Freo's View


Posted in art, city of fremantle, festivals, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on March 13, 2020



My favourite Freo festival over the Easter long weekend has now also been cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus. These are sad and worrying times, so stay safe everyone and look after yourself and each other!

The City of Fremantle has today made the decision to cancel the 2020 Fremantle International Street Arts Festival amid growing public health concerns about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

 The decision has been made following advice from the Federal Government and leading health experts to cancel mass gatherings to try and contain the virus.

City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the City’s priority is to protect the health and safety of artists, audiences, contractors and the community.

“We need to put the safety of our community first, so this year’s Fremantle International Street Arts Festival will not go ahead. This is following advice from the Federal Government to avoid mass gatherings at this time.

“We rely on an incredible team of artists, staff and sponsors who bring the Festival to life each year and we’ll be working with them to ensure they are supported. Where possible, artists will be invited to take part in the 2021 event,” said City of Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

The Fremantle International Street Arts Festival will return with all of its colour and energy over the Easter long weekend in April 2021.

Roel Loopers





Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt writes on his blog that the Highway to Hell event, where the entire Canning Highway was closed off to traffic from 4pm to late at night on Sunday, shows what potential there would be for place making if Perth was not such a car dependent city.

It was indeed fantastic to see thousands of people walking and cycling along Canning Highway, and I fondly remember the car free Sundays we had in Germany during the global oil crisis, where Autobahns became cycle ways and events were organised. Yes, those good old days, hey!

Closing parts of the city is always going to be a challenge and will receive criticism and praise, as it will inconvenience those who live and work there, and it requires a lot of, not very forthcoming, flexibility from the Public Transport Authority.

There are still Fremantle people who would like to see the High Street mall reopened to  traffic, and presumably also let cars run through the centre of Kings Square at the High Street reserve.

We had car free trials on the Cappuccino Strip on Sundays, but according to the City of Fremantle traders in the CBD did not support that. The trials were in my opinion not that good though, as they did not engage in real place making, and instead created a huge alfresco area for the traders on the strip, and the ugliness of far too much pine used, to make those alfresco spaces.

The Highway to Hell was a great creative, big thinking, idea that worked really well, but there are plenty of people who complain about it. A world where we all agree is as utopian as a car free world.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, culture, festivals, music, Uncategorized by freoview on March 1, 2020


A huge crowd turned up at the Fremantle Rainbow container artwork for the Perth Festival Highway to Hell event that stretched all the way to Applecross. The entire Canning Highway was closed for traffic for the event.

Many turned up already at 4.30 and it was a long wait until the first truck arrived at 7.30 with very little entertainment before that, which was disappointing.

Roel Loopers

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Posted in city of fremantle, concerts, festivals, local government, music, Uncategorized by freoview on February 13, 2020


I love the big music festivals in Fremantle. There is a real buzz around town when thousands of young people dressed to a T- and many barely dressed-walk to the venues, but what, besides giving Fremantle the reputation of festival city, do these festivals do for the Freo community?

From my own observation most patrons arrive in Freo and walk straight to the venue from the train station or bus stops, or get dropped off by family or friends, or taxis and Uber, so they don’t wander around our city and frequent cafes.

Even when pass-outs are permitted there is little reason to leave the venues, where there are bars and foodtrucks, and inner city Freo has none of the popular food franchises, so why should festival visitors bother to leave the great ambience of the festival. Being part of a big singalong crowd of 15,000 people, all with the one focus of having a great day out listening to great music, brings and almost intimate sense of belonging, so why pop out to buy food and drinks elsewhere?

So how much really does Fremantle benefit from these festivals, how much does the City of Fremantle charge festival organisers for the use of Fremantle Oval, the Esplanade, and Fremantle Park? What are the financial benefits for a city with a small ratepayers base, that is struggling to find funding for the repairs of Arthur’s Head, the Roundhouse and other projects?

According to the CoF they got $ 1,840 per day, per sector, plus additional payment for the use of carparks, but I don’t know how much that is, plus there is a bond required for the ground restoration.

I assume the per day fee includes the many days for setting up and dismantling events.

The City told me the arrangements with the festival organisers are subject to a commercial agreement, and that the city gets dividend from these large events. If that dividend is high enough is the question I am asking myself.

I wonder why the City of Fremantle does not demand a percentage from the ticket sales, as is the case in some other states, when the organisers make a lot of money. For example the Falls Festival at Fremantle Oval reportedly had 37,000 patrons over the two days, with an average ticket price of $ 150, and that totals well over five million dollars, plus they get a percentage of the sale from the very busy food stalls.

