Council a bit quiet about beach festivals

FREMANTLE council has approved up to two major music festivals at South Beach each year without running it past the notoriously protective community.

With Port Beach sliding into the sea, long-running music festival Sets on the Beach applied to the council to shift its all-weekend party to South Beach, while Victorian event organiser For The Love has also asked to run a plastic-free “music/lifestyle event” there.

The two events were projected for February/March next year, with detailed site plans indicating preparation is well advanced.

A report to the last council meeting noted “no stakeholder consultation has been initiated to date”, pushing the onus onto the organisers to talk to residents, the South Beach Cafe, Sunset Markets and Cockburn council.

Impacts

Fremantle council CEO Philip St John has been charged with examining both applications to “maximise the benefits to the community and minimise the impacts”, with housing less then 150 metres from one of the proposed main stages.

The only condition so far imposed by the council is that the festivals be at least three weeks apart.

Following the departure of an estimated 6000-7500 revellers, “city officers would measure the event’s success, review the impacts and undertake further public consultation to further determine the future suitability of the South Beach site as a music event venue”.

The council is anticipating that For The Love’s “unique collaboration with high-end media, entertainment and fashion brands … could help generate exposure of Fremantle nationally”. It would also contribute to the council’s strategic community plan, which calls for more external festivals in Fremantle.

by JUSTIN STAHL

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