Following what was a very tumultuous year for Australia’s largest free music festival, with City of Port Phillip council rescuing it from a potential cancellation due to budgetary concerns, St. Kilda Festival has today announced the first round of acts to play for 2013.

Now in its 33rd year, St Kilda Festival 2013 will see more than 150 artists over seven stages and more than 40 venues across the Melbourne suburb taking part in the festivities from Saturday 2nd Feburary 2013 right through to the Festival Sunday on the 10th February, the music-lined day that very nearly didn’t go ahead after difficulties finding funding for deficits of approx. $1.2 million.

The first wave of acts announced for St Kilda Festival 2013 includes Australian rock stalwarts Bluejuice,  the internationally recognised Midnight Juggernauts offering a DJ set, and up-and-coming songbird, the Brisbane-based Thelma Plum. Then there’s Bamboos vocalist Kylie Auldist who’s be singing up a storm in O’Donnell Gardens and Client Liason – producers of the most Australian music video ever – gracing the New Music Stage.

Festival Producer Adele Denison was enthused about the list of names already confirmed for the free music event, saying: “The St Kilda Festival celebrates Australian music and culture and we’re thrilled to offer a nine-day program of entertainment, during which St Kilda will entertain more than 400,000 families and music lovers.”

Other musical highlights include the brand new Soundkraft Records stage, adding a host of electronic acts and DJs to the mix, and the outdoor indigenous festival, Yalukit Wilum Ngargee: People Place Gathering on the Saturday. Featuring the soulful blues of Kutcha Edwards and Koori songstress, Illana Atikins and the Deans.

The Live N Local stage will showcase homegrown talent throughout the week, including The Scarlets, who recently supported Bon Jovi; neo-chanteuse Suzie Stapleton, and fresh Melbourne indie outfit Better Than The Wizards. “The St Kilda Festival celebrates Australian music and culture and we’re thrilled to offer a nine-day program of entertainment…” – Adele Dension, Festival Producer”

The full 2013 St Kilda Festival lineup will be announced early in the new year on Monday, 7th January, and next year’s event is produced and presented by the City of Port Phillip and – as previously reported -supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria; following the council urging the state government to assist in bearing the costs.

The lineup announcement arrives after a turbulent time for the local council, which has recently elected a new Mayor in Cr Amanda Stevens in the recent council elections, who replaces former Mayor Cr Rachel Powning.

Under Powning’s rule, local council had shown some schizophrenic attitudes to live music under its jurisdiction, not least turning down sponsorship deals that threatened to undo St Kilda Festival. Then there was the enforcement of a bizarre ruling that attempted to ban amplified music being played outside in Acland Street, one of Melbourne’s most popular tourist attractions.

Thankfully, there was a change in attitudes towards the local music culture, coinciding with the upward turn of fortunes for the Prince’s new bandroom over their Public Bar re-opening. Port Phillip Council also helping balance out the issues over St Kilda’s beloved venue-come-record store Pure Pop Records, who were the target of staunch council restrictions before they did a backflip and helped the venue rather than hinder it.

The local venue now enjoying the launch of its Summer of Classic Albums, which sees more than 68 local acts cover 68 classic and cult albums in an acoustic setting, unique one-of-a-kind shows that will be syndicated online via YouTube.

Pure Pop Records will no doubt have its small, but important part to play in the 2013 St Kilda Festival, but music lovers already have more than enough to look forward to in today’s announcement. For more details, check:

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