The new and first issue of the Fremantle Story magazine is a nice addition and source of information to the tourist industry. It has some nice promo stories, an events calendar and a voucher section with specials to take advantage off, so well done to the City of Fremantle marketing department!
But since I am an obnoxious opinionated fella I allow myself one tiny criticism and that is the claim in the magazine that “No other city has taken advantage of this gastronomic explosion as much as food-obsessed Fremantle.” That is bollocks, even compared to our next door neighbour Perth that has got some of the most outstanding restaurants, bars and cafes in the country, so we should not be boasting about something that is not true.
I am looking forward to the next issue. I believe there are going to be four each year and for each season.
The announcement by Sunset Events that the 2016 Blues&Roots Festival will be scrapped and that they will relaunch the event at the Fremantle Esplanade in 2017 as the Blues, Roots and Beyond raises serious questions about the management of the embattled Esplanade Reserve that has to cope with far too many events.
The B&R attracts between 12,000 and 16,000 visitors and Director David Chittey told the media they want to boost these numbers by having gigs in other venues throughout the port city “To bring the heart of Freo alive.”
This would be achieved by allowing pass outs and supplying ticket holders with wrist bands that will give them access to the other venues as well as the Esplanade. One can assume at least two of these other venues will be Sunset Events managed J Shed at Arthur Head and the Drillhall(former Fly by Night).
Fremantle Council has identified that the Esplanade is over used for events in the summer months, so which events will be forced to go somewhere else to make way for the B, R and B?
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt sounds all excited saying that moving the festival to the Esplanade Reserve with create a stronger connection with the city, but inner city activities need to be better managed to not inconvenience residents and businesses in the area unfairly compared to those in other parts of town.
Sunset Events will already organise concerts that will attracts 12,000 paying customers yearly to J Shed, if the WA Planning Commission gives the go ahead for that next week, so they are going to make a shitload of money in the historic precinct without paying much rent and without having to upgrade the J Shed and build a proper venue with toilets, kitchen, etc. They also hold the Jerome Laneway Festival on the Esplanade each year. So far they have not started on their commitment to invest some $ 3 million on restoring the heritage Drillhall they are renting from the National Trust, so their investment in Fremantle is nil while they are reaping all the benefits and make serious money.
It is time for the Esplanade Masterplan to set a proper management structure for events and limit them, because the grass surface can’t cope and has just cost the City of Fremantle’s ratepayers $ 100,000.00.