Festival Info

About

Fremantle Festival is a celebration of Fremantle, its people and culture. The boutique ten-day Festival presents high quality and thought-provoking ticketed and free shows with a diverse program of music, comedy, fashion, performance, visual art and talks.

Ticketing

Buy online @ fremantlefestival.com.au/schedule, or visit the Fremantle Festival box office in Kings Square (during the Festival) or Mills Records to book tickets to all Fremantle Festival shows.

Festival Hub

Your home away from home during Fremantle Festival is the Festival Local, brought to you by our friends at South Fremantle’s own Local Hotel and based in Kings Square between key venues.  Wend your way between events from the packed out festival program and drop in at the Festival Local for a drink at the bar and a raft of local performers to acoustically serenade you.

Where to stay

From cheerful hostels and friendly B&Bs for the budget-conscious to luxury hotels, Fremantle has accommodation to suit every traveller. Plan your perfect festival stay at one of Fremantle’s hotels.

Explore Fremantle

While you’re feasting your eyes and ears on the massive Festival program, why not linger in Fremantle to eat, drink, shop and explore this historic port city. Find out what’s on at Fremantle Story.

Accessibility

This information is available in alternative formats on request.

Accessibility varies, please check wheelchair access with venues directly.

Connect with us

www.fremantlefestival.com.au/contact

#freofestival

@fremantlefestival

@freofestivals

Sponsors

Message from the Mayor

For the past 111 years, Fremantle Festival has brought our community together for celebration, conversation and connection. Fremantle Festival 2017 invites locals and visitors to experience some of Australia’s best music, fashion, dance, visual art, comedy and talks. With over 60 free and ticketed events across ten days, this year’s Festival will fill the streets and venues of the city with bustling crowds, ambitious art installations and colourful performances: all the hallmarks of Fremantle’s optimism, insight, drive and creativity.

We have a stunning opening night with: Wardarnji, a celebration of indigenous dance, song and stories presented on the beautiful South Lawn at Fremantle Arts Centre; Justin Townes Earle (USA) with support from Joshua Hedley (USA) and Ruby Boots (WA) in the Fremantle Town Hall; an incredible showcase of West Australian female singer songwriters including Rabbit Island and Stella Donnelly in St John’s Anglican Church; and the Fremantle Fashion Collective presents its spring runway show against the bare-boned chic of PS Art Space.

Fremantle’s inaugural biennale High Tide transforms the historic West End into a fascinating visual and experiential trove of artwork, sculpture and installations. In High Tide local and international artists respond to our amazing city. Galleries, streetscapes and building façades will overflow with colour and sound, creating an intriguing arts destination to explore and revisit. Watch as works, talks and performances unfold throughout the biennale. Keep an eye out for Felice Varini’s (FRA/SWI) work Arcs d’Éllipses which will extend over 800 metres along High Street during the Festival.

The State Collection is a truly Freo celebration of art and community with an exhibition and auction of original works by you – our community. Take this opportunity to get involved in one of our most accessible exhibitions for a great cause.

The Great Fremantle Race on the last day of the Festival will be an amazing street spectacle that will see shopping carts filled with groceries, decorated and raced for charity. The festivities will come to a close with a free gig in Kings Square with high-energy reggae band Crucial Rockers (AU).

Fremantle Festival is an important celebration of everything that makes Freo, Freo; a time to fly the flag for everything artistic, lively, original, shared and diverse. I hope everyone enjoys Fremantle Festival 2017.

Dr Brad Pettitt

Fremantle Mayor

Festival Essay

by Joan London

We came to live in Fremantle in 1976, having bought a battered old inner-city terrace house, cheap by today’s standards, but for which we had to borrow the deposit. Built in 1884, damp ran down the walls. Today, all these years later, renovations are still going on: perhaps this house will never be completely tamed or finished. In this state of perpetual patching and fixing, perpetual vision for the future, our children grew up.

We were all very happy living there. Over the road was an old Italian couple, Connie and Sam, always on their porch, keeping an eye on the street. They called out to our visitors if we weren’t home: ‘They’ve gone to visit her parents.’ (How did they know?) They would also inform us about those we had missed: ‘Your friend came by, the one with red hair.’

Next door to Connie and Sam was a boarding house of single men, drinkers, on pensions, who also kept an eye out for us. One of them, Dudley, left little presents on our doorstep for the children, a doll, a mouth organ, something he had found. After a big night at the Buffalo Club when pension cheques had arrived, the men were all a little sheepish in their greeting to us the next day.

Just up the road on South Terrace was Interfoods, where we could buy bread, vegetables, salami, milk, cheese. There were other Italian shops like Lango’s and cafes like Papa Luigis and restaurants, the Capri and, around the corner, the Roma. In the large backyard of the house next door, fisherman made cane cray pots, singing, calling out around braziers with crackling flames.

And then there was the big day every year when Sicily came to Fremantle, the Blessing of the Fleet, beginning at 8.00am with loud canon shots, driving our dog into the shower recess for shelter from the painful noise. With the children we ran to watch the parade of women in black, praying and the little girls dressed as brides.

There was a sense of ritual, customs, generosity of spirit. We had grown up in the suburbs. To live in Fremantle felt like inhabiting another country. It was looser, freer, more cosmopolitan: it satisfied a longing for elsewhere, for colour and life. It was a refuge.   A wave of other people of our age had also come to live here. There was an understanding amongst us, an enthusiasm, a commitment to this town. In spite of the attempt to preserve the buildings of the past, there was a sense of a new beginning.