Ballarat looks to develop new major spring festival

Ballarat is looking for a creative consultancy to develop a “major spring time festival” that showcases the “complex” identity of the city.

The City of Ballarat has issued a tender for expressions of interest to develop the new festival which is looking to replace the space left by the cessation of White Night and Biennale of Australian Art.

With a working title of the Festival of Big Ideas, the event is looking at other cities such as Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas for inspiration.

“The city is committed to developing an innovative set of experiences that we can become known for,” council document state.

“The activation is seen as a complement to the ‘off year’ to the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.

“It is envisaged that the event will create a safe space to investigate and activate ‘bigger, better, bolder’ ways of thinking.

“The community is eager for an alternative for White Night and are prepared to take to the streets again to enjoy the common spirit.

“The activation must loop in with planned activities and not appear to be ‘bought in’ from elsewhere.”

The new event is looking to attract up to 40,000 visitors, with a budget of “several hundred thousand dollars” and will “communicate the personality and identity of our city”.

“The event should be a powerful yet simple city-wide activity that will express the unique and authentic voice of our complex community,” a City of Ballarat spokesperson said in a statement to The Ballarat Courier.

“The city is … undergoing a comprehensive analysis of its brand personality and perceptions through a program called Ballarat is Open – there remains a strong opportunity to bring the findings of this analysis into developing the event content.

“The activation is a chance for the city to be bold. This is a rare opportunity for creative and daring thought, to design an activation that helps the City of Ballarat articulate its authentic point of difference.

“Current promotional activities and events hosted by the City do not fit the requirements of this activation, however there is a good opportunity to review and potentially refresh existing initiatives.”

Tenders close on February 5.