An iconic Fremantle building has received a new lease of life and will reopen as a live music and performing arts venue, FREO.SOCIAL, after receiving much-needed improvements.
The State Registered Artillery Drill Hall in Holdsworth Street underwent acoustic baffling and sound attenuation works to reduce noise emissions.
The works will improve the venue’s capacity to host concerts by local and touring acts, and contribute to the thriving live music scene in Fremantle. Venue operator Sunset Events will place importance on staging local content, which will provide significant employment opportunities for Western Australian musicians.
The Artillery Drill Hall was built in 1896 for the volunteer guards who were responsible for civil defence, and was used as a training facility during WWII. In the past 30 years, it has played an important role as a live music hub. Once home to the Fly By Night Musicians Club, the venue played host to the who’s who of local, national and international bands.
The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries contributed $250,000 to the National Trust towards the works to enhance its $1 million investment into the venue.
As noted by Heritage and Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
“I am delighted these works will re-activate the heritage-listed Artillery Drill Hall and return it to contemporary use as a world-class live music venue.
“Live music makes our communities more vital and exciting places to live and I’m sure the Artillery Drill Hall will be no exception.”
As noted by Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk:
“It is wonderful to see this iconic venue back in business and further activating Fremantle.
“Fremantle is known as a vibrant hub for arts and culture, and the return of this venue to the live music scene is welcome news.”