An inaugural festival has been announced amid plans to boost Lake Macquarie’s night-time economy.
The Belmont Beers, Blues and BBQ event is expected to attract hundreds of blues lovers and foodies from across the state next month.
Lake Macquarie council’s manager of arts, culture and tourism, Jacqui Hemsley, said it would be a great chance to sample barbecue cuisine from around the world, meet local brewers and enjoy the atmosphere on Belmont south foreshore.
“Nothing beats [a] barbecue, cold beer and great music,” she said.
“Combined with the gorgeous foreshore of Lake Macquarie, we are sure our first Belmont Beers, Blues and BBQ event will be a huge success.”
The new festival comes as part of a shift towards more evening and night-time events.
In October 2018, the council sought feedback and ideas on what activities, events and improvements residents would like to see after-dark.
It then developed the draft Lake Macquarie Night-Time Economy Action Plan, which is now display until Thursday 18 April.
The plan aims to improve liveability and transform the city into a major economic driver within the Hunter Region.
Lake Macquarie mayor, Kay Fraser, said there was an appetite in the community for more evening and night-time events.
“Our draft night-time economy action plan identified a need for diversity in the events we offer, as well as more options in terms of evening and night-time events in Lake Macquarie,” she said.
“I am sure this event will be a huge success and hope to see it become an annual event on the Lake Macquarie festival and events scene.”
Some of the actions in the plan include a trial of creative lighting and other temporary lighting in key locations across the city; and to investigate opportunities to help groups to activate public spaces of an evening.
The council also wants to explore the potential for night-time food markets, cinemas and family-friendly events, as well as an extension of opening hours for cultural venues and community facilities.
The Belmont Beers, Blues and BBQ festival will feature a musical line-up including MC Richard King, Bondi Cigars, Kevin Borich, Greg Bryce Blues Band, and Catfish Soup.
It will start at 5pm on Saturday 25 May and is 18+ only. Tickets cost $50.
Visit lakemac.com.au for more information on the festival or to provide feedback on the action plan.