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Events & Festivals

Fenians Fremantle and Freedom Festival 2018

Music lovers are in for a veritable feast throughout the ten days of the Fenians Fremantle and Freedom Festival. International acts and local artists will converge on our port city in a program put together by Fremantle’s own music legend, the double Grammy award-winning Lucky Oceans, and fellow musician Donough O’Donovan. Headliners Martin Hayes and Declan O’Rourke both accepted invitations to perform because of the historical importance of the event - celebrating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the last convict ship to Australia, the Hougoumont, carrying 62 Irish Fenians. Internationally renowned Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, one of the finest guitarists in traditional Irish music, are considered one of Irish music's most acclaimed duos of all time. Their adventurous, soulful interpretations of traditional tunes fittingly open the Festival at the John Curtin Auditorium on Friday 5 January. It’s a rare opportunity to hear traditional Irish music performed by masters of the genre. Aria award winner, songbird and folkloric explorer Kavisha Mazella returns home to support Hayes and Cahill in concert. Irish folk sensation Declan O’Rourke, will play songs from across his career in his two concert performances, including a selection from his latest album, ‘Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine’. He will pen a song in commemoration of the of the arrival of the military Fenians in 1868. There are plenty of quotes about Martin and Dennis for example:  "Martin Hayes is one of the best fiddlers on the planet. Dennis Cahill is a subtle guitar master. Put aside your notion of Irish music...and just listen." NPR. Declan is supported in his concert at the WA maritime Museum on 11 January by Fiona Rea whose songs are influenced by her Irish heritage and a lifelong love of music and its power to reach people. Rob Zielinski, supports Declan on 13 January at the John Curtin College of the Arts Theatre. Rob is a Perth based traditional Irish musician who will feature some lively jigs, reels, hornpipes, strathspeys and haunting slow airs. Singer Aminah Hughes returns home from Ireland to share with us a collection of enchanting songs, both new and old, written during her time there along with some of her favourite songs from the Emerald Isle.  Award winning poet and storyteller Jaya Penelope- a descendant of Fenian, James Kearney, transported to Fremantle in 1867 on board the Hougoumont joins Aminah in performance on 7 January at Kidogo Arthouse. The next day ‘The Last Convict Ship’, a selection of stories and songs by one of Perth’s leading experts on Australian Fenian history, renowned Irish musician Brendan Woods will be performed at the Hougoumont Hotel in Bannister Street. The Lucky Oceans and his Gaelic Gumbo Band will explore new creations mixing Irish and Louisiana sounds. Be the first to hear the world premiere of a band and repertoire made exclusively for the festival at Kidogo Arthouse on 12 January. Kidogo’s Kelp Bar will be running throughout the festival and will be home to spontaneous musical performances featuring Festival acts and local musicians. The closing event and street party ‘The Feast of The Wild Goose’ features entertainment by the Freo’s own Rogues, playing their very own brand of Pogues magic to celebrate the end of an incredible ten days of Irish music. Festival Program  

