Ballarat Frolic Festival is Ballarat’s very own LGBTQ+ arts and culture festival. It’s hard to understate the importance of local festivals to LGBTQ+ communities. Everyone deserves to feel safe and valued in the streets of their hometown, but in traditionally conservative regional areas acceptance of difference can be slow. Frolic provides a safe space to celebrate the rich creative talents of Ballarat’s queer community.
Last year (2109) was Frolic’s third birthday, and its most successful festival ever. With plans to get bigger and better as the years go on (Covid allowing) Frolic is committed to ensuring the festival treads gently on the earth. To this end, they have partnered with Fifteen Trees to plant 100 trees in 2020.
Frolic trees where planted by the Campaspe Valley Landcare Group which is within the area between the Coliban and Campaspe Rivers leading to Lake Eppalock in Central Victoria.
This landcare group is actively involved in projects that aim to protect waterways, restore native vegetation, preserve and enhance wildlife habitat. They also establish wildlife corridors, biolinks and develop partnerships with community groups e.g. schools, while providing community education about environmental issues. They also develop local community environmental focused social networks.
In all their projects (this one included) they aim to protect large old paddock trees, rejuvenate river systems, connect biodiverse landscape, protect large areas of remnant vegetation, revegetate between large patches of remnant vegetation, revegetate the understorey species missing from the landscape, protect roadside vegetation and propagate and revegetate indigenous endangered flora for such species as the Powerful Owl, the Black Duck and the Phascogale.
Fifteen Trees is truly delighted to be able to assist such a mighty group.
Calculating the environmental cost of a small festival that uses multiple venues can be fiendishly difficult. Frolic has chosen to combine its general sustainability policies with a broad approach to reducing its impact. In future the committee hopes to be out on site getting its hands dirty, alongside a crew of enthusiastic volunteers. For this year, Frolic is happy to know it’s giving something back to the land that supports, enables, and inspires its work.
Sadly, for obvious reasons, Frolic Festival 2020 has been postponed until June next year. Frolic’s Art show, Rainbow Rebellion, will be still be going ahead though. Anyone who would like to enjoy a window into local queer creativity can head along the Art Gallery of Ballarat from 7 November 2020.
Writer – Sarah Hart.
Sarah is an artist whose passions include the stories and experiences of women and narrative driven creative work. Her aim is to delight, to reveal glimpses of everyday beauty, and to celebrate flights of the ordinary. Sarah works across a range of media, with an abiding interest in pen and ink, mixed media and the human form. You can find Sarah here.