I am not sure what the Beneath Your Feet-Above Your Head window display at MANY 6100 at Kings Square in Fremantle means, or what has changed there, but I am sure there will be a few disgruntled people again when they realise the rooftop bar will re-open as The Mark, with live music, etc.
Recently the City of Fremantle also offered discounted rent for the Queensgate building, which must be an indication that development at Kings Square is a very long way away still, if it happens at all.
The WORLD MATCH RACING TOUR event runs at Fremantle’s Bathers Bay from March 2-7 so make sure to head out to gorgeous Bathers Beach to watch the races just off shore from there. Also good vantage points up on Arthur Head near the historic Roundhouse.
9.30 am is the fleet launch on March 2, 3 and 4 and the quarter finals are from 10 am on Saturday, semi finals from 10 am on Sunday and the finals from 12 pm on Monday the 7th.
I am delighted for the organisers and even more so for food the food stall operators that it is much, much busier at the Fremantle Seafood Festival today.
It is less hot but still quite humid but there are thousands of people around the Bathers Beach festival area, as these photos taken around midday at the Fishing Boat Harbour show.
The Fremantle SEAFOOD FESTIVAL is on all weekend so don’t miss it and head to Bathers Beach and the Fishing Boat Harbour today.
The heat kept the visitors’ numbers down a bit yesterday but there was a lot of interesting seafood for sale and to sample. Spanish mussels, lobster, tiger prawns, sardines in small bread rolls, seafood paella and prawn curry, freshly shucked oysters and whole lot more.
There is a lot of parking at Victoria Quay just a ten-minute stroll to the festival.
There is another backpackers hostel in Fremantle in the Orient Hotel on the corner of Henry and High streets. The Fremantle Beach Backpackers is only a five-minute-walk from gorgeous Bathers Beach, so a pretty good location.
This is the 7th backpackers in our city, if I haven’t overlooked one, so now it’s time to get a few more upmarket tourist accommodation venues as well. The 4 star Quest short-stay hotel in Pakenham Street is progressing well so will probably open later this year.
While this Friday the first big 1,000 patrons Missy Higgins concert was held at J Shed, it is time for the City of Fremantle to revisit the concept of the Bathers Beach Art Precinct as it is inadequately managed by the Community Development Department and is a disaster in waiting.
Sunset Events has so far not helped to revitalise the area and the number 1 studio at J Shed is a junk yard for most of the week. The Sunday BBQ sessions lack atmosphere and there are no food vans, as was promised, but just a single food operator. It has not attracted many people at all because of that.
The promised art theme for the project also has not eventuated, so who at the COF is responsible for checking that operators actually implement what they promise to do after they sign a contract with the City?
What we now have is a vacant shed for 5-6 days a week, pretty bland and uninspiring Sunday afternoon sessions, and the occasional Friday night concert. That is not enough to help activate that part of Fremantle.
Getting new tenants for the number 4 studio has become a farce with the preferred tenants only being offered a 1+1 year license by the City of Fremantle. That is ridiculous and shows the Department does not know much about running a business. A new small business needs a long time to establish and will unlikely make a profit in the first two years, so why would the artists put their hard-earned money into a business when the licence is just two years? And why discriminate against them when other tenants at the BBAP have 3+3 year licenses with the City?
BBAP does not work because of inconsistent decisions and it has done little to activate the area. Imagine the Roundhouse volunteers being told they had to activate a tiny room in their offices while they are the only ones actually activating Arthur Head with over 110,000 visitors a year, but it is o.k. for an artist just metres away to only open her studio to the public for a few hours on Sunday afternoon.
The Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre has also done little to attract larger crowds and does not even offer an indigenous music/dance experience for the thousands of cruise ship passengers. Instead they now share the centre with an Aborginal health service that is unlikely to attract large numbers to the cottage. When I suggested to a City manager last year to do music/dance events he told me the artists had to be paid without COF knowing how many people would attend. Welcome to the real world of running a business where one has to take financial risks to grow!
To top it all off Sunset Events has appropriated the J Shed name for its own events business without considering that J Shed was already a well-established arts venue with artists such as Greg James and Jenny Dawson operating from it for twenty years. That’s pretty inconsiderate.
Last but not least I would like to know if the organisers were allowed by Fremantle Ports to fence off part of Fleet Street for the food vans and portaloos last night, and if City of Fremantle Councillors and staff received free tickets for the Missy Higgings concert.
Sunset light hitting the Fremantle Maritime Museum yesterday while I was checking out the first of 12 big concerts at J Shed. Photo taken from the gun deck behind the historic Roundhouse.