Dubbed “Australia’s best free music festival”, hundreds of thousands of folk flock to the foreshore for this massive and occasionally messy street party – but there’s more to the festival than ending up sunburnt and in a gutter. First held in 1980, St Kilda Festival began as one of music and boozing – now, it’s nine days, and don’t expect to stagger down the Esplanade with your esky. The festival precinct is a dry-zone – so St Kilda’s abundance of bars become mini-festival sites. Events culminate in Festival Day on the final Sunday, as closed streets become a sea of punters. Expect more music than you can shake your rump at, with around 60 acts – plus a carnival atmosphere and roaming family entertainment. Headliners include the Juggernaut DJs, Bluejuice and Thelma Plum.