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Michael Meeking

Melbourne singer/songwriter Michael Meeking recently released his new album “November ’72” to critical acclaim.

Michael has been described by Jeff Jenkins of The Australian Music Guide as “a fine Australian storyteller (think Neil Murray). The Meeking might not inherit the earth, but he will impress with his passionate country rock.”

Americana UK declared that Michael had “the rock swagger of The Faces, only more refined and performed better”, while UK’s Maverick Magazine said of Michael’s previous album, Ride On: “It’s a bit like listening to your favourite bits of your entire record collection in just 40 minutes.”

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Blues Roulette

Blues Roulette is bringing world class blues, back to the Ballarat Beer Festival.

The Rose Between the Thorns Tour will feature interstate and internationally acclaimed artists – Fiona Boyes, Nathan Beretta and Alan Boyle, performing together with Melbourne’s Blues Roulette house band.

Blues Roulette has become a Melbourne Blues Institution. After four years at The Catfish, it has established itself as your only call Wednesday night blues hang. The house band, anchored by Melbourne bass player Ben Wicks and drummer Johnny Tesoriero, is kept on their toes by a new guest each and every week. No charts, no rehearsal, no safety net… just the blues!

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Alan Boyle

Alan Boyle is an Irish singer and songwriter who calls Australia home though raised on the north Atlantic coast of Ireland. In 2015 Alan formed The Bella Reunion with co-writer Chris Harvey and performed at Bluesfest following an Australian Blues Music Award for Best New Group, an accolade they would earn a second time when they reformed as Blues Arcadia. Reviews for their 2019 debut album “Carnival Of Fools” include 4.5 stars from The Australian Weekend Review, 5 stars from the Sunday Mail, a #5 debut on the AIR Independent Charts and a #1 debut on the Australian Blues and Roots Airplay Charts.

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Nathan Beretta

Nathan Baretta has made his mark in the Australian blues scene with multiple award winning blues band Blue Eyes Cry. Growing up with Blues jazz and soul in the household, Nathan has brought his own unique style to the table. Influenced by artists such as Ronnie Earl, Albert Collins, Albert King and Buddy Guy Nathan plays from the soul with an “all killer no filler” approach. After taking a year of music Nathan is back on a mission to put the “edge” back in into the blues, with vibrato bending guitar solos and emotion. Nathan Beretta is a known, yet new act on the scene and is not to be missed if authentic Blues is your thing.

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Fiona Boyes

Fiona Boyes plays deep Blues, influenced by a myriad of traditional regional styles. She has carved an international reputation as a blues guitarist, bandleader, vocalist and songwriter. International reviewers have described her as a ‘musical anomaly’ and ‘Bonnie Raitt’s evil twin’!

A distinctive finger-picking and slide guitarist, Fiona’s soulful, authoritative style has earned her unprecedented recognition overseas as an Australian artist. Winner of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, she has toured widely, performing at acoustic, guitar, jazz, and blues festivals, clubs and cultural centers in more than 20 countries.

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Amber Gamblers

With a band motto of “Have a good time all the time”, The Amber Gamblers are all about bringing the party.

Playing a classic blend of blues, rock and soul, the band boasts vocal powerhouses Paul Slattery and Kate Madden, backed by some of Melbourne’s finest players.

Strap yourself in for a musical rollercoaster of fun times, interspersed with hypnotic grooves, scorching guitar solos and searing vocals that will leave you breathlessly wanting more.

Libby Steele Band

Libby Steel, winner of the Triple J unearthed Queenscliff music festival competition & artist at St Kilda’s Best New Artist stage, is an Australian alternative pop singer-songwriter. The Western Victorian rocket has made waves in the industry, known for her witty lyrics & ashamedly bold and colourful pop music. Her 2017 singles ‘Bones, People & Fever’ captured the attention of Triple J & Unearthed where she received stellar reviews from presenters praising her ‘big and versatile voice in a clever pop song, claiming she’s ‘part Lily Allen and part Saskwatch. It’s a winning combo’.

Jess Parker & The Troubled Waters

With their unique brew of dark Australiana and shaky Louisiana swamp blues, Jess Parker & The Troubled Waters have been serenading and possessing audiences all over Victoria since their inception in 2017. Their debut EP ‘Goin’ Swimming’ released in March 2018, received wide support on community radio including a live in-studio performance on 3CR. The EP was followed swiftly by an 11-track live album ‘Live at The Old Bar’ released in winter of 2019, which broadened their musical spectrum and perfectly captures their raw, live energy.

