Cockburn Gazette - - LIFESTYLE - Tanya MacNaughto­n

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 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 arose 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 af­ter the 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 worked 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.

“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.

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