Don’t take your Snuggie out of mothballs quite yet – and as James Brown would put it, “Get up offa that thing!” – because the Ballarat LoungeRoom is transforming winter in Ballarat into some place warm and wonderful!
The cold weather cousin of the popular summertime Ballarat Backyard Tasters has found cosy digs through June at M.A.D.E. (Museum of Australian Democracy @ Eureka) and is bringing musical experiences from the world over to the dance floor for the season. With two Friday evening LoungeRooms to go (June 13 – June Gypsy Town & June 20 – Welcome Home Refugee Week Special), there is still time to travel someplace far, far away from the same-old, same-old.
The Ballarat LoungeRoom doors open at 5 p.m. for refreshments – light meals from Ballarat’s diverse ethnic eateries, bevvies from the M.A.D.E. Cash Bar and sweeties from an array of local dessertistas. Take time to stoke your furnace because the music starts at 6 p.m. and doesn’t let up until 8 p.m., leaving time to move on to even more mayhem at one of Ballarat’s prime live music venues like Karova Lounge, Eastern Station Hotel, Babushka Lounge, The George Hotel – you name it.
Friday, June 13 is Gypsy Town featuring The Imprints – if the heart could play music, theirs would take you on a sweet voyage to the never-never – and La Rumba, with the passion of Flamenco drawing on the mystery of Spain, Egypt and India.
Friday, June 20 is Welcome Home, a Refugee Week Special, with all of the artists sharing a refugee background. Leading the charge is Abe Ape offering spoken-word and hip hop that is the exaltation of the spirit, movement of the heart, and the boom-boom-bap. Abe Ape is followed by The Living Arrows with compelling song-stories of local Afghani refugees in domestic detention. The night finishes with Ajak Kwai and Band, a fiery Senegalese singer drawing on unique sounds of her Dinka background, gospel music and driving jazz rhythms.
The Ballarat LoungeRoom and Backyard Tasters are parts of a larger free live music program supported by the City of Ballarat Arts and Culture Unit, and that program is part of Ballarat Council’s commitment to developing a Ballarat live music strategy supporting emerging and established musos, live music venues and audiences hungry for the unsurpassed excitement of experiencing music performed live before their eyes (and ears).
Music Victoria’s recent Regional Live Music Census shows that small live music venues generate over $152M in revenue, 22,500 full-time equivalent jobs for musicians and 65,000 full-time equivalent jobs for venue staff. And this is regional Victoria, not Melbourne!
Ballarat is historically the birthplace of some of Australia’s most distinctive and acclaimed contemporary music. So with those figures in mind, Ballarat Council is celebrating its heritage in a new way in its commitment to addressing the barriers inhibiting its local live music scene and to supporting opportunities for musicians throughout the district. The Ballarat LoungeRoom series is just one such opportunity. Coming up are:
· Something in Common improvisational music workshops (through June 22)
· Federation Uni Live from Ballarat concert series (through September)
· Adam Simmons’ Festival of Slow Music (August 23-31)
· BYou FReeZA Young Musicians Workshops and Ballarat Battle of the Bands
· Arts Business Basics Fundamentals for Musos (August – November)
· Ballarat Backyard Tasters concert series (February – March).
So whether you’re a working musician or a punter it’s well worth abandoning your armchair and braving the weather for a bracing experience of live music, Ballarat style!
When&Where: Ballarat LoungeRoom @ M.A.D.E. – June 13 & June 20. Free