Snarl lips, not streets 

• WestCycle’s Rachel Pemberton (with tie) and Freo’s biking community are gearing up for High Voltage with a social ride into town. Photo by Steve Grant.

AVOID traffic chaos was the big message from organisers as Fremantle gears up for tomorrow’s (Sunday May 7) big High Voltage street festival. 

With lots of street closures, tourism minister Roger Cooke was in Fremantle on Wednesday to urge festival-goers to consider taking public transport to the port city and catching free shuttle buses between the different stages. 

The event is based on Perth Festival’s 2020 smash hit Highway to Hell which closed off Canning Highway. 

Flatbeds 

High Voltage showcases seven flatbed trucks making their way around a 5km street circuit with live bands playing AC/DC’s classic hits. 

Just before 2pm, premier Mark Mcgowan will ring an enormous bell marking the official start of the event. 

The line-up includes ARIA winer and rock and blues legend Diesel; post-punk female rockers Body Type, and critically acclaimed bands Cash Savage and Last Drinks among the 50-odd performers. 

WestCycle is also encouraging people to wheel it down for the event and will be holding a social ride from South Beach at midday to the Esplanade Reserve’s family area where the entertainment starts at 1pm. 

“Given the road closures, High Voltage is the perfect opportunity to dust off your treadly and go for a ride,” WestCycle engagement manager Rachel Pemberton said. 

High Voltage comes on the heels of the City of Fremantle’s launching a new destination marketing campaign. 

The campaign invites visitors to rediscover what they love about Fremantle, with a 30-second commercial highlighting new restaurants, bars, retailers and entertainment venues as part of the city’s recent revitalisation. 

Mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge said the campaign captured the vibrant and lively feel around the city following the $270 million redevelopment of Walyalup Koort, and the new level of confidence in the city. 

Creative 

“We have such a strong and vibrant creative industry in Fremantle and who better to showcase the exciting new dining, retail and entertainment scene that has reinforced our city as a must-visit destination,” Ms Fitzhardinge said. 

“This campaign is particularly aimed at encouraging people who may not have been to Freo in some time to come back and see what all the buzz is about.” 

The chair of the City’s Destination Marketing Working Group, Linda Wayman, says the High Voltage festival is a happy alignment with the brand that the city is trying to convey though its marketing which is “spirit and soul”. 

“Events create an appointment for people to come into Fremantle,” Ms Wayman said. 

“Usually what happens then is that the visitors disperse throughout the city and discover all that Fremantle has to offer in terms of dining and entertainment. 

“Fremantle is famous for its city-owned festivals and events and figures show the positive economic impact that is generated by such events.” 

by DANIEL SPENCE 

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