Freo's View


Posted in bathers beach art precinct, culture, Uncategorized by freoview on July 22, 2017



It very rarely happens, but I am in a really shitty grumpy old man mood today, so take my comments about the lacklustre KRAKEN festival at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach with the grain of salt they deserve.

There were quite a few people around and no doubt the pirate ship and some other bits are fun for kids, but for me it was all a bit unresolved, undefined hippy shit that needs a wee bit of maturity and class and a real concept.

The thing I liked best that there was finally something happening on the grassed area next to the Roundhouse. It supports the Captain’s Lane artists, such as underwater photographer Glen Cowans, and it was no surprise the insipid Walyalup Centre did not bother to open

No doubt most people will come at sunset for the burning of the Kraken pine boat, and no doubt that is really good for the environment, and very Freo.

I warned you that I am in a shit mood, so comments calling me a dickhead are welcome! ; >(

Roel Loopers

10 Responses

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  1. Damian Brennan said, on July 24, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Roel – massive thank you for your honest feedback – I have no doubt the Kraken crew will take your comments on board to make it a bigger and better event next year. I was helping out at Camp Shit Gift and could not have had a more fun day. We make a lot of kids and grown ups very happy handing out some absolute crap gifts and no alcohol wine with cheese – which I am shocked to say was all very popular. So much Fremantle! I’d have to say that its a pity you didn’t get down to the bottom of the wall to see all the cool stuff going on there – art pieces, live performances, fire twirling and typical hippie shenanigans. I don’t think having things spread out along the entire foreshore made it easy to get a feel for the spirit of Blazing Swan but I think most people who stayed for the burn and wandered about got a fair taste of what Blazing Swan is about. Diverse, fun and a bit chaotic. After getting my beard glittered I saw an asian woman do a quick U turn rather than walk past me. Winning!

  2. freoview said, on July 24, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Looking forward to next year and hopefully I’ll be in a much better mood and more open-minded on the day. ; >)


  3. John Mack said, on July 23, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Thanks Roel, and Glenn in particular. It was a first-time event for the organizers here in Fremantle, although they’ve done bigger things elsewhere. Next year you might find it a little more ‘defined and taut’ – but I don’t hold out much hope for ‘classy’. It’s a bit of fun, a bit of theatre, and – yes – a bit of a chance for ‘the hippies’ to make a statement about what they stand for these days. Glenn’s comments are valuable… I was up on the grassed area next to the Round House where I gave away over 300 childrens books out of the 500 or so I brought up with me from Albany. There were a lot of happy children and families up there sharing in the event, and I’m glad that the action spilled over into your Gallery and that of David Giles – and that visitors to your galleries also came over to have a look at us. I was a bit dubious about doing the books again next year on that grassed area, given that the crowds down on the beach were larger. But now I’m hooked on the idea of ‘being up on top’ and I look forward building a strong relationship with the people and galleries of Captain’s Lane.

    Just a final word. I am always mindful when I give away free books that there are many very hard working booksellers who aren’t making a great living doing what they love, and we love them for ‘sticking at it’. So I keep our big ‘free book’ efforts for country areas a long way from anyone trying to make a living out of selling books. But my thinking here with the free childrens books at the Kraken Event in Fremantle was this… Every child who is encouraged to read books, or to read more books, is going to give a lifetime’s patronage to those book stores and book sellers. So all up, I think we did ok.

  4. freoview said, on July 23, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Me neither, Steve. ; >)


  5. freoview said, on July 23, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Good question Paul, to which I don’t have an answer but for the fact that I don’t look forward to growing any older than I am.


  6. freoishome said, on July 23, 2017 at 9:46 am


    Why are you feeling grumpy? What is making you sad?


  7. Steve said, on July 23, 2017 at 9:36 am

    The best part was the lack of naysayers and typical freo massive whingers. Not sure why you didn’t enjoy it Roel but I thought it was very freo.

  8. Glen said, on July 23, 2017 at 9:11 am

    I did not get a chance to check out down at Bathers Beach or J Shed personally, except by a quick look out over the cliff face. By the afternoon it was all pumping, even up on the grass was more people than I have seen up there with maybe the exception of the fireworks, even then I am not sure if the fireworks did beat it for numbers, and especially for the afternoon, not late in the evening.

    The only thing that dampened it was the rain burst around 4:30pm, but even after that was over it bounced back.
    We even had people and sales coming through the gallery after 7pm.

    So I kind of don’t agree Roel, From an arts business perspective, for me, it was a huge hit. Massive even.
    For a winters day it was more people through my gallery than I have ever had on a mid July day.

    So for me, a BIG THANKS to all those who organised it, who participated and who came along.

    I have been saying for 9 years to include events up here on the grass and include along the laneway, and now I have seen that it works wonderfully.

    My biggest let down, the fact that the studio next to me was not open, is never open and has no requirement to ever be open to the public, it is purely for artists in residence. That is not going to activate anything and is a BIG mistake in my opinion, it was only David Giles studio and my own holding the fort.

    That and the indigenous centre not being open.

    These were the let downs that should not have happened, not the Kraken Event, I found that wonderful. Loved the Kraken theme too.

    So I can accept half your grump ;-)))

  9. Suzanne said, on July 23, 2017 at 5:28 am


  10. Rob Fittock said, on July 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    if the invite is there then you are a grumpy mature dickhead mate….the folks who put it together should take your comments with a grain of salt because they put a lot of time and effort + $$ into something they believed was worth while….having said that it’s probably a bit pointless for me to comment from Porec in Croatia but the photos you posted look interesting

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