Festival Info


Fremantle Festival returns this year with a series of events bringing people together in a celebration of community.

Immerse yourself in the colour and pageantry of the Blessing of the Fleet, discover the beauty of Australian Indigenous culture at Wardarnji or bring the family down to a blaze on the beach with the return of Kraken.

For the first time, the City of Fremantle presents Karla-k Koorling, Come to the Fire, inviting audiences to gather around many fires to enjoy intimate performances, including song, spoken word, puppetry and dance.

“As the sun sets over the ocean, the historic Fremantle Port will be illuminated in a mass celebration of our community. The event is inspired by the people of greater Fremantle who have shaped our festivals, whether they are participants, creatives or spectators,” said Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

“This is a taste of what’s to come, with the Fremantle Festival set to move to the depths of winter in 2019, with a ten-day immersive experience of wild art and hidden treasures.

“Intimate spaces, port history and cosy corners make Fremantle an ideal place for a winter festival. As our city continues to evolve, we thought it was time to offer the people of Fremantle and beyond something that’s unique.”

This year’s three-day festival format will pave the way for the transition to an expanded ten-day format in winter in 2019.

Now in its 113th year, Fremantle Festival is Australia’s longest running festival and continues to evolve as a celebration of one of the most unique cities in the world and its extraordinary community.


All Fremantle Festival 2018 events are free.

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.


This information is available in alternative formats on request.

Accessibility varies, please check wheelchair access with venues directly.

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2017 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.