A pop-up park in Alfred Deakin Place will bring live entertainment to Ballarat's CBD and create a safe place for community connection.
The free family-friendly space will launch on Friday with the Ashes Test played on a big screen and Singing In The Rain set to play in the evening for 'Movies By Moonlight'.
The three week summer program will feature roving performers, Zumba classes, comedy, sport, movies, live music and other fun activities.
People will have a great time enjoying an immersive experience and then hopefully go out for coffee or something to eat as well at hospitality venues that have been struggling.Cr Daniel Moloney, City of Ballarat mayor
City of Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney said the pop-up park was a council initiative intended to activate the CBD while supporting industries hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic: the arts, hospitality and retail.
"People will have a great time enjoying an immersive experience and then hopefully go out for coffee or something to eat as well at hospitality venues that have been struggling," he said.
"I know people are a little bit reluctant to get out and enjoy the CBD again as COVID numbers have been rising but as much as possible we are trying to encourage outdoor activities.
"We have so much happening in the next week alone with cycling, pop-up locations such as this, Summer Sundays and the fireworks around the lake."
Cr Moloney said outdoor summer activation had worked well in Ballarat and other cities in the past, like at Melbourne's Federation Square.
Ballarat Zumba instructor Erin Harris will run children's Zumba classes as part of the program.
Sher said she was excited to be a part of bringing events back to Ballarat.
"Parents can join in as well. It is a nice family activity," she said.
Musicians Ellen Sorensen from Shadow Feet, Plum Green and Galereh Pour from Zoj will perform in a line-up on January 29.
"It is amazing to have shows right now. We are so excited," Ms Sorensen said.
"It is really nice to have something to look forward to after so long not being able to play with so many shows being cancelled," Ms Green said.
"For musicians, music is nothing if you can't play it live and share it with people."
"I hope everyone comes and enjoys themselves," Ms Pour said.
"See the professional musicians of Ballarat presenting who they are and get to know them, because sometimes it is hard to find them.
"Here we are and you have the opportunity to see us, so take it."
Ms Pour said she was grateful to Spark Theatre, the not-for-profit running the pop-up park, for the opportunity to perform for the community.
Spark Theatre formed early 2021 as a collective of people working in the performing arts sector who have a vision to bring a medium-sized, dedicated performing arts venue to Ballarat.
For musicians, music is nothing if you can't play it live and share it with people.Plum Green
Founder Beth Lamont said there was a big gap that needed to be filled.
"We have lots of big venues in town but for a new theatre company or performers who don't need a big stage or 3000 seats, it is difficult," she said.
Spark Theatre plans to present a range of shows and events, like the pop-up park, in the coming months until it can find a permanent home in the CBD.
"This opportunity came up at the start of December and we jumped on it to get a chance for artists to perform," Ms Lamont said.
"We put out an expression of interest form and were blown away by the enthusiasm that came back to us straight away and we have put together an awesome line up of local acts."
Ms Pour said dedicated people from Spark Theatre were working to make Ballarat the main regional Australian arts hub.
"It has the potential and it can be. I am hopeful we can do more events like this," she said.
The pop-up park will run 11am to 10pm daily until January 30 with the program available on Facebook.
City of Ballarat summer activations include Summer Sundays with fireworks this Sunday, Ballarat Laneways installations from January 17 until February 27 and Picnic in the Park on January 26.
The Ballarat Boom Box, a giant cube bringing live music to the streets of Ballarat, will host a series of free performances by local musicians in Sturt Street, Alfred Deakin Place and other locations until April.
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