A festival for the modern man

It's time to man up and embrace your inner Steve.

Calling all Toms, Dicks and Harrys - and yes, even the odd Steve - to a Melbourne-based festival with a difference this weekend. A celebration of all the best bits about being a bloke of taste. It is - drumroll, please - the inaugural Festival of Steve.

Melbourne's members-only Kelvin Club will throw open its door to men of all names – including an over-representation of Steves, if Facebook sharing so far is any indication - in a bid to highlight the goods and services of an increasing number of Melbourne CBD traders who cater to men of discernment.

Highlights include:

  • Bespoke tailor Carl Navé will lead a team of suit tailors and shirt makers offering made-to-measure fittings.
  • New York-style boutique V&J Menswear will run styling sessions and provide etiquette and fashion tips.
  • Thom Grogan from Captains of Industry will debut a collection of shirts called Mr Phillips, drawn from untouched vintage stock found in the Phillips Shirts warehouse.
  • Shoemaking business Beggar Man Thief will display its collection of sturdy shoes and offer advice on shoe care.
  • Lord Coconut specialises in artisan men's jewellery and will display a wide range of contemparary pieces, from cufflinks to rings.
  • Online menswear store and blog Pugnacious George will share a wealth of "gentlemanly knowledge" and information on a wide range of men's topics.
  • Comedian Simon Taylor will perform, billiards professional Kelvin Small will show off his skills and conduct lessons, and Bar Americano head bartender Hayden Lambert will show off his cocktail-making skills and host a master class at $40 a head.

The festival has been organised by City Precinct, a group of 52 CBD-based businesses with a generous sprinkling of man-focused commerce.

Event manager Eleanor Laud says the festival is an opportunity for member businesses – many of whom are tucked away in Melbourne's laneways – to display their wares and services. "It's an opportunity to showcase some of the secrets of Melbourne," she says.

The festival's unusual name came out of a brainstorming session. "We were throwing a few things around and we decided that Steve is just this everyman type of modern gent," Laud says.

The Festival of Steve will be held at the Kelvin Club in Melbourne Place, Melbourne on Saturday from 11am to 6pm. Entry is free and all family members are welcome. More information at the Festival of Steve website.