Block brands Fremantle creative hub Freo.Social
Block is behind the brand and positioning of Freo.Social – a creative hub that builds on Fremantle’s music heritage and is the first in a series of venues that are set to reenergise the city itself.
Block has developed a distinctive brand to launch Freo.Social, which opens on 3rd April in the Fremantle Artillery Drill Hall in the port town’s historic heart.
More than a live music venue, Freo.Social will be a hub of creative activity with The Brewshed (which will incorporate an experimental nano brewery to be operated by Otherside Brewing Co), a creative workspace called The Mess, two beer gardens serving tasty morsels from Nomad food trucks, and the Entertainment Hall – a 500+ capacity entertainment hall that will host local, national and international acts and be made available to local creatives, artists, community groups and schools for rehearsals, performances, theatre and events.
“Fremantle is undergoing a revolution and Freo.Social is at the heart of it,” explains Mark Braddock, Creative Director at Block. “We worked closely with the Freo.Social team to implement a brand strategy that goes beyond launching a music venue – it’s about building a community of creatives and artists, creating a hub for Fremantle’s makers and doers, and using social amplification to build brand awareness.”
The brand is respectful of the history of the Artillery Drill Hall, which was built in 1895. Home to Fly By Night nightclub for almost 30 years, the site is a vital part of Fremantle’s music scene, which has produced artists from Bon Scott to John Butler, The Waifs, Tame Impala and Eskimo Joe.
“The look and feel of the brand borrows from music gig posters mixed with the military feel of the building itself in homage to its history. It’s not a slick, modernist, on-trend brand – it’s rough around the edges, staying true to Fremantle’s music scene. Often bars and venues look the same no matter where they are in the world. This destination talks nicely to Fremantle’s working class history and has a strong sense of place built into the brand,” says Braddock.
Freo.Social is a business within Triple-1-Three, the company behind Otherside Brewing Co and Nomad food trucks and catering – two brands that have also been built by Block and are now growing exponentially. After launching in 2016, demand for Otherside brews grew so quickly that Otherside opened The Otherside Brewery & Brewhouse in 2018 to increase production capacity. The brand is now distributed nationally.
Located at Freo.Social, The Brewshed will be Otherside’s second venue and represents the next step in the beer brand’s rapid expansion. Otherside’s head brewer Rhys Lopez plans to put the nano brewery to good use having committed to the Herculean task of brewing a new beer a week for the first year – 52 new brews.
Al Taylor, CEO of Triple-1-Three says: “Block has been an incredible partner across our portfolio of brands. Freo.Social’s brand positioning perfectly captures the essence of the destination and our broader ambitions as a company – one which is all about connecting people and connecting people with experiences through social and cultural amplification.”
Freo.Social’s name is also its URL, and there are plans for the website to develop into a portal to promote Fremantle arts and cultural events more broadly.
Sally Tucker, Brand and Communications Manager at Triple 1 Three, says: “The response to the Freo.Social brand so far has been incredible. Music promoters have been really supportive, with gigs heavily booked through to September and many acts already sold out. It’s a venue with a rich history and many stories to tell, and new stories to make as we go forward on a new journey,” says Tucker.
Freo.Social has been refurbished in cooperation with the National Trust of WA with support from the WA State Government to create a community asset for Fremantle’s creative industries and music industry development.
Heritage and Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman said: "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."