St Kilda Festival is gearing up for 400,000
By Daniel Wilson
The largest free music festival in Australia is about to splash onto the shores of St Kilda. Crews are currently plugging in the speakers and cranking up the free wifi for what is forecast as a beautiful sunny day.
Despite a last minute headline change, up to 400,000 people are expected at St Kilda Festival this Sunday. Filling in for Gurrumul, who cancelled due to health reasons, is Aussie Hip Hop sensation Briggs.
Alongside activities for young and old, an enormous variety of music will be showcased. “This year we have 10 live music stages, and around 80 bands playing. So it’s a great day if you love live music, come and find your favourite band or explore something new,” Mayor Bernadene Voss said.
It attracts attention and is a boon for the local economy. “$1.7 million is spent by Council on Festival Sunday, and $23 million comes back to our local community in St Kilda, and $19 million for the State [of Victoria],” Cr Voss explained.
Inspector Narelle Beer of Victoria Police is asking visitors to “plan your travel there, and plan your travel home, please don’t drink drive, use public transport, and treat everybody with respect,” and added, “We will have a number of booze busses around the area, we will be checking cars to make sure people aren’t drink driving, and have a lot of police in and around the area”.
While St Kilda foreshore will be a dry zone, there will be licensed areas for patrons to consume alcohol.
Inspector Beer said, “There will be zero tolerance for any alcohol related harm, or any poor behaviour, or any aggression. This is a family fun friendly environment, and we look forward to seeing you out there and enjoying a great day.
“Be respectful and look after each other, drink wisely, we have lots of police here to make sure it is a safe day. We have no concerns of any particular incidence occurring, and we hope that people be safe and be responsible, and be respectful of the environment.”
Known as a festival for all ages, the range of activities alongside the music and fairground is huge. Just to mention a few examples, you can look forward to a charity fun-run, disco yoga, bubble soccer, human foosball, a Brazilian style carnival, salsa dancing, and a Hare Krishna chariot will be paraded through Catani Gardens.
Cr Voss was keen to point out one particular new addition this year. “Sunday is Valentine’s Day and we have some very special things happening, especially down Fitzroy Street at dark. Some beautiful hearts will be shining from the trees, so we would love you to get down there and sign a love lock or a heart lock and place it in one of our specially prepared trees.”
Sunday is the culmination of what is a week-long festival that has everything from Indigenous art and culture, to kids’ activities, wrestling, live music and street performers.
A full line-up of music, map and information on activities is available from http://www.stkildafestival.com.au/
UPDATE: Official attendence was 440,000 for Festival Sunday.