Rockin out in Ballarat!

50’s retro stamped its mark on the city of Ballarat last weekend with the inaugural Ballarat Beat Festival organised by well known rockabilly identity, Arthur Matsakos who is also responsible for the Camperdown cruise. While I was only able to take in this 50’s vibe on Saturday, it was enough to give me an idea of the experience the public were going to be treated to over the weekend! With a huge number of bands lined up seeing them come from as far as the United States, multiple venues in the surrounding streets were booked to host the rockabilly renaissance while classic rides and rods line the road adding to the 50’s feel. Bands such as the Atomic Hi-Tones, The Sugar Shakers, The Re Chords and the Rising Sun just to name a few while swing band, Lucky 7 featuring Pia Andersen showed us how the big bands do it. A centrally located outside stage with accompanying dance floor had rockabilly tunes reverberating across the historic town adding the perfect ambiance while many dressed for the occasion completing the overall picture. Trade stands lined the sidewalks filled with all things rockabilly while more visual entertainment could be found throughout the streets.
For those who were after something a little more cheeky, the burlesque show would be just the ticket as the girls entertained the audience with their classic raunchy dance escapades. Other venues hosted art expos, more trade stands and even a high tea for the discerning.
Glamour Central were on hand to dress, hair-do and photograph those wanting to delve into this lifestyle if only for the weekend. Many a stunning rockabilly girl left here having been transported back to a time of perceived innocence and colourful style. The boys were looked after by a traditional barber located conveniently next to one of the many bars on hand. With a fashion show and best dressed parade allowing attendees to strut their stuff, all five censors were catered for guaranteeing to leave a lasting impression which will see them and myself attend next year though this time I’ll be planning to stay the whole weekend, grinning, greased and gassed!

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