Price slice to lure big events

Fremantle Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Adam Poulsen

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.”

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