Halelujah, a day-long festival celebrating music, food and drink, takes possession of a heritage-listed Fremantle warehouse this month


A school dance was Paul Bilsby’s introduction to the world of events. There was apparently something in the punch bowl that night because our man – now an accomplished event producer – has racked up an impressive resume that includes Sydney’s cultural stronghold, Carriageworks, production manager as well. than a visit to the ambitious Rising Festival in Melbourne.

“If you set up the sound and lighting for your social 10 year and end up working with Vivid 20 years later, I think you’re on the right track,” says Bilsby, who returned home to Perth late. 2020.

In February, Bilsby heads east again, this time to take on the role of production manager at the Sydney Opera House. But before leaving Perth, Bilsby is staying long enough to help his longtime friend and Highs and Lows founder Matt Thomas introduce Halelujah, the duo’s vision for what a contemporary festival should be. Continuing where they left off with the first Halelujah held at Rechabite Hall in December 2020, the second round is billed as a thoughtful celebration of the music, food, drink and culture of the Western Australia.

“It’s like the Halelujah festival is an extension of the ups and downs,” says Thomas. “It’s about all the things he likes to do in his private time, if we were to talk about [Highs and Lows] like a human being. As a store we’ve grown, so it’s an adult event.

Halelujah is being held in the heritage listed Fremantle warehouse, The Naval Store, perhaps better known as the large building with the painted octopus near the Fremantle traffic bridge. While Thomas and Bilsby keep the schtum on the specific details of the festival, the clues they hint at suggest they’ve paid a lot of attention to what works and what doesn’t in festival country. A dedicated seating area means guests can eat and drink in a thoughtful location, rather than having to get up or sit on a sidewalk. The duo called on a waste management company with a sustainable mind Clean vibrations to soften the festival’s environmental footprint. Two stages – one dedicated to live music, another featuring local DJs – will offer plenty of entertainment options with performances ranging from leftist instrumental hip-hop to alt folk courtesy of Jack Davies and the Bush Chooks.

“It’s not a rave, for sure,” Bilsby says. “It’s a comfortable place where you can enjoy different experiences. “

Food and drink offering is a cut above with Fremantle Peggy’s sandwich slingshots, leading pizza pop-up Young Levain and Thai street food vendors My Thai Kin responsible for feeding the crowds. Customers can expect collaborative dishes between vendors as well as pescatarian and vegetarian options. When it comes to consumption, festival presenting partner Shelter Brewing is rolling out a full line of faucets, while producers such as Si Vintners, Chouette, Local Weirdos and Express Winemakers will fly the WA winemaking flag at the bar. . Mesa Wines importers will also serve French natural wines on this day.

A portion of the proceeds will go to community radio station RTRFM as well as Line In The Sand, a Western Australian charity committed to preserving the state’s coastline.


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