Ararat's Jailhouse Rock Festival 2017 enjoys new venue success | Photos

ARARAT rocked for three days as 1950s cars, music and fashion descended on Alexandra Oval for the Jailhouse Rock Festival at the weekend.

Rock’n’roll enthusiasts provided colour on Barkly Street in their hotrods and 50s dress during the opening evening on Friday.

A new-look schedule was arranged and for the first time all three days of the event were hosted at the oval, due to the impending closure of Ararat Town Hall for redevelopment.

Past Jailhouse Rock Festivals have had Friday and Saturday events hosted on Barkly Street, in front of the Ararat Town Hall, before moving to Alexandra Oval for the Sunday car show.

Festival director Sandra Walker said people who attended had enjoyed having the entire festival at one location.

“The people that went loved the concept of the oval all weekend,” she said.

“They danced all weekend, where that did not normally happen because we have to pack everything up and take it down to the oval.

“It will be down at the oval next year, but maybe with a different concept on the Saturday.”

More than 1000 people attend the Jailhouse Rock Festival each year.

It was first started 23 years ago to bring more visitors to Ararat.

This year’s festival also saw patrons charged $20 for the entire weekend for the first time.

Previous festivals required the $20 entry for just Sunday events.

Ms Walker said although there had been a few issues, gate takings showed the first year with the entire event at one location had been successful.

“It was a great outcome and the whole festival package was a great success,” she said.

“We had to manage things differently and overcome obstacles during the weekend, and we did that, kept everyone happy, and had a great weekend.”

She said negative feedback about the $20 fee for more than just the Sunday had been received but without the charge the costs of the festival would have been too high.

“The running costs are enormous. To charge $20 to get into a festival for a whole weekend is pretty good,” she said.

“People presume it is just a car show, but it is actually a package deal.

“It was always $20 to get in the gate on the Sunday, it was just that the free stuff usually on Barkly Street was moved down to the oval as well.

“I’d also like to say thanks for the support of the businesses and our sponsors within the town, Ace Panel Works, Mortimer Chiropractor, Ararat Taxis, Phil and Morty Automotive and Mick’s Landscaping, and the businesses that donated raffle prizes.”

This story How Ararat rocked the 2017 Jailhouse Rock Festival | Photos first appeared on The Wimmera Mail-Times.