ARARAT - There will be a whole lot of shakin' going on this weekend in Barkly Street as the annual Jailhouse Rock Festival comes to town.
This year will see a change to the festival's 19-year format, which organisers believe will bring with it a new and vibrant atmosphere, while continuing to embrace the event's most popular traditions.
Activities will predominantly be held in Barkly Street this weekend, with some of the major draw cards including dance competitions, live musical performances and classic car displays.
Jailhouse Rock Festival convenor Ian Wilson said the festival is an event that can be enjoyed by everyone in the community.
"It is a family orientated event where everyone from the youngest person in the family to the more mature members of the community can come along and will have a good time," he said.
"It is a celebration of all things rock 'n' roll and what was great about the 50s and 60s. It is a spectacular show with all the dancing, music and cars on display.
"I think the fact that it attracts so many external people to the town is a great thing. Most accommodation is booked out and the festival puts hundreds of thousands of dollars into the region and local economy."
The Jailhouse Rock Festival was launched on Wednesday night, with a hot dog and movie night at the Astor Cinema last night, while events will run all weekend beginning with tonight's classic car and hot rod meet and greet, along with live performances at 'The Joint' (the Town Hall).
Mr Wilson said Saturday will feature many highlights including 'Glamour Central' which is be run out of the Senior Citizens' Hall offering 50s and 60s hair and makeup sessions.
"I looks really spectacular, I saw it done a few weeks ago in Ballarat and it should be a great addition," he said.
"Then on Saturday night we have a monster ball held at the Performing Arts Centre, which will be known as 'The Joint' for the weekend. There are a heap of great bands playing there and outside we have a big marquee setup which will be 'The Rock House', that will also have a number of high class bands playing.
"You can purchase an all access pass to get into both of those events or tickets are $30 each. It should be a fantastic night."
Sunday will see a move from Alexandra Oval to Barkly Street for the traditional JHR Classic Car, Hot Rod and Motor Bike Show.
"The main reason behind the change in format was to allow for the longevity of the festival and to increase cash flow which will allow us to do that," Mr Wilson said.
"There is plenty of value for your money in the tickets and we are absolutely ecstatic with music program, there are so many headline acts.
"I think this format will definitely revitalise the festival. What we are concentrating on and our theme for the weekend will be the routes of Rock 'n' Roll."
For the first time in its history the festival will conclude with a thrilling Las Vegas style show, which Mr Wilson said would be a fitting end to the celebrations.
"On Sunday evening we have a first class gala cabaret with Lonnie Lee performing," he said.
"It will also be a tribute show of Sun Rising featuring all the popular songs from the Sun record label. Those tickets are very affordable, it is BYO and that should just be a fantastic way to round off the weekend.
"I would love to see everyone out over the course of the festival, and remember to dress to impress!"
Jailhouse Rock Festival liftout - See pages 25-32