The climax of the 2020 Perth Festival will be celebration of the life and music of a Fremantle rock ‘n’ roll icon – the late, great AC/DC front man Bon Scott.
Taking inspiration from the AC/DC classic ‘Highway to Hell’ – Canning Highway will be transformed into the world’s longest stage, with a host of local and international artists performing AC/DC songs from stages on the back of semi-trailers in a slow ‘hit parade’ from Applecross to Fremantle.
The show will start at 5pm on 1 March 2020 at Canning Bridge and roll through special activity zones at Tompkins Park and the Leopold Hotel before arriving at the Container Rainbow in Fremantle at 8:30pm.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said Highway to Hell would be an amazing way to honour one of Fremantle’s favourite sons.
“Fremantle is like Mecca for AC/DC fans. People from all over the world make the pilgrimage here to visit Bon’s grave at Fremantle Cemetery and get a photo with the famous statue at Fishing Boat Harbour,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“Highway to Hell will be a fantastic way to end the Perth Festival and the City of Fremantle is excited to be a part of it.
“We’ll have heaps of other AC/DC related activities on in Freo before and after the event, so everyone is welcome to come down to Fremantle and make a weekend of it.
“While this event will be coming from Canning Bridge to Fremantle, we think that when Bon Scott wrote the lyrics for ‘Highway to Hell’ he was referring to the drive from Fremantle along Canning Highway to the Leopold Hotel and the Raffles.
“People are having lots of fun joking about which end of the highway Hell is located, but I’d suggest it’s definitely not Fremantle.”
Perth Festival is presenting Highway to Hell in partnership with the City of Melville, City of Fremantle and Town of East Fremantle and with support of the state government through Lotterywest, Tourism WA and other agencies.
Festival Artistic Director Iain Grandage said Highway to Hell would be a special day for families and fans alike.
“The idea of closing down the highway to celebrate a favourite son is an exciting way to celebrate our city and bring the curtain down on the 2020 Festival,” Mr Grandage said.
“Everyone is invited to walk the route with the trucks, set up a picnic anywhere along the highway or gather at one of the four special activity and entertainment areas.”
More details of the event will be released in coming weeks so local residents, businesses and Festival-goers can plan ahead.
Highway to Hell marks 40 years since the death of Bon Scott, who grew up around Fremantle and went to gigs along Canning Highway as a youth. He died in London on 19 February 1980 and his ashes were laid to rest at Fremantle Cemetery on 1 March.
Perth Festival runs from 7 February to 1 March. The full program will be released on 31 October.