For over 30 years, St Kilda Festival has been a wonderful place to discover new music, hang out with friends, and embrace the community vibe of St Kilda. The free festival begins with opening ceremony, Yalukit Wilum Ngargee, and is followed by seven days of Live N Local, which includes multiple gigs spanning just about every genre of music, hosted in venues all around St Kilda. The biggest event for the weekend is undoubtedly Festival Sunday, where main roads are closed off and stages are set up across St Kilda for a day of free music. A jam-packed nine-day festival can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve sussed out the program to bring you the highlights of this year’s St Kilda Festival.
Start the festival right with Yalukit Wilum Ngargee
The opening event for St Kilda Festival is a wonderful prelude of what you can expect for the nine days that follow: it’s relaxed, inclusive, vibrant and entertaining. This year’s St Kilda Festival begins with Yalukit Wilum Ngargee: People Place Gathering, an Indigenous arts and music event that features both local and interstate musicians. The day runs from 12.30 to 8pm and is fun for the whole family with kids’ activities and community stalls being set up.
Get Musically Inspired at the Right Track
Budding musicians, this one is for you. Live N Local are hosting an Artist Development Workshop for free, and you’re invited. This year, the day focuses on everything from songwriting to creating a successful album and everything in between. Panelists include Chris Johnson (Senior writer at The Age), musicians Benny Walker, Meriki Hood, Remi, and Stuart and Eric from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The Right Track will be held at The Prince on Saturday the 7th from 11am–5pm, culminating in a live music performance by one of the panelists.
See The Biggest Musical Acts at The Main Stage
As mentioned earlier, Festival Sunday really is the hugest day of St Kilda Festival and it always generates huge crowds, largely due to the exceptional musical acts that perform. This year’s main stage will include performances by The Basics, San Cisco, Thundamentals, and will finish off with Hot Dub Time Machine. We highly recommend nabbing a good spot early because, let’s face it, everyone loves a free gig.
Bust a Move at Dancezone
The St Kilda Sea Baths carpark is where it’s at for those looking to shake their groove thing this St Kilda Festival. There will be two Bollywood shows, hip-hop crews, a tango demonstration, South American festival dancers and even Zumba is on the cards. The best news is, you don’t have to just watch the professional dancers shimmy and shake, everyone is encouraged to join in!
Taste some of St Kilda’s Finest Food and Cocktails at the Live N Local Village
This year, St Kilda Festival is setting up the Live N Local Village, which will host the Live N Local stage as well as plenty of food and drink options. On the menu are foodie delights from some of St Kilda’s favourite restaurants, including Metropol, St Kilda Branch, Cushion, Luxembourg and Il Fornaio. As for drinks, Mister Mixer will be serving cocktails to quench your thirst with refreshing flavours. This isn’t the only place to grab food throughout the festival, but it’s our pick.
Discover Australian Music’s Next Big Thing at O’Donnell Garden Stage
If the Main Stage crowds look a little too large to deal with, our next best musical recommendation for Festival Sunday would have to be the O’Donnell Garden Stage. This year the O’Donnell Garden Stage features Australian artists who had a great debut year in 2014, and are only set for even bigger things in 2015. Check out the likes of Japanese Wallpaper, Banoffee, The Delta Riggs and DMA’s and get excited for Australian music’s next great wave.
Head to the Latin Quarter for a Salsa Class
Salsa, bachata and kizomba are the three of the most popular Latin dances, and they will all be demonstrated and taught at the Latin Quarter for this year’s festival. With Latin Big Band, LA 45 playing throughout the day and Latin DJ Cheb Ali closing the night, it’s sure to be party-central for those looking for a fiesta.
Whip It with the Victorian Roller Derby League
Roller derby took over the obscure extreme sports world a few years ago, and the passion has never waned for members of the Victorian Roller Derby League. Here is a great opportunity to see what roller derby is all about, as the VRDL take us through basic skills and showcase their immense talent. The VRDL are Australia’s number one team and ranked fourth in the world—find out why on Festival Sunday.
Get Dolled-up at Pop-Up Opera Costume Booth
Are you ever really too old for dress ups? At The Urban List, we think not, so head to the Palais Theatre Foyer and try on their epic opera costumes and release your inner diva. You also could win tickets to The Flying Dutchman, which is currently being performed at the Palais, so that’s even more free entertainment for you long after St Kilda Festival is over.
Bend and Snap at Disco Yoga
If you’re looking to start your Sunday off on the right foot, head down for Disco Yoga at 10am at the GO JAM stage. For the uninitiated (which is probably most of us), Disco Yoga incorporates Vinyasa Yoga with freestyle dance and a live DJ spinning house music as you hold a pose. You don’t need to be a yoga guru or a disco dancing legend to take part—it’s a fun, encouraging, and feel-good start to what’s sure to be an excellent Festival Sunday. Namaste, party people.
That’s our pick of what’s on at St Kilda Festival, folks!
St Kilda Festival | Various venues, St Kilda
31st January – 8th February 2015
Image credit: Stumbles