WA music and arts lovers will finally have their own Falls Festival experience with the announcement producers are bringing the event to Fremantle on January 7 and 8, 2017.
The traditional Australian eastern seaboard rural camping event, which started in 1993 and overlaps New Year’s celebrations, will be called Falls Downtown and have a new urban format in the streets and forgotten buildings of the port city.
Falls co-producer Paul Piticco said the opportunity had occurred after Southbound organisers, who usually present Falls Festival artists on the west coast, moved the dates of their annual event to December 27 to 29, following the devastating Waroona and Yarloop fires this year.
“When they moved dates and it didn’t fit in to our schedule, we started thinking about what we could do (in WA) that was fresh and different for us and works for the community,” Piticco said.
“We didn’t want to shuttle a carbon copy or clone over there; we wanted to take the Falls ethos of music, art, creativity and not have to make that exclusive to a rural environment.
“To be honest with you, looking at Fremantle wasn’t part of the original plan, but when we saw the space and met people, we started to think it just might work.
“We can activate downtown Freo and make it a cool, urban music and arts festival.”
Piticco said there would be limited opportunities for festival-goers to camp on the abandoned Myer building rooftop, with the building also used for a basement dance club, art installations and other performance spaces.
The main stage will be in the town square and other venues will include the Town Hall atrium and St John’s Anglican Church.
“We’ll be involving the local shops and bars and we might do some offsite things too,” he said.
“The council has been so supportive and want the same things we want.”
Piticco said the line-up for the 18+ event would be announced mid-August and include the best of international bands and Australian talent.
“There will be a very strong local contingent as well, with a lot of WA bands on the line-up too,” he said.