Once again it was time to slick back the hair, don and old school garage shirt and put on your favourite dancing shoes, jump in the classic custom cruiser and make your way up to the historic town of Ballarat for the Ballarat Beat Fest! This annual event is put on each year thanks to Arthur Mats and his team seeing many local and international acts booked for the four day event! Acts such as the Lincolns, Rock a Dees, Billy and the Headliners, Lucky 7, Starliners, Hanks Jalopy Demons and many other rockin cool cats belt out their brand of the cool fifties jive while eager punters soak up the vibe either kicking back with a Tiki cocktail from one of the numerous venues hosting the groups or taking to the dance floor with their favourite partner for a romp around the polished tiles!
Taking over one of the main streets in the city of Ballarat, the festival takes on a life of its own as a wide variety of clothing and record stands line the center of the street providing for all your rockabilly requirements and are accompanied by numerous food stalls, fashion accessory stores and other eclectic sites catering to this growing scene. Flanked by cool custom rides of the time makes for a picturesque atmosphere as you wander the street or take in the themed coffee shops and bars.
Glamour central looms larger than life in one the two story hotels taking up the large upstairs open area and balcony with all her fashion needs on hand. A visit in here will see your glamorous partner emerge with more fifties style beauty than you thought was possible, from a total hair and make up session through to complete outfits including shoes and accessories! This will set her up perfectly for the fashion parade held in the historic red brick hall a couple of doors down.
The fashion parade encompasses all the glitz and glamour of a fifties pageant! Contestants are required to take part in three fashion categories impressing the judges with their pose and grace. This was accomplished with composure by the contestants seeing some adding a cheeky twist to their repertoire much to the entertainment of the audience. It takes a lot of nerve to venture out onto the stage and a congratulations must go to all contestants for having the courage and bravado to partake in the parade. You all looked great and performed beautifully!
Saturday night takes on a different feel as the lights go down and the marquees close up for the evening seeing those looking to kick on head to the various hotels for a meal with friends and family before taking in the rockin night scene in the backrooms and hall. Itchy Fingers, Rock A Dees and Firebird had you tapping your foot or taking your partner for a spin around the floor through to the early hours of the morning. As I was only up there for the day, I called it quits before midnight to make my way home comfortably saturated in the fifties rockabilly scene for another year or the next rockabilly event I come across!
If you’re not yet part of this scene and am looking for a taste of the rockin past, why not check the web for a rockabilly festival near you and take it all in! You’ll be caught up in it before you know it!