Bringing the bohemian to Ballan

February 7, 2024 BY

Self-care: Organisers of the Bohemian Summer Festival will see how their first fest runs in Ballan before potentially setting up similar events in other states. Photo: SUPPLIED

AN inaugural event coming to Ballan in mid-February is offering a chance for women to give back to themselves.

About 750 people are expected at Phoenix Park for the Bohemian Summer Festival from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 February.

“My sister and I are two women who do a lot for our families, and often we feel like we come last,” said co-organiser Julz Taylor.

“This festival is a celebration of women without competition and nastiness, and it’s a chance for women like us to give back to ourselves, to try new things, and to do what sets our souls on fire.”

About 80 workshops are planned across the three-day event, from paint and sip, crystal jewellery making, and tarot card how-to sessions, to more expressive classes in chanting, movement, dancing, and body art.

“Traditionally festivals like these have been really alternative, but I feel like Bohemian Summer Festival is a good mix and has something for everybody,” Ms Taylor said.

Organisers said there are people registered to come in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who have never been to an event like this one previously.

“That really speaks a lot to how many women are feeling that call to be a part of the community and to do something for themselves,” Ms Taylor said.

“Women coming together in support instead of competition creates a really welcoming and uplifting atmosphere which is also important for the preteens and teenagers to witness and be a part of.

“Magic happens when women come together.”

Organisers “searched high and low” for the ideal location and said Ballan was right for many reasons.

“We saw the stats on how many women with accessibility issues don’t attend these types of events because they find it really difficult, so that was a massive factor in finding the right location,” she said.

“Phoenix Park was perfect. It’s right in our backyard, it’s a beautiful, shaded parkland with power outlets for everyone, and flat paths.

“We ask anyone with any additional needs to get in contact with us so we can work with them to make their experience as enjoyable as possible.”