I assume the St Jerome Laneway Festival had well over 10,000 patrons as well, and the average ticket price there was also $ 150, while the Cold Chisel New Year’s concert at Fremantle Park charged an average of $ 160.

That’s big money, and Fremantle needs some of it badly, so maybe financially better deals for the City should be considered by Fremantle Council? What do you think?

Roel Loopers





I am disappointed that my friends at the Fremantle Herald make the totally unsubstantiated claim on their front page today that only 1,000 people attended the One Day in Fremantle event at Bathers Beach last Saturday. Where did they get the figures from? Who did the foot traffic counting?

I was at the event four times, starting with the Smoking Ceremony at 8am, which attracted around 500 people, and during the day there was a constant stream of people coming and going. It was a great day from 8am till sunset, where people really connected, and that’s what it is all about!

The Chook is keen to quote the Liberal MP for Tagney Ben Morton, who constantly bleats on about Australia Day in large advertisements in the Fremantle Herald, so maybe the front page article is just a quid pro quo to keep an advertiser happy?

By the way, on the four occasions I was at the One Day event, and stayed for considerable time, I never noticed anyone from the Chook. They even used a City of Fremantle photo to support their front page nonsense, because they could not be bothered to attend the Smoking Ceremony.

Roel Loopers





Fremantle’s alternative Australia Day event ONE DAY in Fremantle will be significantly different this year and much more low key than the previous expensive concerts on the Esplanade.

One Day will be celebrated on Saturday, January 25 at Bathers Beach, with focus on Aboriginal culture, music and food, and will be showcasing young and emerging talent.

It will start with a smoking ceremony at 8am behind Kidogo Arthouse and finish with the burning of six Balga trees on the beach at sunset.

While the City says the changes were made because it did not want the event to become stale, and I agree, there had been a disconnect between the smoking ceremony in the morning and the concert late in the afternoon, there is little doubt that the changes are also made because the concerts became too expensive and did not attract the big audiences the very first concert with John Butler did.

It is questionable though that the day is no longer about cultural diversity  and will instead become another Aboriginal festival, similar to the Australia Day Survival Concert in Perth, when Fremantle already has the annual Wardarnji Aboriginal Festival during the Fremantle Festival.

I believe One Day needs to be all about Fremantle’s and Australia’s great multiculturalism and should not just be about our First Nation people and their culture, no matter how much I love and respect Aboriginal people. The cancellation of Australia Day celebrations, out of respect for Aboriginal concerns, received huge criticism when it was initiated four years ago, and this change is not the right way forward toward reconciliation, in my opinion. Changes were needed, Fremantle Councillors, but not these ones.

Roel Loopers



Posted in cars, city of fremantle, festivals, Fremantle Biennale, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on November 23, 2019



One of the final events of the Undercurrent Fremantle Biennale 2019 was a tour of red-coloured cars through the streets of Fremantle on Saturday at lunch time.

They gathered at the Beach Street carpark where I took these photos.

The Biennale ends with a party on the deck of the Maritime Museum this Sunday from 5pm. See you there!

Roel Loopers


Posted in beer, beer festival, city of fremantle, festivals, local government, toilets, Uncategorized by freoview on November 10, 2019


beer 1

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Festivals bring a lot of people into Fremantle and that is a good thing, but what is not good is that the Esplanade public toilets are not available to the general public during the Beer Festival this weekend.

There are no public toilets in the Fishing Boat Harbour, only those a long walk south from Little Creatures near the carpark, and who knows about those?  Nor are there public toilets at Bathers Beach, so the next public toilets are inside the Fremantle Markets and at Kings Square. That is not good enough City of Fremantle!

Roel Loopers


Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, festivals, Fremantle Biennale, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on November 3, 2019







This evening from 7.30pm onward is your last chance to see the magic light and smoke Water Licht show by Daan Roosegaarde, which is part of the Undercurrent Fremantle Biennale at the Esplanade.

There were thousands of people watching it on Saturday mesmerised by the serene beauty of it, so don’t miss it!

Roel Loopers



Posted in art, city of fremantle, culture, festivals, Fremantle Biennale, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on November 1, 2019




The FREMANTLE BIENNALE UNDERCURRENT starts this evening with an amazing show on the Esplanade from 7.15pm. The show is only on this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so don’t miss it!

Water Licht (Water Light) by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde is a call to action on climate change and raising awareness about rising sea levels.

As a virtual flood, Waterlicht visualizes what level the water could reach if it wasn’t for human intervention. The immersive light installation creates a collective experience to share the importance of water innovation and raise awareness around rising water levels.


Check out all the Biennale events and exhibitions on the Facebook page and website.

Roel Loopers



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