Fenians, Fremantle and Freedom Festival

 As you wander through Fremantle in early January, make sure you listen carefully. You’ll hear the sweet sounds of one of Ireland’s greatest fiddlers, Martin Hayes and the echo back from his musical confidante, American guitarist Dennis Cahill as they capture the essence of traditional Irish music in a contemporary rhythm to uplift your spirits. Focus again and you’ll pick up the enchanting, rich melodious voice of gifted, Irish singer and songwriter Declan O’Rourke. If you know something about the hidden treasure spots of the West End, you might uncover the textured language of one of Ireland’s best loved poets, Tony Curtis.  There’s clearly something significant happening in Fremantle, to draw such fabulous Irish talent here. Indeed, there is! It’s a ten-day Irish cultural immersion, the first of its kind, called Fenians, Fremantle & Freedom Festival, commemorating a journey made 150 years ago by 62 Irish political prisoners – the Fenians. The Fenians were young men, between 19 and 30, who grew up in Ireland in a time of starvation, death and forced evictions - the years of the great famine. Having exhausted all attempts to gain self-government through political means, they decided to fight for independence and they staged a rising. Their plot was uncovered, they were arrested, sentenced for treason, exiled from their homeland and transported to Western Australia.  After spending months in solitary confinement, it was a bitter-sweet relief when they boarded the very last convict ship to Australia, the Hougoumont, where they shared stories, organised concerts, wrote a newspaper called the Wild Goose, and looked out for each other. You might recognise the name Hougoumont, it’s that funky hotel in Bannister Street. There’s clearly something significant happening in Fremantle, to draw such fabulous Irish talent here. Indeed, there is! It’s a ten-day Irish cultural immersion, the first of its kind, called Fenians, Fremantle & Freedom Festival... They also dreamed of escape. The most famous of the Fenians, John Boyle O’Reilly did escape a year later, on an American whaler. He became the editor of a Boston newspaper and together with supporters in the US and Ireland, organised a crowd funding venture to purchase a whaler, the Catalpa, and rescue his mates from the bottom of the world, out of Fremantle Prison. It’s a big story and there’s a big festival to commemorate and celebrate it. As well as the concerts, there’ll be a family day at the Maritime Museum, art exhibitions, Irish film, literature workshops, remarkable stories and of course, the Guinness …plenty of it on tap at the Festival Gardens and Kelp Bar at Kidogo Arthouse. But you won’t be sitting still, there’s music to get your feet tapping and a traditional Irish ceili dance with an Indian Ocean sunset as the backdrop. After 10 days of celebration and commemoration, you’ll have to get in quick to book a table at the primal food extravaganza and street party, the Feast of the Wild Goose, sponsored by Fremantle BID and supported by the Hougoumont Hotel and the Bannister St traders. This 150 year old story of valuing your culture and looking after your friends is the one we still strive for here in Fremantle. Fenians, Fremantle and Freedom Festival | 5-14 January 2018

Fishing Boat Harbour

Fremantle’s Fishing Boat Harbour precinct is the home to Fremantle’s recreational and commercial fishing fleet and surrounded by boardwalks, café’s, restaurants. The harbour offers visitors a unique insight into the enduring commercial fishing industry that continues to operate in Fremantle and provides a colourful backdrop for an afternoon or evening stroll. Fishing Boat Harbour is a favourite destination for those wishing to sample fresh seafood delights. Options are plentiful from fine waterfront seafood dining, to casual fish and chips on the boardwalk. Craft beer lovers are in their element with the famous Little Creatures brewery located on the harbour’s edge,…

Fly by Night Musicians Club

The Fly by Night Musicians' Club is a not for profit member based community arts organisation founded in 1986 by musicians' and music lovers. 'The Fly' as it is affectionately known, is now based at the stunning Victoria Hall on High Street. The Fly is an iconic Fremantle live music venue with a rich history of musicians, actors, comedians, and even circus performers who have showcased their talent on the Fly's stage over the last 28 years with thousands of local, national and international artists performing at the club. The Fly has provided a launch pad for many local bands…

Free-wheeling Fremantle | Fremantle Visitor Centre

Free-wheeling Fremantle is a free bike hire service suitable for adults and children that operates from the Fremantle Visitor Centre. Bikes can be used anywhere in the Fremantle area allowing riders to explore the city at their own leisurely pace. Fremantle is an easy city to explore by bike. Dedicated bicycle lanes throughout the city and shared cycle paths running north, south and along the Swan River make it easy for cyclists to move around. Although Fremantle is built on a series of hills, the most interesting parts of the city and the popular things to do are easily accessible by…

Fremantle Arts Centre

The Fremantle Arts Centre offers both men, women and children a wide range of events, workshops and courses, music shows, art exhibitions plus a wide range of culturally diverse experiences throughout the entire year. The Fremantle Arts Gallery brings both an historical and beautiful atmosphere to each arts and cultural event that it hosts, no matter the genre. The Fremantle Arts Centre is an historic building which first opened its doors in 1864 as the convict established Fremantle Lunatic Asylum and Invalid Depot, offered support in WW1 and WW2 and then re-opening in 1972 to host exclusive and unique art…

Fremantle CAT Bus

The Fremantle CAT (Central Area Transit) is a free bus service that operates around the Fremantle central business district. The blue CAT services depart every 10 minutes and the red CAT services depart every 15 minutes. Both services run seven days a week, including public holidays except Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The service operates during these times: Monday to Thursday 7.30 am to 6.30 pm Friday 7.30 am to 8.00 pm Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 10.00 am to 6.30 pm. The Fremantle CAT buses are easily accessible with kneeling actions – a driver activated entry ramp…

