‘A once in a lifetime moment’: Ballarat Blues Festival returns with its Biggest Ever Blues Spectacle

Subscribe to Forte Magazine


‘A once in a lifetime moment’: Ballarat Blues Festival returns with its Biggest Ever Blues Spectacle

Words by Staff Writer

Groove into the last weekend of August with a weekend full of blues bliss.

It’s time to mark your calendars, blues aficionados because the much-awaited Ballarat Blues Festival is back with a bang! After a successful debut in 2019 and a hiatus due to unforeseen circumstances (cheer COVID), this year’s festival is making a triumphant return.

Prepare to dive into a bluesy wonderland as the Ballarat Blues Festival sets the city alight from August 26th to 27th with various events taking place across the regional city. But wait, the pièce de résistance is undeniably the Main Event scheduled for Sunday, August 27th, and it’s taking over none other than the Wendouree Centre of Performing Arts.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Tipped to be “Ballarat’s Biggest Ever Blues Event!”, this main event (from 1:30pm – 6pm) will feature 30 exceptional musicians gracing the stage, delivering a harmonious experience that spans decades, aided by state-of-the-art sound and lighting and not a bad seat in the house. The vibe promises to be electric, the notes soulful, and the energy unbeatable. This isn’t just a show; it’s a celebration of the blues that will resonate with generations.

So who’s on the roster? Well, get ready to witness performances from blues legends like Phil Manning of Chain fame, the extraordinary Geoff Achison, the ever-talented Jimi Hocking from Screaming Jets, and the incomparable Fiona Boyes. That’s not all – the lineup also includes luminaries such as Brett Garsed from the John Farnham Band, the captivating McNaMarr Project, and the soulful Anna Scionti Trio. Oh, and we can’t forget the legendary Joe Creighton from the John Farnham Band, among many more. There will also be a performance from the Ballarat Grammar and Clarendon College.

For those keen to kick on after the main event, head on over to the The Hop temple for the After Party blues Jam from 6:30pm – and it’s free!

While the main event promises it all, it’s not just about the stage. Multiple venues around town, including Hop Temple and Aunty Jacks, will be grooving to the tunes on Saturday, August 26th, and Sunday, August 27th. The likes of Geoff Achison, Charlie Bedford, Jarrod Shaw, and Bill Barber will head of those exciting events across the town.

John, a Clunes blues musician and the driving force behind this festival, has pulled out all the stops to ensure this return is monumental, having been forced to postpone events since 2019.

“For it’s return in 2023 I have decided to go bigger and better and bring something truly unique to Ballarat.”

With the festival’s Main Event taking place at the Wendouree Centre of Performing Arts on Sunday 27th of August the show is set to thrill music lovers, with John sharing, “I have performed at Festivals all over Australia and every festival has something different to offer. What we have at the main event is the kind of show I would love to see. A big stage, great sound and the best in the business showcasing their talents. It’s fast paced and exciting and the variety of acts and styles is changing all the time. The Main Event finale will be a once in a lifetime moment with around 30 musicians on stage at once.”

While the festival features some of Australia’s most impressive blues acts, there’s also a large focus on local musicians.

“It was important to me to feature a lot of local talent. We have the cream of the Australian blues scene and locals playing together.

“We have acts that tour overseas, top charts and are legends in the Aus blues scene, but it’s also important to showcase new talent and keep the blues flame lit, so we are thrilled to have performances by Ballarat Grammar and Clarendon College during the Main Event show.”

So, whether you’re a die-hard blues fan, a music lover, or simply someone seeking a weekend of fantastic vibes, the Ballarat Blues Festival has got you covered. Secure your tickets now, and let’s groove to the blues like never before.

For more information, full lineup, and ticket details, visit ballaratbluesfestival.com