BIG Jamaican dance sounds will fill Alfred Deakin Place this Friday night as the City of Ballarat kicks off its annual Backyard Tasters events.
Hot on the heels of January’s Summer Sundays music chill session at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, Backyard Tasters promises to deliver free music and art as well as a variety of food vans with a difference.
Leading the sounds this Friday night is the Ballarat Ska Union, a nine-piece that has been playing together for four years.
Singer and guitarist Stella Savy said although there wasn’t a big ska community in Ballarat, people still loved to dance to the reggae precursor when they heard it.
“We do old Jamaican classic ska reggae tunes and some original stuff as well. We have some horns playing, it’s pretty fun and exciting,” Ms Savy said.
“I think people like to dance and I think that’s the main ingredient there. Lots of people like to have a boogie to it.”
Ms Savy also said the group’s drummer had been involved in Australia’s first-ever reggae band.
Ballarat Ska Union will be joined by deborahN Trio, a soul group that loves to do lounge versions of 1980s hits.
Mayor Des Hudson said Backyard Tasters was an event that continued to evolve, with the council aware Ballarat residents enjoyed the free events, already making plans for cultural activities in both autumn and winter.
“It’s a celebration of culture and diversity. I’m looking froward to a wide variety of music and cultural experiences with different food coming down,” he said.
“At the end of the working week, for family to enjoy what is becoming another Ballarat icon...it’s really about community coming out, coming together and the city taking a lead in these types of events.”
Cr Hudson said Ballarat was fast becoming a more arty and cultural city.
“I’d like to think that people are opening their minds to exploring a whole range of genres of music and their culinary palate, to develop that even further.”
The event will kick off February 5 at 6pm at Alfred Deakin Place. The event will also feature a Welcome to Country, a Haka response, indigenous dance Namarilly Bagarook and space folk music Trappist Afterland.
.The event will also feature art and traditional barbering