Sing stream: Piano Bar owner Andy Pobjoy, Flying Horse Bistro manager Rebecca Bell, Luke Tonkin and City Oval Hotel chef David Chambers prepare for the Big Night In. Photo: CHIPPY RIVERA

Get excited for a Big Night In

September 10, 2020 BY

WITH some light at the end of the COVID-19 lockdown tunnel, Commerce Ballarat are hosting online event celebrating the city’s entertainment and food culture and everyone’s invited.

The new activation, Big Night In, will take place on the evening of Saturday, 12 September and Commerce are teaming up with the Piano Bar and a range of venues and restaurants to deliver on the festivities.

CEO of Commerce Ballarat Jodie Gillett said the aim of the event is to ease some of the community’s feelings of isolation as we currently are unable to spend time with the people we love.

“We have lots of venues who have signed up to participate in it and it will be accompanied by a live stream from Piano Bar Ballarat,” she said.

“Hoping that if we can get as many people as possible to tune into the live stream, it will create a sense of connectedness knowing that there’s lots of other people around the city doing the same thing.

“It’s a really nice way to connect our community.”

There will be a range of menus to choose from, from three course dinners to wine and cheese specials, for those participating to order takeaway and enjoy from home.

With entertainment provided by the Piano Bar, Ms Gillett said residents will be able to sing along with Andy Pobjoy and a range of other local performers throughout the night.

“People can go onto the Plate Up website and choose a particular menu from any of the participating venues to order food from,” she said.

“Then, they can hook into the live stream from Piano Bar Ballarat through either their Facebook page, Commerce’s page or the City of Ballarat’s page.

“We’ll also be giving away a range of prizes and vouchers from venues throughout the night so it’s going to be fun.”

The restaurant manager at the Flying Horse Bistro Rebecca Bell said they were excited to get involved with the event.

“We like to get involved with everything Plate Up because it’s a great initiative,” she said

“Especially right now because anything is better than nothing at the moment.”

Piano Bar Ballarat owner and “piano man” Andy Pobjoy said to expect lots of laughs and interactivity from the stream during the night.

“We also want people sending through photos in of what they’re doing, what they’re eating and what businesses they’re supporting,” he said.

“We want you to interact with us and we’ll have a bit of a giggle and a few drinks.

“Hopefully, it does give us that sense that we’re still connected.”

One of the night’s performers Luke Tonkin said he’s excited for the event and to play along with Pobjoy and the other talented local artists.

“I’m always up to have a sing,” he said.

“Our arts community have been suffering so it’s always great to get out there and perform.”

Although the Piano Bar have been live streaming events and performances since the first lockdown, Pobjoy said it’s great to partner with Commerce Ballarat to bring the event to life and support local business in a different way.

“With the local restaurants and traders, we hope we can get everyone excited and on board and sharing the experience from home,” he said.

“Commerce Ballarat do such a great job, they’ve been so actively involved with business through these unprecedented times.

“What it’s doing for morale and everyone’s spirit is just amazing, we’re really appreciative and happy to be involved.”

To take part in the event or for more details visit