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Watch the greatest street theatre show Down Under in Fremantle

The Australian boho beachside town of Fremantle is known for its graffiti art but at Easter, the world’s best performance artists descend there for a cracking good time.

By Triona McBride

At the mouth of the Swan River, 30 minutes outside Western Australia’s capital city of Perth, sits the boho beachside hipster harbour town of Fremantle. This arty port resort of cafes, markets, galleries, and breweries is home to a diverse calendar of festivals and celebrations. Every Easter, the International Street Arts Festival brings a boost of energy and life to the towns already bustling streets, with live performances in many locations.

Accessible by a short train ride from Perth, or directly from Western Australia’s main cruise terminal which rests just steps away from the town’s historic streets, Fremantle is a must-visit at any time of year for leisure travelers or business guests wanting a break from the day to day hustle of Perth’s central business district (CBD).

Fremantle’s weekend markets bring art, food, and music to the town throughout the year while historic buildings such as the Round House nestled atop the old fortifications and the old prison give visitors easy opportunities to discover the colonial past of old Western Australia.

A paradise for foodies and appreciators of artisan drinks, Fremantle’s laneways and streets are littered with boutique bars, cafes, and restaurants offering something for every taste and nightly performances of live music and fringe theatre.

But Fremantle’s love of entertainment is truly brought to the fore each Easter weekend when the world’s greatest street performers come to celebrate the colorful and dramatic world to which they have dedicated their lives.

Not to be confused with graffiti street art, as Fremantle is also home to an ever-changing canvas of incredible examples, Fremantle International Street Arts Festival is a town-wide exhibition of buskers, escape artists, fire breathers, jugglers, theatre troupes, acrobats, roving acts and other performance artists of all shapes.

Established in 1999, the festival has grown over two decades to turn the whole town into an open-air theatre where every corner offers something wild, wacky, or wonderful for Fremantle’s residents and visitors to marvel at.

Pop-up bars and eateries are created each year to cater for the crowds and take Fremantle’s already enviable al fresco drinking and dining to a new level. All combined, this generates a true festival atmosphere which brings lovers of both arts and occasions flocking to the coastal town.

Previous entertainments to wow the festival crowds have included colorful bhangra troupes, Rio Carnival-style percussion groups, mime acts and clowns, street dance, death-defying flying acts, archers, life-size puppets, close-up magicians, yo-yo performers, giant ants, brass bands, talking lamp posts, and a genie on a flying carpet.

Fremantle’s famous Little Creatures Brewery embraces each year’s festival by adapting its plentiful indoors and outdoors space at the water’s edge and inviting the lights, sounds, and performers of the occasion into their grounds for an extra level of entertainment throughout each day and night.

The performances don’t stop when night falls and revellers will find themselves taken along with the rhythm as art seamlessly merges into party with pocket raves and dancing sessions springing up all over the town.

Best of all, Fremantle International Street Arts Festival is a completely free event unless you decide to drop a few dollars into the hats of the acts that impress you most. 

Published 03.02.22