St Kilda Festival: Bigger and Better

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By: Sinead Dalton

Well what a week it was! The sun was splitting the stones, people crowded the streets and the atmosphere was simply amazing! Once again St. Kilda you did it! An amazing festival was hosted throughout the beginning of February with people coming from all over the country. It introduced us to new music acts, sporting entertainment and comedy, showing us the true talent immersed in Australia.

For many years the reputation of St. Kilda centred on drugs, sex and rock and roll. Much of its aspiring talent hid behind this. In 1980 the city of St. Kilda decided to begin this festival to alter these perceptions and to shine a more positive light on the area; and for thirty three years it has done exactly that! Crowds from 300,000 to 400,000 flocked to the streets and there are almost too many highlights to mention! The festival opened on the 2nd with the Yalukit Wilum Ngargee, a time that celebrated the iconic music and art of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. The days that followed brought us music and comedy. With each day, the line up just got better and better but as all good things must come to an end, St Kilda made sure the festival went out with a bang! The 10th marked the end of this epic journey and artists such as Peter Combe and Blue Juice rocked the main stage but as usual there was one surprise still left in store. Throughout the day it was revealed that a festival favourite would be making a comeback to the stage. Cat Empire, a local band won the crowds hearts when they played three consecutive years in row and in 2013 they were back to claim their place.

While cool crisp beers and refreshing spirits come hand in and hand with outdoor gigs, as is the rule every year this festival was a no go area for drink. While there was a number of restaurants, bars and stalls to provides us with beverages and food, police were still cracking down hard on the policy of the area being a free alcohol zone.  So how did people react to this? When speaking with Acting Senior Sergeant Dean Quintan he had a very positive outlook on how the week went: “there were a few issues early in the day but as with any event no matter how hard you try and keep the peace there is always going to be something. We had a plan in place and anyone who was drinking was given a penalty notice.” Speaking with the festival producer, Adele Denison she highlighted “I think it has been positive. I mean we are really trying to make sure this is a family friendly event.”

While 2013 was a huge success the question on everyone’s lips is can we look forward to an even bigger and brighter festival for next year? As there is nothing set in stone it will be up to the City of Port Philip, who contribute an extensive amount to the formation of this event. If a plan is put into action Denison spoke of how it will be “more about fostering as many emerging artists as we can, celebrating Australian music and making sure that as much as the comedy who wants to be a part of it, can be a part of it.”

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