Price slice to lure big events
THE City of Fremantle has slashed venue hire fees by 25 per cent in a bid to attract more events and stimulate economic recovery from COVID-19.
The discount – which will last until June 30 next year – was approved at last week’s council meeting when councillors voted to adopt a commercial events policy for a two-year trial period.
Mayor Brad Pettitt told the Fremantle Gazette as well as attracting more shows and festivals to Fremantle, the policy would “ensure we have a good spread of events throughout the year”.
THE City of Fremantle will temporarily slash venue hire fees by 25 per cent in a bid to attract more events and stimulate post COVID-19 economic recovery.
The discount – which will last until June 30 next year – was approved at last week’s council meeting when councillors voted to adopt a commercial events policy for a 24-month trial.
Mayor Brad Pettitt told the Fremantle Gazette as well as attracting more events to Fremantle, the policy aimed to “put in place a clear process for promoters to book venues, avoid clashes between events and ensure we have a good spread of events throughout the year”.
“We’re also seeking to minimise the impacts on neighbours, give our venues enough time to recover between events and ensure there’s an appropriate balance between events and the normal recreational use of the venue,” he said.
“The other aspect of the policy is to maximise the opportunity for local businesses to benefit from events by giving them the chance to participate in them directly and through having passouts that allow patrons to pop out of the event and experience all that Freo has to offer.”
In his report to council, City communications and events manager Paul Dunlop reiterated that Fremantle was a “destination city” and “an ideal location boasting a number of highly sought after venues for events”.
“Council recognises that events... bring vibrancy and stimulate the economy,” he said.
“The commercial events policy … (would) provide a bold and engaging range of events that deliver maximum benefit and opportunity to residents, businesses and visitors.”
Mr Dunlop acknowledged the 25 per cent discount “represents a loss of income for the City”.
“This will be offset by an increase in the demand and overall number of events held in the City and will subsequently deliver a positive broader economic and social benefit for Fremantle,” he said.
The policy also includes a new expression of interest process to help prioritise events in advance, but that process will be suspended until mid-2021 to loosen the booking system and “support the events industry and activate the City”.
Mr Dunlop said the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce was consulted during the policy’s development.
Community consultation will be sought at the end of the trial period.
THERE’S some good news for local music lovers, with RTRFM’S Fremantle ‘Winter’ Spring Party set to return September 19.
Typically held in June, this year’s event was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis and will go ahead with current restrictions enforced.
“Once Phase 4 came into place and we realised we could run events at venues even at a limited capacity, we wanted to proceed because it is a great event and a great way for us to showcase some WA artists,” RTRFM’s events and marketing manager Chris Wheeldon said.
“We can still have up to 800 people across the five venues and make sure people are safe.”
From beach vibes and pop magic to electric sounds, there will be 23 acts across five venues including Port Beach Garden Bar and Basement Mojos.
This will be the 14th year of the festival in Fremantle and organisers say it remains one of their biggest annual events.
“I think anything that gets people out of the house and back into watching live music and support local artists is important right now,” Mr Wheeldon said.
“The music world and hospitality places were the first to stop when lockdown restrictions came in and now, although at a limited capacity, we can get back out and watch bands.”