SUNSET EVENTS has dropped plans for live music at Arthur Head and says it’s going to focus on a scaled-back Fremantle-style food and arts venue.
The events promotion company has been meeting with stakeholders over the last few weeks to refine plans for the end studio at the J-Sheds and CEO Dave Chitty says they’ll be ready to submit a new development application to Fremantle council soon.
Mr Chitty says a trial period had shown the large-scale outdoor concerts couldn’t work at the site, generating too many complaints from residents and upsetting nearby arts businesses.
“I think we are just going to focus on concerts in the Drill Hall and do the large-scale entertainment in parks,” he told the Herald.
Mr Chitty said the trial had shown beach barbecues had worked well, and said the venue would buck the trend of seaside restaurants going upmarket and try to find its niche with a more laid-back Freo feel more targeted at families.
It would be capped at 400 patrons.
He says they’ve had discussions with Fremantle council and the WAPC following the trial and he’s confident the current proposal can meet the latter’s concerns about the site needing a low-key focus in keeping with its rich heritage.
Mr Chitty says they’ll be focusing more on the heritage with the revised proposal, saying he’s seen overseas how it can be a boon for businesses by engaging customers.
Sunset will be applying for a restricted tavern licence.
On Monday, though, the proposal got a hostile reception from artists working on Arthur Head and nearby residents.
Mr Chitty says there is some justification for the group’s anger and mistrust, but says he’s rejigging the plans to take their concerns into account and he hopes that the final iteration will be well received.
by STEVE GRANT