Ararat Jail House Rock Festival, 18 - 20 March 2016
Last weekend saw another Ararat Jailhouse Rock festival come and go. The new committee did an amazing job getting the festival back to what itís all about, fantastic music great cars and clothes wonderful people and a whole lot of fun.
Friday saw people arriving from near and far catching up with old friends and making new ones. The Fender Benders kicked off to a full house. Between the band and DJ Jeff not much time was spent sitting down and the dance floor was jumping all night.
Saturday on the street would have been a bit disappointing for the organisers with fewer stall holders and far fewer cars on display, most likely due to Fridayís rainy unpleasant weather keeping them away, the diehards that bereaved the weather were rewarded with plenty of great bargains, from both the stall holders and local businesses. It was good to see so many rockers supporting the local business so well.
The mystery car cruise which is always fun ended up at the ďPickers PlaceĒ at Stawell and the afternoons dance completions weíre well supported with the town hall packed full of onlookers cheering their favourite dancers on.
The evenings Moovin & Groovin Ball was sold out, with fresh bright decorations, the Smokin Wing Tips were really ďsmokinĒ blowing a fuse half way into their first song, after a quick fix and a joke or two the boys were back and didnít disappoint for the rest of the night. If you havenít heard this band you donít know what youíre missing, they are fresh, vibrant, very danceable definitely a band to watch out for, do yourself a favour make sure you see them soon.
Nice to see good groups from various Victorian and interstate clubs attending all three dances including the return of the Cell Block Rock at J-Ward with Robyn and the Rancheros and the Wheels Rock n Roll dance featuring the Sky Rockats, not forgetting the Atomics who had the Shire Hotel packed and pumped till the wee hours. The committee taking on advice re the selection of bands this year ensured everyone had a great night at all dances / venues.
Wonderful to see such a strong contingent of rockers still going strong at the Oval on Sunday, where once again we got to dance to each band, as the morning cleared and the sun came out it turned into the perfect day for strolling around enjoying something for everyone whether it be the classic cars, stalls, food, just those few more dances that your feet might manage or the fashion parade. Which with its relaxed fun encouragement of non-professional entrants, saw the King and Queen of the Festival crowns this year go to new Colac club member Denis whoís only been in the Rock n Roll scene for six months and Pamela from Tatyoon in a lovely vintage lace wedding dress.
The Ararat Jailhouse Rock Committee put in a huge amount of effort to overcome the shortcomings of the past couple of festivals and to their credit did a great job. Overall for those that made the effort it was a fantastic weekend. If you didnít get there, donít miss out next year, put 16-19 March 2017 (3rd weekend) in your diaries.