Fremantle City Library

Fremantle Library has ideas for everyone, and miles of inspiration contained inside. Want to find out what to read next? Ask our staff who can suggest some great titles . Enjoy a coffee whilst browsing magazines and newspapers, or catch up on some DVD binge watching or music from local acts. Get ebooks and emagazines for your commute – see our downloads page or ask our friendly staff for tips.   Fremantle History Centre is a treasure trove of historical information and photographs from ye olde Freo. Find out the origins of your Fremantle home and learn how to research…

Fremantle Leisure Centre

The Fremantle Leisure Centre is open all year round and offers a range of health and fitness programs including learn to swim, squad and group fitness classes. The centre boasts four heated swimming pools, a gym, crèche, swim shop, traing room and cafe all located on 3.5 hectares of open grassed space. Memberships and multi-visit passes are available.

Fremantle Markets

The Fremantle Markets has rightfully earned itself a reputation as one of the best destinations in Fremantle for locals and tourists alike, as well as a leading source of independent wares and produce. Fremantle Markets is undoubtedly one of the best and most well-known markets in Western Australia as it offers fresh and local produce, a great atmosphere plus many more great attributes. Most importantly- it's free to enter! Which makes it a great day out for the entire family! Walk the Fremantle Markets Heritage Trail, attached, to explore the unique place the market has in the city’s history. This brochure will…

Fremantle Prison

Fremantle Prison is one of WA's premier tourist attractions and in 2010 became the first building in Western Australia to be inscribed on to the prestigious World Heritage list as part of the Australian Convict Sites. In 2015 the Prison was announced as the gold medalist in the categories of Major Tourist Attractions and Cultural Tourism at the Western Australian Toursim Awards. Built by convicts in the 1850s, Fremantle Prison was used as a place of incarceration for 136 years before being decommissioned as an operating maximum security gaol in 1991. The empty prison with its solitary cells and gallows is a monument to a…

Fremantle Tourist Wheel

Fremantle is among the most popular destinations in western Australia and the Esplanade Park is one of its most loveliest features. The Tourist Wheel has been in Fremantle since April 2013 and provides unprecedented views of Fremantle town and harbors Be transported 40 metres in fully enclosed gondolas

Fremantle Trams

Nobody else can show you Fremantle like this tour can. Going to places larger vehicles and public transport cannot reach and with local driver guides whose knowledge is second to none! Since 1985 Fremantle Tram Tours has been providing guided tours to thousands of visitors to Fremantle aboard our replica 'trams'. With the entertaining and educational commentary provided by the driver our passengers quickly discover the authentic charm of Fremantle that makes it Western Australia's most visited city. Hop on and off at any of the six conveniently situated stops and we'll show you Fremantle from its bustling harbours, it's beautifully…

Hoyts Millennium Fremantle

HOYTS Millennium is located in the heart of Fremantle, just off the popular Café Strip and screens the latest blockbuster releases. HOYTS Millennium showcases 4 cinemas including two 3D auditoriums. It is home to a 500 seat capacity Xtremescreen, with a big screen and big sound, movies are better in HOYTS Millennium's Xtremescreen!


Perth’s Latest Stylish | Urban | Club | Located in FremantleHave your function, event or after party in a stylish & unique underground space.FIVE private areas & booths available with bottle service, personal hosts, beverage & canapé packages available to suit your needs.HUGOS is the perfect venue for your corporate function, party, private event, birthday, hens night or just a general catch up with friends.Dress code | Smart casualCOCKTAILS | SOCIAL | NIGHT LIFE 

Inkling Art Space

Art workshops for curious and creative kids! We run classes and workshops throughout the year with a focus on building art skills and critical thinking. We have lots of fun exploring different techniques, especially drawing. This term at the Inkling Art Space we will be painting, drawing, stitching and making a marvelous mess! Join in the fun at one of our excellent classes or workshops where professional artists will help you to build your art muscles. (The more art we make, the better we get!) There are sessions for children of all ages, and some for grown-ups too. We can't wait to…

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Events and festivals

Fremantle has a legendary festival and events scene that stretches across the whole spectrum of music, arts, heritage, food and entertainment from the fantastic Fremantle International Street Arts Festival, St. Jerome's Laneway Festival and the biennial Sculptures @ Bathers. Plan your next visit to Fremantle by checking out what’s on in Freo today. And don’t forget to look at our eat and drink listings to find a great spot for dinner or a drink when you’re here.