Cool cats and rock beats at Ballarat Beat Rockabilly Festival

Pin-up competitors and Ballarat’s burlesque girls are finalising their costumes for the Ballarat Beat Rockabilly Festival, the second largest rockabilly festival in the country, according to performance manager Stevie Kaze. 

FASHION: Minnie Mayhem, Tracey Spencer, Lippy Lush, Lana Lunacy, Lady Elanora and Harlow Heels prepare for the Ballarat Beat Rockabilly Festival. Picture: Lachlan Bence

FASHION: Minnie Mayhem, Tracey Spencer, Lippy Lush, Lana Lunacy, Lady Elanora and Harlow Heels prepare for the Ballarat Beat Rockabilly Festival. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Visitors to the festival will take a step back in time as Ballarat celebrates everything rockabilly on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

Lydiard Street will be closed to traffic on Saturday and Sunday between Mair and Sturt Streets for street activities. 

Classic cars will be lined up for rev-heads to admire, and trade stalls, dancing and live music will run throughout the weekend. 

Event manager Kesh Manton said the rockabilly festival attracted people from across the country, but it was a great opportunity for Ballarat families to enjoy the fun and bright atmosphere. 

“It really is a chance to step back in time for a little while, be a bit nostalgic and relive that 50s era,” she said.

“The fashion of that era was so beautiful. It was an exciting time as far as car technology went. There are so many aspects of it that catapulted the future of cars and fashion.

“It was the start of something exciting post war, when people were feeling good about life again.”

It is that joy and freedom that the festival aims to capture, Ms Manton said. 

Lydiard Street festivities are free for the public to access on Saturday and Sunday and a ticketed program of live music will run from Thursday to Sunday evening. 

Highlights include live bands, a night market, pin-up competition and dance demonstrations. 

Ballarat pin-up competitor Amanda Rush has been in the pin-up scene for around four years. She has seven different 50s inspired outfits lined up to wear over the festival weekend. 

Lady Elanora performs with the Ballarat Burlesque girls. She said performing burlesque was an opportunity to step out of real life.

“I am a mum with two kids. I say yep, see ya later, I’m off. I’m getting all sparkly. This is my time to shine,” she said.

The Burlesque show is one of the best selling ticketed performances, alongside musician Lance Lipinsky, a rockabilly favourite from the U.S. 

All shops and business will be trading as usual during the festival and street closure. 

Visit https://www.ballaratbeat.com.au for the event schedule or to buy tickets to music shows.