Despite heavy hitters like Meredith and Spilt Milk not returning this summer, live music fans have a feast of events on the way in and around Ballarat.
Whether it's heavy metal or baroque, promoters are taking full advantage of the return of live music for summer and beyond.
Among events already announced, Byron Bay metalcore titans Parkway Drive will headline the inaugural Knight and Day Festival at Kryal Castle at New Year's Eve, with a lineup featuring the best Australian hardcore, metal, punk, and pub rock - The Chats are another highlight.
The following week, from January 7, the 26th Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields, by contrast, offers a shorter program than usual, but with fascinating examples of baroque and indeed medieval-style music in churches and chapels across the region.
Across January, the City of Ballarat's Summer Sundays will run, with a lineup to be announced and fireworks booked as well. Previous years have included luminaries like You Am I's Tim Rogers performing with Ballarat's finest, and one hopes there'll be similar surprises for 2022.
The Ballarat Beer Festival will soon announce its musician lineup, as well as the much-anticipated brewers lineup, but its sister festival Funk 'n' Fest will return the following day, on February 20, with a performance from Kylie Auldist leading a stacked bill, while Rock Ballarat is planning its 2022 return over two weekends.
February also brings Summersalt's return to North Gardens - this year, it was one of the few large festivals that actually got off the ground, providing a preview of a COVID-safe festival. While punters were separated by small fences and had to bring their own chairs, there was a light-hearted approach from organisers, who used pool noodles to maintain social distancing in a fun way and keep everyone safe.
IN THE NEWS
In 2022, Missy Higgins headlines a bill with some of Australia's top acts from the last decade or so, including Birds of Tokyo and the Waifs.
Fans of '80s and '90s rock have a pair of festivals to look forward after summer, with the Red Hot Summer Tour making its way to Ballarat in March led by Hunters and Collectors and the Living End, while Tumbleweed and The Meanies headline cult act Grindhouse's new festival in Snake Valley in April.
In venues across the city, there are more big names coming for club shows - expect Kingswood, Moaning Lisa, and Dear Seattle at Volta, and Ballarat legend Skyscraper Stan, Bob Log III, and Mildlife at The Eastern.
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