MELBOURNE band The Cat Empire returns to the main stage after a seven-year absence to headline the 2013 St Kilda Festival.
The home-grown act will top the bill for Festival Sunday, the final day and main drawcard of the nine-day event, which is set to kick off on February 2.
Vocalist and trumpet player Harry James Angus said he was looking forward to the homecoming.
“I’ve been going to the St Kilda Festival since I was allowed to catch a tram,” Angus said.
“St Kilda Festival is very different to a lot of straight-out music festivals. Hundreds of thousands of people wander in and out and [as a musician] you can sneak up on the crowd a bit.
“We’ve had some memorable gigs at the festival over the years and we can’t wait to do it all again.”
Angus said the crowd could expect a range of new songs ahead of the band’s new album, due for release in the next few months.
“Parts of St Kilda will be closed to traffic while more than 60 bands play over five music stages.
Rounding out the line-up for the festival’s finale are While The City Sleeps, Peter Combe & The Quirky Berserkey Newspaper Mama Band, Oh Mercy, Pez, Ash Grunwald, Bluejuice and Midnight Juggernaut DJs.
Festival producer Adele Denison said the organisers had been “on cloud nine” since The Cat Empire confirmed its attendance.
“It’s very exciting times. The Cat Empire is one of the most popular acts to have played the festival,” Ms Denison said.
The future of Festival Sunday, which attracts up to 400,000 people, came under scrutiny in September after its $300,000 budget blow-out caused then-councillor Frank O’Connor to propose ditching the event.
It was estimated that 90 per cent of the $1 million cost of the festival is spent on the final day.