Bitches Brew

Bitches Brew is a brand new force in the Melbourne blues scene, combining the original compositions of trombonist and vocalist Lisa Baird (Lily & King, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Lloyd Spiegel Music, SPIRE Ensemble) with the badass instrumental skills of Chelsea Allen (drums), Stella Anning (guitar), Sarah Holmes (bass) and Cheryl- Durongpisitkul (saxophone).



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Gallagher's Friday Night Degustation Dinner

Held the night before the festival, Gallagher’s Friday Night Degustation Dinner provides the best opportunity to mix and mingle with the brewers as you enjoy a delicious 5 course menu served with perfectly matched beers. Hosted by The Beer Diva and Professor Pilsner, the degustation dinner is a huge night on the Australian beer calendar and not to be missed. Tickets are sold separately to the main festival. When tickets go on sale click through to the ticketing page to reserve your spot. The dinner tends to sell out early, so start organising your friends early.

Food & Wine

Food and Wine

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Food Trucks

  • Spanish Gourmet Caterers
  • The Happy Mexican
  • Mr. Squidgy
  • Smokehouse 720
  • Just Chips Victoria
  • Tims Toasties
  • The Forge Pizzeria
  • Traditional Baked Potato Co.
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  • Blue Pyrenees
  • Taltarni

Education Classes and Games

Beer Education Classes

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The Sessions


Get your Master’s Degree in Beerology with the esteemed Professor Pilsner and Beer Diva. Prizes and samples will be on offer throughout the day so make sure you pop by and learn a thing or three. All sessions offer free samples.

12pm – Meet the Brewer
1pm – Beer & Cheese & Opera
2pm – Beer-innovation
3pm – The Blindfolded Beer Experience

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About Professor Pilsner

Professor Pilsner (aka Pete Mitcham) is the Editor In Chief of The Critics’ Choice – Australia’s Best Beers, a contributor to The Beer Lover’s Guide to Australia, and host of beer dinners and tastings through his company, Beer Blokes. A conversation with Prof Pilsner is a rich, bubbly journey through beer’s ongoing evolution.

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Beer Diva, Kirrily Waldhorn has been involved in the industry for 20 years. She is one of Australia’s go to beer educators and is Dan Murphy’s Beer Ambassador. With experience in presenting on radio, TV and a heady list of consultancy, writing and judging in the beer industry, she brings 15 years’ worth of brewing knowledge to the classroom.


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Beer Trivia

Gloat over your extensive beer knowledge by taking part in our beer trivia hosted by the infamous quiz master ‘Spud’. There will be 2 sessions held over the day, each with different beery topics and questions. From great beer cinema moments through to our proud Aussie brewing history, your bound to get your thinking muscles working. Prizes will be awarded.

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Musical Bingo

Ok, so it’s not beer related, but it is crazy fun! Think of it as a cross between group flash-dancing karaoke and lip sync battle. Come along and join the off-key singing, two left feet dancing or just be an amused bystander. Prizes will be awarded.

Competitions & Awards

Competitions & Awards

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On the day of the festival, download the our app and get voting for your favourite brew

1. Search for “Event Portal for Eventbrite” in the Apple or Google store on your device.
2. Make sure to accept notifications when prompted. You will receive reminders during the day of the events you have listed to attend.
3. Enter the event code “ballaratbeer19”

The brewer with the highest score will win a trophy and one lucky voter will win a 6 pack of the winning brew for their troubles.


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You may have heard about our quest to find Ballarat’s greatest home brewer. A group of expert home brewers will be entering their liquid gold into the competition to be crowned Ballarat’s greatest home brewer.

Judging and awards will be presented on the main stage in front of thousands with the champion brewer winning a commercial brew at Fed Uni!


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The brewery with the best looking stand will win this award, judged by festival sponsor Bintani, who have also proudly supplied the trophy.



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The best dressed punter will win a case of Hawkers or Rover beer. The winner will be announced around midday.

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Joe White's Brewers Sack Race

Kids Zone

Kids Zone

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Animal Farm

Fun Farm 4 U is a unique mobile animal petting farm experience, it offers children and adults of all ages the chance to have a hands on experience with a wide range of friendly, healthy & cute farm animals and poultry of all breeds, colours and sizes.

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Face painting

No family festival is complete without face painting!

Craft Work

Have your tiny budding geniuses kept active with plaster and bead work and painting.