First celebrated by Italian migrant fishermen in 1948, the Blessing of the Fleet is our celebration of fishing traditions and the wider Fremantle community. Enjoy the beauty, history and pageantry of this event as it makes its way from St Patrick’s Basilica to the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, where it culminates in a spectacular traditional fireworks display at 8pm. Bask in a delectable array of Italian food and culture at Little Italy by the Sea at Freamntle Fishing Boat Harbour and Bathers Beach after the procession and join us in celebrating our heritage and culture. St Patrick’s Basillica – Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour
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Fly your family down to Samson Park for this year’s Children’s Fiesta! Flutter your way through a day of ornithological offerings that celebrate the birds that call the park home. Let your imagination take flight as you become a life-size bird and join the Make-Believe Bird Parade! Bring your eagle eyes to the twitching stations to spot birds both real and imagined! For children under 12 and their adults. On the Main Stage: 10 am - Circus WA 11 am - Sliders Youth Circus 12 noon - Cubbi House 1 pm - The Leaping Lillies Listen to great stories with Olman Walley, participate in an official MBBSoT (Make-Believe Bird Society of Twitchers) Bird Watching Tour and create your very own bird before joining the Make-Believe Bird Parade departing from the Main Stage.
Ten days of festival fun climaxes in the much-loved Street Parade! A kaleidoscope of colour and movement will make its way along South Terrace and through the city centre to Kings Square, where a dance party will be the grand finale of the festival. Come along early to add your artistic flair to the chalk drawings that line the parade route before schools and community groups pass by in a celebration of all things Freo. This year the parade will make its way down High Street, South Terrace and Henderson Street to Kings Square. Streets close: 2pmParade starts: 4pm
A celebration of Freo and Perth’s finest food truck eats in the heart of Fremantle. Following its spectacular debut at last year’s Festival, we’re delighted to bring you another Freo food truck muster, chock full of locally created street food from around the world. There will be plenty of seating available in our public dining areas, cosily nestled amongst the shady trees for you to relax and enjoy your treats.
Okay, so you’ve booked your tickets to the big names at this year’s festival, the likes of Bernard Fanning, Waleed Aly or Dan Sultan but in true Freo style you only need to scratch the surface and there’s way more to discover. Fremantle Festival is moving to be a fully curated arts festival where all shows are selected to resonate with this place. In some cases the Fremantle Festival is the only place you can catch these quirky and unique performances. With that in mind we’ve found five hidden gems at stunning Fremantle venues that we think you need to see... The Secret in the Wings | 26 October–29 October Funny, fierce and fantastical, The Secret in the Wings is filled with stories of love, cruelty and transformation. Fusing drama, puppetry and live music into a highly visual performance framed by the classic story Beauty and the Beast, this visually-intriguing performance explores the most profound lesson of fairy tales: that you must love a thing before it is lovable. Race Against Time | Sunday 30 October Race Against Time presents the poignant times and moving music of a little known Great War soldier composer: Australian Frederick Septimus Kelly. A gold medal Olympian rower, awarded soldier, renowned pianist and brilliant composer–this performance will tell the story of how Kelly persisted with his composing before meeting his demise on the Somme. Letters and diaries sensitively woven with the sublime music Kelly composed at war will be presented at the Fremantle Town Hall at this Western Australian exclusive event. Songs, Travel and Journeys | Sunday 30 October Mezzo Soprano Linda Barcan and pianist Chris van Tuinen interlock poetry and music in a deeply moving song cycle of discovery, loss and redemption. Beautifully backgrounded by the resonant acoustics of St John’s Anglican Church, Songs, Travels and Journeys is a suite of classical music fit for a port town. Songs of the Suburbs, Songs of the Sea | Wednesday 2 November Kav Temperley (Eskimo Joe) fetches together some of Perth and Fremantle’s most distinguished tunesmiths and storytellers – amongst them MC Empty, the succulent Lucy Peach and legend Steve Parkin – for a profound and intimate night that weaves our streets, landscapes and lives together in a revealing musical portrait of a city. Mbira Masters of Zimbabwe | Friday 4 November Garikayi Tirikoti is a renowned master and innovator of the Zimbabwean thumb piano, the 'mbira'. Born into a family of traditional Shona healers in Zimbabwe, he began learning at a young age the cultural significance and application of the mbira through participating in all night 'bira' ceremonies with his elders. You can see Garikayi and his son Reason at the beautiful St John’s Anglican Church. Fremantle Festival is on from 28 October through to 6 November. View a full program here.
NO ZU are an 8-piece, body-music extravaganza dug up from deep within the Melbourne underground dance world. Fantastic group vocals, wild horns, housey synths, deep groove basslines and Latin percussion are the ingredients that make up their acclaimed and art-damaged sound.Join them in closing out the festival with an all-in dance party in Kings Square following the Fremantle Festival Street Parade.
Singer-songwriter Taasha Coates is best known as the voice of ARIA Award winning folk-rock darlings The Audreys. The well-loved performer has found a new voice through her solo material. Her new songs are more personal and see her flirt more obviously with alt-country, swinging between the saucy and the sad. Coates performs with her new band Her Melancholy Sweethearts.
The State Collection is a truly unique celebration of art and community – an exhibition of original artworks by the West Australian public. THE ART IS IN YOUR HANDS: Like to draw, sketch or paint? We invite you to submit an artwork to feature in this unique exhibition, exploring West Australian identity, landscape and our distinct sense of place – in whatever way you imagine it. All works are to be submitted on white A4 paper and be unsigned, as artworks will remain anonymous. Entrants must be 15+. Works can be submitted via the State Collection deposit boxes at PS Art Space and the Moores Building, or at reception of the Fremantle Arts Centre and Fremantle Town Hall Centre. Alternatively, works can be posted to: The State Collection, PO Box 807, Fremantle, WA, 6959. Entry period: Monday, September 12 to COB Friday, October 28. (Extended - Wednesday 2 November at 5pm) EXHIBITION OPENING PARTY: The exhibition is free and open to all, and will also feature anonymous works from some of WA’s most acclaimed and collectable artists. In the community spirit of the event, the exhibition will culminate in a lively art market. All artworks will go on-sale for $20 from 8pm, with proceeds going to the Community Arts Network – bettering the lives of West Australians through arts projects in vulnerable communities. Visit the PS Art Space Facebook page for all the latest. Doors open: 6pmSale starts: 8pm
Kicking off Fremantle Festival this year, Wardarnji is a dynamic and unique celebration of Indigenous Australian culture you won't experience anywhere else in Perth. Appreciate our place together through Nyoongar song, dance and storytelling as the fires burn into the evening. Bring your picnic rugs and chairs and get a good spot on the South Lawn to celebrate some of the oldest songs, dances and language in the world. Doors open: 5.30pmShow starts: 6.30pm