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The home of 102,000 and the late Patrick the wombat, Ballarat is the hometown of our very own music editor, Ayden. Known for the 19th century goldrush, raspberry hard candy and Sovereign Hill, Ballarat also happens to have a thriving live music scene that spreads far beyond the boundaries of the city in influence. Here you can find Ayden’s favourite five from home.


Delving into a unique blend of dark dance meets alt rock, Gold Fields is one of my favourite Ballarat bands (not to mention the potential for ‘gold’ puns) The band whipped out a few local slots on Groovin the Moo, as well as a number of shows of their own surrounding the release of their stunning debut Black Sun. Since then, they’ve largely disappeared from the world, with two shows this year teasing entirely new sets. But aside from this, they always acted as a beacon of light in a town I’ve since come to be bored by. Goldfields seem to represent that as much as you want to move on, there is always something that will lure you back.


In 2009 a band from Ballarat by the name of Howl won  Triple J’s unearthed High competition, Art vs Science played in their gym, and the floor caved under the crowd. I wasn’t at the school, but you better believe more than a few of us tried to work out how we could make our way across town to sneak in. What came out of it though was Hunting Grounds, a killer indie rock band that may have only got their debut album In Hindsight out, but that album was a timeless fiend that is impressive now as it was on its release of 2012. I still remember picking it up in Ballarat to a store decked out in promotional posters.


There was always a certain ridiculous element to Yacht Club DJs, their mash up dj style always bordered on excessive, yet was always the best fun to have on a night out. From supporting Mumford and Sons across the US and Canada, to too many raucous nights at Ballarat’s local live venue, The Karova Lounge, they always knew how to make a night into the best kind of trainwreck. The pair split up in 2014, with a sold out farewell tour (also featuring Hunting Ground’s final Melbourne show) but in true icon status whipped out another tour last year, so it feels like maybe we haven’t seen the end of them yet.


As I’ve nearly spent nearly six years in Melbourne now, it’s become my home and I’ve become devoted to artists here too. As Lanks toured Melbourne heavily in support of his first two EPs, he became a familiar face to see on stage, his growth as an artist was one to be amazed by, always felt connected to my understanding of the city. Over the years, his music has come to vary more and more, and whilst I haven’t loved every step, it’s amazing to see the development that he has pulled off. Along with being one of the nicest individuals in the scene, any moment that has Lanks come up, feels just a little like home. 


There’s something joyous about seeing Lazertits take over Melbourne, step by step. They offer a sound that I’m unlikely to have ever found back in Ballarat, and given I found them by chance walking into a bar once, truly represent my full immersion into Melbourne life. Their grungy, garage pop style is a fun one, and one that represents all the best parts of Melbourne.