St Kilda Festival


By Bronwen Beechey MELBOURNE — One of this city's most popular and enduring cultural events, the St Kilda Festival, is almost under way again. Perhaps best known for its street festival and free beach concert (this year featuring Chocolate Starfish and the Badloves), the festival actually comprises nine days of music, exhibitions, street theatre, historical tours, the percussion extravaganza Drum Out and the St Kilda Writers Festival. The 1996 festival contains some important and welcome changes. The first comedy event, the "My St Kilda" Comedy Gala, will take place at the National Theatre on February 10. Judith Lucy, Anthony Morgan and other well-known comics resident in St Kilda will share their experiences of dwelling in the shadow of Luna Park and the Esplanade Hotel. On February 11, Fitzroy and Acland Streets will be closed for the street festival featuring artists such as Archie Roach, Bongo Fury and Wild Pumpkins at Midnight. This year's street festival concentrates on world music and dance, reflecting the cultural diversity of St Kilda and its surrounds. The World Stage will feature a range of entertainment from Maori dances to Latin funk with Aboriginal actor and musician Tom E. Lewis as MC. The St Kilda Writers Festival begins on February 11 with the luminous Palais Lights — large format images projected onto the rear of the Palais Theatre at sunset. The following eight days will include 35 events ranging from readings to sound poetry and performance. A highlight will be Sisters in Crime's Death in the Internet Cafe, an evening of stories and reports from the criminal margins of cyberspace. The closing event, at St Kilda Pier on February 18, promises to be truly spectacular ... but you'll have to go along to find out why! For more information call the Festival Hotline on (03) 9209 6711.