Presented by The City of Fremantle as an alternative to Australia Day celebrations on 26 January, the second instalment of One Day in Fremantle was again held on The Esplanade, attracting an even bigger crowd than last year.
With its focus on diversity and inclusion – of attendees, artists, food and culture – it did not disappoint the thousands of folk who rocked up with their picnic blankets, folding chairs, eskies and kids (and dogs-on-leads).
If you didn’t pack a picnic, there were plenty of food and beverage offerings from food trucks – and surrounding regular vendors.
There was also plenty of arts and cultural activities, including bush tucker tastings and face painting by Bindi Bindi Dreaming, hair braiding and henna art with the Freedom Fairies, a yarn circle with ICEA, make-your-own One Day t-shirts with Tricia Stedman and Printing Pals and the always-colourful Chinese Lion performance by the Chung Wah Association.
Acts included the extremely well received Arnhem Land hip-hop artist Baker Boy, who, bursting with positive vibes and messaging (and jokes!), busted out his two recently announced Triple J Hottest 100 hits (Marryuna, featuring Yirrmal, #17 and Cloud 9, featuring Kian, #76) and the superb, crowd-thrilling version of Yothu Yindi’s Treaty.
Best Dance act at last year’s FRINGE WORLD, indigenous dance group Djuki Mala (who you can catch throughout Fringe), performed two crazy-energetic sets that got everyone shakin’ it. Think traditional Yolngu meets Vengaboys pop meets Greek Zorba (which kicked off their career via a viral video) – plus a huge dose of humour.
Classically trained, poperatic singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke got on board the Freo theme. Decked out in a shiny Freo-purple frock, backed by guitarist husband, Keir Nuttall, and a string quartet, she belted out operatic-esque numbers from The Rabbits, complete with her trademark twisted bird sounds, a sneak preview of one of her songs for Muriel’s Wedding The Musical (that she and Keir scored), and the beautiful Last Day on Earth.
She found a new fan in the French guy next to me who asked me who she was and enthusiastically applauded each song thereafter.
Hosted by Gina Williams, who also played a set with Guy Ghouse, the free community event closed with a set from Tame Impala DJ Kevin Parker.
From the gorgeous Welcome to Country by Dr Richard Walley OAM & Marie Taylor that included an Noongar-Irish blessing to the contrasting music styles and performers, there was diversity in abundance.
Sunshine. Sunburn. Diversity. Even some backyard (well, Esplanade) cricket. It was definitely a day that celebrated all things and all people Australia.