A popular festival that drew 8000 people to the Perth Cultural Centre in February is shifting to Fremantle.
The planned move of the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival caught the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, which runs the cultural centre, on the hop.
MRA CEO Kieran Kinsella says his organisation has been involved in negotiations over next year’s event and, “the MRA was not aware that Sunset Events were exploring options to hold the event elsewhere”.
“The success of the festival has been shown in attendance which has more than doubled from 3500 [five years ago] to 8000 people in 2013.”
Sunset Events is based in Fremantle and it has asked the port city council for permission to stage the festival in its historic West End on February 8.
Perth lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi was at a loss to explain the thinking behind the move.
“I’m sorry I don’t know why,” she said. “You will have to speak to our guys as I’m not sure if its outgrown the venue or it may be it clashes with the Fringe Festival.
Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt is pleased as punch.
“I am excited about the possibility of this event coming to Fremantle as it ticks a lot of boxes in my mind including reinforcing Fremantle as a festival city, with fun and funky events.
“I also really like that the festival will mean that the often under-activated streets and laneways of the West End will be full of young people on the weekend.
“It will be a special and unique backdrop for a festival and could see it becoming an iconic Fremantle event.”
Sunset Events didn’t get back.
by BRENDAN FOSTER