Bob Evans, Oh Pep! to headline Summer Sundays next year

Warm up: Members of Butterfunked Anna Wright, Nick Withers and Bevan Kelly with musician Rhiannon Simpson at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. Picture: Kate Healy
Warm up: Members of Butterfunked Anna Wright, Nick Withers and Bevan Kelly with musician Rhiannon Simpson at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. Picture: Kate Healy

One of the city’s most popular free events, Summer Sundays, will return in January with three afternoons worth of top-notch musical talent. 

Bob Evans, Didirri and Oh Pep! will entertain crowds alongside local favourites Rhiannon Simpson, Freya Josephine Hollick and Butterfunked. 

Summer Sundays’ music programmer Shaun Adams said the line-up would entertain the broadest cross-section of the large crowd. 

“We just try to get a cross-section of genres and a mix of local and out-of-town acts, particularly ones that haven’t come to Ballarat before like Oh Pep!” he said.

“It’s about trying to tick a lot of boxes, and we’re really conscious of having really great female representation.

“We’ve got some kind of fringe acts and it’ll be great to see them play in front of a massive crowd.

“Butterfunked are up and coming, and when I saw them live I knew they’d suit this crowd to a tee.”

Now in its seventh year, Summer Sundays hosts 3000 music lovers each Ballarat Botanical Gardens gig.

More than 20 food vendors, including Round the Way, Forge Pizzeria and Boost Juice Van, will be available at the event. 

A fully licensed pop-up bar featuring local wines and beers will provide concert-goers with a relaxed view of the stage. Bean Bag Mania will return with 150 comfy spots to sit. 

Local blues musician Rhiannon Simpson has just returned from a three-month tour in the United States. 

She said was excited to play alongside such an impressive line-up after heading along as a punter for so many years. 

“My favourite thing is that everyone’s there, you’ve got year eight kids without their families just hanging out eating McDonalds, and then next to them you’ve got like a $700 cheeseboard,” she said.  

“There’s families and little kids dancing and it’s a real community vibe, which I think Ballarat needs more of.”

AT A GLANCE

  • Summer Sundays run at 3-7pm in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.
  • January 7: Bob Evans, Al Parkinson, Freya Josephine Hollick and Baby Blue
  • January 14: Jeff Lang, Rhiannon Simpson, Butterfunked, Sam Boon Hammond Trio
  • January 21: Oh Pep!, Didirri, Ukelele Death Squad, Emily Ulman