Victoria’s Arts Minister Martin Foley has slammed Port Phillip Council’s decision to shut a section of St Kilda Beach for more than a fortnight in order to host a one-day music festival.
The beach and most of the adjacent Catani Gardens were closed off for the Listen Out dance music festival on September 18 but are only set to reopen today.
Foley said the action by the council showed “a callous disregard” for residents and visitors to the area.
“Fifteen days to set up and pack up for a one-day festival? This reflects a council that can’t manage the balance between community needs and cultural opportunities,” he told The Age.
Around 30,000 people were estimated at the event headlined by Australian artist Flume and American DJ and record producer Diplo.
Mayor Dick Gross said the extended closured were necessary due to the event’s increased size. He also pointed out that there was “a whiff of hypocrisy in the air” given the disruption caused by other major events such as the Grand Prix which closed parts of Albert Park “for months on end”.