Fremantle Festival is back and asking people to Come to the Fire

Wardanji performers Jacob Narkle (11), Eric Stack (11), Frazer Stack (10) and Ben Narkle (11). The Fremantle Festival runs on October 26, 28 November 3. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Wardanji performers Jacob Narkle (11), Eric Stack (11), Frazer Stack (10) and Ben Narkle (11). The Fremantle Festival runs on October 26, 28 November 3. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

THE Fremantle festival is on again, with this year’s theme revealed as Karla-K Koorling or Come to the Fire.

Festival coordinator and curator Karla Hart said the festival opening would bring together the Welcome to Country, Noongar fire ceremony and a Noongar performance.

A Kraken effigy will be set on fire at Bather’s Beach on November 3.

The Kraken burns at 2017’s festival. Pic via fremantlefestival.com.au

“The opening is different as it’s focused on specifically what fire means to Noongar people, particularly how special and important it is to our culture,” she said.

“I hope people get to share in what is special to us as Noongar people.

“I also want to see how happy and strong it makes us as a community to come together to celebrate beautiful things that are unique to nowhere else in the world.”

Ms Hart, who has been involved with the Wardarnji celebration for seven years said she wanted to create something new for the opening of the festival.

“I decided to make a night event focused entirely on our Noongar dance community with full light and sound production as we’ve never had it in a festival like it,” she said.

“I hope to make what I am responsible for a memorable part of the festival.

“I am always excited for the festival as it is a time where people come together to have fun and an artist like myself can showcase what they love doing to the community.”

City of Fremantle manager of arts and culture Destry Puia said the change in timing for the festival was put in place to provide a new rhythm for festival and events in the calendar year.

“We wanted to provide a new creative moment throughout the year,” he said.

“It will also provide new activity in a period where our local traders and business would relish the support.

“Equally, there is a creative opportunity to explore and express Fremantle during the colder months.”

Mr Puia said this year’s festival would be a tasting plate of experiences

“It is a brilliant opportunity and a condensed way to come and enjoy what people previously liked but get a sneak peak of what it will look moving forward,” he said.

“Moving forward with the festival we looking to be the pinnacle of creative excellence both from our own artists here in Western Australia but nationally and internationally.”

THE ESSENTIALS:

WHAT: Fremantle Festival

WHEN: Friday October 26, Sunday October 28 and Saturday November 3

WHERE: Various locations across Fremantle

INFORMATION: fremantlefestival.com.au