Darryn Lyons' Birthday Extravaganza

Darryn Lyons' Birthday Extravaganza

In just over a week Mayor Darryn Lyons will celebrate his 50th, and while it’s an impressive milestone celebrated by all, his busy schedule as mayor has kept his mind off the celebrations.
As we sit in his office, his phone is constantly whirring with activity and his assistant taps away at the keyboard and answers phone calls: it’s a busy life being mayor. But that’s not to say Darryn hasn’t thought about his party prior to being mayor, as the plans have always been big for hitting 5, 0.
“I originally wanted to do something on the waterfront and invite the whole of Geelong, so we’ve kind of done it but with a bit of a twist,” he says.
“I’m really excited but I’m probably more excited about the people myself. I don’t get carried away with celebrations or birthdays – especially the big 5.0.
“I remember when I turned 40 I was totally depressed six weeks before and suddenly a couple of weeks after I woke up and I found the ‘W’ word – which is the word of wisdom. I think the 40-50 years are a real maturing kind of stage of your life, and I matured quite late: I was still partying when I was 45.”
And Darryn has been to his fair share of star-studded parties over the years, most notably Simon Cowell’s 50th in 2009 with a Who’s Who of guest lists featuring the likes of Naomi Campbell, Cheryl Cole, Kate Moss and of course, our mayor Darryn Lyons.
“I went to Simon Cowell’s birthday and that was the most fantastic birthday I have ever been to in my life, and we’ve got a few remnants [in our celebration] from that party,” Darryn says.
“I was inspired from that party, albeit it was a lot more star studded than what mine will be. But it was just the greatest birthday party you can ever imagine. I’d flown in from Australia the night before and went straight to his birthday party and he and I were the last to leave propping up the bar at 6am, but I don’t think that will be the case for my birthday party. That was a few years ago now.”
On a smaller scale but equally as full of flair, Darryn’s 50th Birthday Spectacular will take place at Home House nightclub over two days (August 21 & 22) with the main attraction on the Friday night.
Guests can expect to be entertained by acrobats, fire eaters, comedians and a musical performance from Australian virtuoso violinist Sally Cooper – classical musical of which is a recent discovery and love for Darryn.
“That’s what I love most today and my passion at the moment. That’s what I play in the car to settle myself down after what I have to deal with at work,” he says.
Aside from classical music, Darryn confesses to being much more of a ‘song man’ than a band guy, though in the past he spent many days skipping class to see the likes of Cold Chisel, the Midnight Oil and the Little River Band play at the Eureka hotel.
“I’ve always loved music and I think music is one of the greatest things we have to change our lives in terms of our moods,” he says.
“I use it for that and I bring in music to help me through good times, bad times and indifferent times. If the world didn’t have music the world would be a very sad place.”
For Darryn, music is also a part of his personal life, as partner Elissa Friday is partial to singing around the house and Darryn’s nephew is also part of the Geelong music scene.
“My nephew Oli is a guitarist in a band called the Atolls, so that’s brought me back to music a little bit,” he says.
“On one of his birthdays I bought him one of Prince’s original guitars from one of the most famous music streets in London. I saw it in a window there, when I was doing well, and I just thought, ‘I’ve got to have that for my nephew!’ I got another great guitar in LA for him and he holds them both with great pride.”
With his passion for music, his love for Geelong and a good time, Darryn is excited not for the narcissist reasons surrounding a birthday but for the chance to bring people together.
“I’m looking forward to a lot of presents,” he adds with a booming laugh, “Not really, just the greatest gift that can be given really, to celebrate my birthday with my family and by that I mean my Geelong family.”
When & Where: Home House Nightclub, Geelong – August 21 & 22
Written by Amanda Sherring