It’s time to dust off your dancing shoes and get into the groove, with one of Ballarat’s biggest free concerts returning for 2019.
The Summer Sundays series will return to the Botanical Gardens from this Sunday, starting at 3pm.
Funk aficionados Fulton Street will be joined by Fraser A. Gorman, Honey Hunter and Ruby Wragg for a chilled afternoon in leafy surroundings.
With a forecast of a mostly sunny 23 degrees celcius, music lovers will be able to take full advantage of the pop-up garden bar, as well as a number of food truck vendors on site.
The lead singer of the nine-piece funk and soul outfit Fulton Street, Shannen Wick, said it was always exciting coming to Ballarat, with a few of the members hailing from the goldrush city.
While studying education in 2012, Wick advertised for fellow band members and found a drummer through a group uni assignment, and the rest was history.
“It was a group of randoms who came together because we all had a love for soul music,” she said.
“We all tend to make Fulton street our priority, but of course we’re all in little side projects … I don’t know how we make it work sometimes, we’re very lucky.”
Citing Daptone Records’ Sharon Jones as a musical influence, and aspiring to the energy of Saskwatch and Clairy Browne & the Bangin' Rackettes, Wick said a new tour and a fresh single was on the horizon after the Summer Sundays gig.
“We’ve done a couple of those picnic gigs and they’re just gorgeous, it’s chilled vibes and good times, great bands and food,” she said.
“We always encourage boogying. It’s such a big sound with Fulton Street … so get down for a good time!”
While punters are encouraged to bring their picnic blankets and camp chairs, a number of bean bags will be free to sit on for the concert.
Ballarat’s food vans bringing the goods
While musicians will be taking centrestage in the Botanical Gardens on Sunday, foodies will have a range of local tasty treats to sample.
Round The Way will be slinging delicious bagels through the first Summer Sundays gig, while lil nomnoms provides a Vietnamese street food flair. Dos Diablos Mobile Cantina and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Food Van will also provide tasty options, with coffee addicts covered by both The enchanted caravan and Bean Me Up- Mobile Espresso.
For those that want to cool off a little after a steamy week, Bianco Latte will have freshly made gelato on hand and Boost Juice’s Ballarat van will be on site to quench your thirst.
Kylee Laird-Church said The Enchanted Van piggy-backed off their Lydiard Street cafe Knife Fork Spoon, serving hot and cold drinks, as well as some magical sugary treats including fancy waffles and brownies.
Taking to Summer Sundays for the second year in a row, the events business was created in 2014, with the family moving to Ballarat from Queensland not long after the van’s inception.
“Nothing prepared us for Summer Sundays (last year),” she said. “We thought it was going to be a little outdoor event for us, but it was massive!”
“Everyone is still in that Christmas spirit, everyone is really laid back and it’s such a beautiful day. It’s amazing that council has brought something like this on-board.”
For recently-retired school teacher Heather Nye, a hospitality buisness creating scrumptious filled pita breads was a way for her to follow her passion for food.
Merging her love of cooking and children’s books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar food van was born.
Ms Nye said she “liked to do events locally”, and after hearing the chilled tunes of Summer Sundays from her house last year, she was eager to be involved.
Eight hour slow-cooked lamb, sweet and sticky chicken and falafel are all on the menu for this weekend.
“It’s a small van, and it’s pretty cute,” Ms Nye said.
“Because I’ve heard the music before, I thought I’d try to get involved, and I was lucky enough to get a spot.”
Each edition of Summer Sunday will include different food vendors, with The Forge Pizzeria, The Classic Milk Bar Co. and The Dumpling Man all being served up soon.