Ballarat's economy is continuing to benefit from a stacked calendar of events and this weekend was no different.
The Rock Ballarat rockabilly festival took over the Civic Hall precinct and multiple venues across the city, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow filled Her Majesty's Theatre and Clunes Booktown returned while other arts, culture and sporting events took place throughout Ballarat.
Ballarat Regional Tourism chair Iain Gunn, who is also the managing director of Mercure Ballarat, said a robust events calendar was important for the city's tourism industry.
"The events that we've got going on... bring people to town and are good for the accommodation industry and the day trippers in town spending money at cafes, restaurants and retail are also very important," he said.
"We're certainly enjoying good trading at the moment but having a number of people coming to town for the weekend is good for all traders.
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"I think it has been pretty solid training through March and April. Weekends are solid. Where perhaps the industry would like to see some activity is midweek events."
City of Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney said outside of the lockdown weekend in February, there had barely been a quiet weekend which was starting to feel more like 2019 when the city had events scheduled for 48 weekends.
"The only place Melburnians could go at the start of the year was regional Victoria and that trend has continued so, if anything, there could be some good opportunities for regional Victoria," he said.
"While we won't see international visitors this year, we might see some New Zealanders return, we're really dependent on a strong domestic market this year and it's good that Melburnians are rediscovering regional Victoria."
Rockabilly festival rolls through a big weekend
The Civic Hall precinct was packed throughout the weekend for Rock Ballarat, which finally went ahead after the snap lockdown forced its last-minute postponement.
Live music and burlesque events also filled the Ballaraat Mechanics' Institute, Hop Temple and Aunty Jack's.
Rock Ballarat owner Stevie Kaze said the event had exceeded expectations.
"From the first band on the first night over at the Mechanics' Institute right through to this evening [Sunday], it's just been fantastic," he said.
"We had great crowds, everyone really appreciative. The Civic Hall precinct has been very successful with the cars, live music and vintage market.
"Over the weekend, we were at maximum capacity on Friday night and on Saturday and Sunday, we were at about 90 per cent.
"During the day, just from a quick head count, we estimated we had a couple of thousand visitors to the outdoor market over the two days."
Mr Kaze said he felt fortunate the festival was able to run so smoothly.
"To run a three-day event at this time and to get away with it with the weather, COVID restrictions and everything else going on, we couldn't have been luckier with how it went," he said. "Everything has just fallen our way to make the event perfect."
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