Our Royal History
The Royal South Street Society Ballarat Eisteddfod stands as Australia’s premier Eisteddfod, boasting an illustrious heritage of delivering outstanding performance opportunities since 1891. Our enduring commitment to fostering and showcasing talent places us at the pinnacle of the Australian cultural and artistic landscape.
The inaugural Grand Annual Eisteddfod of Australasia was held in Ballarat in 1891, attracting some 260 entrants who performed across 10 days of competition. Is it possible our founders then, dared to imagine, that their vision for fostering the performing arts would continue into the twenty first century?
Throughout this time, the Royal South Street Society Ballarat Eisteddfod has only ever been cancelled twice! Once during World War 2, and then all live performances were cancelled in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic tightened its grip on the entire world. Navigating the changing restrictions and conditions of COVID-19 was challenging world-wide for a two year period, with online video entries being adjudicated in some categories, before returning to a new normal in 2022.
Post Covid, the Royal South Street Society Ballarat Eisteddfod has returned to its former glory with a full suite of disciplines on offer. We provide a stage where performers can learn, develop and flourish as they showcase their talents.
Explore our History Through the Decades
From 1891 to now.... Our extraordinary history has uncovered and inspired generations of talented artists, developed and promoted new disciplines, welcomed visitors from all over the country, united and entertained generations, and enriched hundreds of thousands of lives though the performing arts, placing Royal South Street Society at the pinnacle of the Australian cultural and artistic landscape.
Pure Performance Gold
The Royal South Street Society’s collection of historical facts has been compiled into a rich timeline full of remarkable stories and moments – often quirky, frequently moving and always interesting. This was made possible because of the time, commitment and passion of our many volunteers and supporters, with organisations and individuals sharing their knowledge, images and archives, including:
Les Holloway, David Callinan and the Royal South Street Society’s Historic Committee and Team Archive, Winkipop Media, The Courier, Australian Geographic, The Victorian Bar Oral History, The Victorian Heritage Database, Federation University Australia, Win Television, City of Ballarat, Museum of Victoria, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Film and Sound Archive, ABC.
South Street Stories
Discover some of the special memories and stories about our beautiful, historic Royal South Street Eisteddfod.