Starry nights set stage for further flicks

The IMB Sunset Cinema has been one of the biggest hits of Wollongong's summer, but the outdoor movie season is far from over.

The program ends on February 15, but another cinema will pop up in the botanic garden soon after. The touring Flix In The Stix festival makes its first visit to Wollongong on March 7, bringing film and music to Gleniffer Brae.

"We're always looking at new venues, and we've been looking to expand to Wollongong for a while," said event director Simon Rollin.

Flix In The Stix began in 2009, before becoming a touring entity in 2010. Mr Rollin, who also manages the Sunset Cinema, said a selection of short films would screen through the night, with live entertainment from Eskimo Joe and musical comedy act The Axis of Awesome.

"The event is for people who enjoy having experiences outdoors and, with the success of the Sunset Cinema, it's a good time to come," Mr Rollin said.

Local bands at each tour stop can enter an online competition to play as part of the night's entertainment. Winning bands have their performances filmed, with a further chance to win a $5000 prize.

Kane Dennelly's band 19-Twenty currently leads local voting. He said it was a rare chance for music to be held in the garden.

"It would be great to play on a big outdoor stage with those acts," he said.

"I've always wanted to play there. I think that area should be used more for music."

The garden has hosted live music before, albeit amidst controversy. After the 2008 Union of Soul concert with John Butler Trio and Gotye, the promoter lodged applications to host two concerts per year in the garden.

However, noise complaints from nearby residents saw the idea fizzle and disappear.

Mr Rollin said noise had been taken into account, and organisers were working with the council to ensure minimum disruption to residents. The event would be finished by 11pm and there would be live music for only an hour or so.

To enter or vote, see www.flixinthestix.com.au.

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