Marching to a new beat

SUNSET EVENTS has secured a tavern licence for the old Drill Hall on Parry Street and is ready to get cracking on its new venture, says director David Chitty.

This week Sunset and the National Trust revealed that Freo’s newest live music venue will be called Freo Social Hall and feature local beers, wines and curated food trucks. It will have a capacity of 800 patrons.

The main hall is currently still floorless after archaeological digs and repair work, and Mr Chitty says it’s still too early to say exactly when fit-out work would start or finish given the vagaries of the building process, but he’s looking forward to creating a family-friendly hub of music and local food.

“Freo has such a great vibe and we know that locals love their live music and good food and drinks,” Mr Chitty said.

• Freo Social Hall director David Chitty, Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt and National Trust manager Kelly Rippingale ham it up on a makeshift stage at the old Drill Hall. Photo by Steve Grant

“That’s what the Freo Social Hall is all about—bringing the community together in a space that has always been a social hub for the city.

“We are working closely with the National Trust to pay homage to the beautiful building by maintaining its heritage features, while activating new spaces to expand the offering and create a truly unique space.”

Local promoters and community groups will also be able to book the space.

National Trust asset manager Kelly Rippingale said the site was well known for its social significance.

“The drill hall has long been a place of social interaction—from hosting social evenings in 1898 to housing Australia’s first badminton club in 1900 and being home to some iconic concerts in the 80s and 90s.”

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said it was nice to be able to say life was coming back to the building, which follows the Fly by Night’s unhappy departure almost three years ago.


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