Fremantle is a suburb that has its own unique vibe going on. So much so, that when you’re there, you truly feel like you’ve gone away for a weekend. On the waterside and boasting a historic, homely warmth, Freo is dedicated to providing a diverse music scene. The culture inspiration is seen and felt through weekend buskers in the markets, music street festivals, buzzing art spots and some of Perth’s best live music venues. Not to mention the thriving pubs, nightclubs and famous coffee strip to tempt those tastebuds.
One of the best things about Freo is how alive and vibrant it is regardless of what day you’re there. During the week there’s something always happening, but the weekends is where the town really pulsates. Live music venues in Fremantle all have one thing in common – they are strong supporters of the Australian and international music scene. Each bar is brilliant at showcasing its own special atmosphere, offering a different slice of the Freo passion everywhere you go.
Here are the best live music venues in Fremantle to check out the next time you’re craving something a little offbeat.
1. The Fly By Night Musicians Club
Celebrating its 31st birthday this year, The Fly By Night Musicians Club is one of the highest regarded live music destinations in WA. The venue IS the heart of Freo and the new location at Victoria Hall further showcases the historic inspiration and Freo vibe punters know and love. This not-for-profit music baby was born in 1986 and created by a team of musicians and music fanatics with a thirst for rockin’ and rolling. Since then the venue has evolved into a community staple.
Over the years, The Fly has embraced an eclectic range of acts and audiences. Ian Moss, John Butler Trio, Eskimo Joe, You Am I, Xavier Rudd, The Black Keys, Ash Grunwald, Lloyd Cole and Paul Kelly are just some of the artists who have performed under its roof. The Fly has outlasted as one of Perth’s best live music spots and it’s easy to see why. They create are a close-knit community with a quality setup that caters for touring and local musicians. Check out live music experiences in both the Victoria (main) Hall and the Fly Trap.
2. Fremantle Arts Centre
If you really thrive off Fremantle history or have a slight obsession with haunted places like myself, then the Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) is a must to check out. Home to some of the highest calibre of local and international talent, it oozes character, quality acoustics and stunning views. As far as live music venues in Fremantle go – FAC has it covered.
During the day and special events, the inside of FAC is as its name suggests – an art inspired gallery showcasing all sorts of vibrant and moody pieces. On set evenings and Sunday afternoons, though, FAC’s outdoor section comes alive with a superb setting buzzing with live music tunes. The natural charm of the stonework architecture to its extensive history makes it a favourite in the freo community too. Split into three different zones with a total capacity of over 4,000 people, the Gothic-style building was built by convicts in 1864 and first opened its doors as a Lunatic Asylum.
3. Mojos Bar
Thriving on good sensations and musical healing, Mojos Bar has been the heart of North Freo for decades. The venue captures the true essence of the live music scene, hosting a powerhouse amount of valuable talent on a regular basis. Best recognised for its authentic feel and extreme passion and dedication to live music, Mojos is a space local bands have made their own.
Live music venues in Fremantle all feed off the culturally inspired scene, but Mojos, in particular, has its finger on the pulse when it comes to getting a bit of everything in. Belting out the best live original music every day of the week whether it be “hard or soft, new or old. friendly, furious, obvious or obscure”. It’s a motto they’re famous for and what makes them so distinguished in the community.
4. The Newport Hotel
The Newport is located on the famous café strip and has a proven track record when it comes to hosting live music. The locale features a handful of bars including the Tiki Beat Bar – a Polynesian paradise with 60’s vintage surf backdrop and the tastiest selection of rum cocktails. The large band room is where the live music magic happens though and holds a capacity of 500 people. The Newport Hotel is renowned for its relaxed mood and access to some of the hottest local and international acts.
Home to the Newport Record Club, this live music hotspot is over 100 years old. The heritage-listed building offers music enthusiasts a taste of the Freo culture, whether you’re after a big night out or a few quiet beers. Their gig guide is always jam-packed with local, national and international artists so there’s something to quench every appetite. Check out their buzzing nights or chilled Sunday Sundowns for a taste of live music action.
5. Clancy’s Fish Pub
Despite its name, Clancy’s Fish Pub isn’t just a place for a seafood extravaganza. The pub fuels the fire with its rich musical history making it one of the top live music venues in Fremantle. Local musos, artists, hipsters and families make up the crowd at Clancy’s in a relaxed but vibrant environment. Despite its restaurant setting, there’s always a great selection of live entertainment. Think quiz nights, background blues music, local rock soloists, pop duos or the latest underground or commercial acts.
Clancy’s thrive off their close community, live music, local craft beers and ridiculously good food. It’s a true Freo icon with a reputation for providing quality entertainment in a colourful atmosphere. Its location by the harbour and stunning scenery makes Clancy’s a popular spot too.
6. Swan Hotel
The Swan Hotel is a local music landmark in North Fremantle and mixes two venues into one – The Swan Hotel and The Swan Basement. Although just a little bit out from the heart of Fremantle, North Freo is one of the most underrated destinations on the local music map. Mojos is just around the corner and both play a big part in RTRfm’s annual Fremantle Music Winter Festival.
The pair come complete with their own bars, making it fantastic for two-stager events. Downstairs at the Basement is for louder, rockier bands whereas upstairs hosts smaller acts. Both sections always welcome young and upcoming acts and host a variety of genres. The Basement has been home to talents including Jet, Dave McCormack (Custard), Donna Simpson (The Waifs) and more, putting it in the list of the hottest live music venues in Fremantle.
7. Gypsy Tapas House
If you’re after a small bar experience with live music, tapas food and drinks the Gypsy Tapas House is a go-to hot-spot. It opened it’s doors in 2006 but the live entertainment was only added to the mix in the recent years. Now the tapas house has evolved into an intimate bar with music, dancing, art, Sangria and European inspired dishes.
Gypsy Tapas House has something happening most nights of the week with live music to match all dining experiences. Exuding an atmosphere that’s very Freo, GTH is a jovial and quirky venue that showcases an impressive mix of musicians.