Back for its 36th year, the St Kilda Festival is expected to attract 400,000 people to the bay this Sunday.

The entirely free program features nearly 80 live acts across 10 stages, along with market stalls, carnival rides, workshops and activities.

The big drawcard is, of course, the free live music. If you’re keen to dance and haven’t forked out to see Client Liaison, Hayden James or Broadway Sounds before – tick those off your list. Adelaide outfit Bad//Dreems will get pretty chaotic (in a good way), and local songwriter Fraser A. Gorman is worth a look-in in the late afternoon.

“We put the call out for a couple to get married at the festival, so we’re going to hold a public wedding ceremony at 1.45pm on the main stage, which is super exciting!” says festival director, Adele Denison.

By night time, Fitzroy Street will be lined with thousands of lit-up hearts. “We’ll be giving out little red heart-shaped lights that people can write on the back of and hang along nets down Fitzroy Street,” says Denison.

It’ll be pedestrians only on St Kilda’s main streets, so do not even attempt to drive in. You’ve been warned. Take tram routes 96 or 12 from the CBD and 16 from Kew.

Most businesses will trade late into the night with tables and chairs spiling onto Fitzroy Street and Acland Street.

“We’ve got a lot of markets and food trucks, but you can’t go past the St Kilda regular restaurants – they’ll all put on something special for the day,” Denison says.

You can get the day started nice and early to avoid the congestion in the late afternoon.

“Our beach volleyball will start at 8am, disco yoga from 9.30am and beach bocce and bubble soccer from 10am. There’s plenty to do all throughout the day so you don’t have to wait until the music starts at midday,” says Denison.

St Kilda Festival runs from 11am to 10pm at St Kilda Beach. Entry is free.

stkildafestival.com.au