Bay that allows filming will not increase business with 'huge exposure' or 'free marketing' I suspect they will be boycotted by us that actually live in the town. I for one will not use any Byron business that allows filming of this tacky production."

"Yes! I agree... so s**t! They aren't coming to my business!" another wrote.

One user added that production had been at her work filming earlier this week, but didn't specify where this was. 

Surfers at Byron Bay
Many of Ben's fellow Byron Bay residents immediately took his side and thanked him and other businesses for refusing to allow the show to film. Photo: Getty

Another suggested people play loud music like AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck' if they see crews filming the show as "the license fees will send them broke". 

Not everyone was hating on the show, however, with one user writing, "I think it's a great idea for a show. Can’t wait to watch it."

Another said, "People be acting like influencers will watch this show and flock to Byron, like they haven’t already been doing that for years. Get over it, you can’t stop it. 

"It’s actually fkd that you are trying to stop local businesses from being a part of free publicity. If you want the show to be about how shit the housing situation is, which is something that does need a spotlight then shine a light on it, Netflix will produce next to anything so make your own show. 

"Obviously this Byron Baes s**t isn’t the platform for that. Plus no one will take it seriously the title has the word bae ffs."

According to Que Minh Luu, Netflix's director of content for Australia and New Zealand, commissioning the show was a "no-brainer".

"You’ve got this cabal, or live feed as we’ve been calling it, of Instagrammers, who all live up in Byron, and there are a lot of them," she told the Sydney Morning Herald. "And we’re following them as they’re going about the hustle and finding love and happiness and the validation of the people around them and people online."

Ms Luu added that the show is not intended to poke fun, but build a connection between the people onscreen and ourselves as viewers.

"People can find it easy to write off those who have influencer lifestyles and careers," she said. "But at the end of the day, aren’t we all curating our lives before we put them out on social media?"

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