A Kaleidoscope Of Community…
That time of the year is upon us again, a whirling sights, colour and sound of the seaside carnival in Melbourne
Imagine a perfect day at the beach. They’ll be effervescent sunshine, shinning above an endless blue canopy. They’ll be the concerto bass of breaking waves to accompany the sparkling blanket of diamonds that light the ocean’s surface. Now add a kaleidoscope of laughter and amazement, a cache of music and dancing, and a whirling bouquet of sights, attractions and entertainment – all set amidst the lingering scent of culinary delights. Incorporate art, culture, happy-go-lucky crowds, and you have the heart of the St Kilda festival.
Set among majestic palms and an art-deco atmosphere, lies a distinct sea-side town. St Kilda is a historic jewel of Melbourne, Victoria, known for its breathtaking landscape and quirky originality of the locals. It’s individuality couldn’t be a more gracious and intriguing host to one of Melbourne’s most celebrated events.
The idea for the St Kilda festival first come about in 1979, when the ocean village was an upcoming haven for talented musicians and eclectic artists. The town itself seemed to promote self-expression. So why not feature the very community as a showcase for the rest of the world to explore? And so, after a small extravaganza of live music and artistic offerings, the spirit of a tradition was born.
Today, the festival is still true to its origins, and boasts a leading spectacular of popular musicians from all four corners, indie sounds, and a plethora of undiscovered talent. Along the foreshore, there’s a labyrinth of jewellery makers, artist’s creations, local designer’s clothing and shoes, and an offering of handmade crafts – previously never dreamed of.
But the very heartbeat of the carnival has always been its community. it embodies the quintessential lifestyle and imagination of the old Melbourne suburb. There is a sense of pride among the locals who attribute their own essence. Even the buildings of the city seem to extend their welcome. And indeed, the landmarks such as the sea-baths, and the smiling, regal face of Luna Park are characters in their own right. The Easystay hotel has been one such contributor for many years. Set among the monumental hub, the hosts have guided and advised visitors each festival with the same sense of pride. ‘The eateries, the institutions, the ocean, and even the sea-breeze itself are all personalities that make St Kilda an identity in itself.’
Another of the city’s limbs is the famous Acland Street, where some of the cake and confectionary shops have indulged people’s sweet tooth for over eighty years. If the festival is the heart, then the restaurants must be the life-force.
There is no village in the world quite like this eccentric sanctuary, and certainly no festival with the same awe-inspiring energy.
Sculpture, rides, reggae, monks, A Capella, collectables, exhibitions, poetry, candle-making, Hare Krishna stories, folk-music, Vietnamese spring rolls, celebrities, cocktails, workshops, South-American barbecue and shopping – as the sun sets in a portrait of dusky orange over Port Phillip bay, this spinning-top of activities welcomes over 400,000 people.
The community here is a tapestry of multiculturalism, signature individuality, and high-lighted welcome, all wrapped up, one week a year, in showcase for everyone. The lights and laughter beckon…