How Many Days Left For The Fly By Night?

The Fly By Night Bar

The Fly By Night Bar

The Fly By Night Musicians’ Club’s lease of the Military Drill Hall ends in September, with an invitation by the National Trust being extended for Expressions Of Interest from other parties for a new lease after that date. BOB GORDON chats with Executive Director, John Reid, about the future of The Fly.

How real is the danger that The Fly will lose the lease?

The threat is real, and If another entity with a more favourable application to the National Trust’s needs and wants gets up the Club would no longer have a sustainable space.

Has it been a mere formality that The Fly would keep the lease when it was up for renewal in past years? 

Yes it has. The last two leases were mere roll over procedure to renew, but there was months of delay to get the actual signed lease and a hard copy on file. The Club should have expected an issue as there was no renewal clause on the current lease.

It seems that The National Trust has been quite uncommunicative about the matter upon your follow-up. Any idea why?

Well they have been too busy at times, and the just request a proposal or a business plan. The Club would like open dialogue about the future of the military hall with the Trust as we have long time relationship with the building, which the Club saved from demolition back in the day, before the National Trust took over management of the building.

Could this be connected with the termination of rental assistance by the DCA at the end of 2013?

Nothing has been communicated via the Trust.

The National Trust has advised the Club not to book acts after September, or until the process is completed. As you noted, this threatens the livelihood of the business. How best can you proceed in terms of a schedule?

The Club will meet with National Trust at the end of June and address the Expression of Interest process. I expect that 28 years history within in the 128 year old building would be of historical significant and cultural value to the National Trust, and the community as a whole to ensure the Club’s longevity within the Military Drill Hall.

The process to date unfortunately has been regrettable in regard to not being able to confirm bookings after September and could further effect to the Club’s core business, due to possible delays after the June deadline of securing a new lease for September.

How can the public help with The Fly’s cause?

The Club will be sending out an information package shortly to members, and to supporters within the general public to petition the National Trust, and Government, but I’m hopeful it is just a good governance process by the National Trust, and i am making a mountain out of mole hill, but currently the mole hill is high.



  1. Dianne Goodlad says:

    Fly By Night is unique to Australia. It must be preserved. It seems unfair that the club was instrumental in saving the building and is now facing the possibility of losing it as a venue.

  2. the fly by night music club is a valuable asset to Fremantle, due to there support over the years a lot of well known Australian and International musicians got there start here, it should be preserved and continued so up and coming musicians also get this chance for many many years to come. It is a Fremantle/West Australian icon, well known and appreciated by thousands upon thousands of people, musicians/fans/followers/ people of all generations, musical genres, nationalities, to loose such a important part of the Freo Culture would be a travesty of mammoth proportions.

  3. Please, please, please, keep THE FLY! It is one of the best venues for both performers and punters alike. It has it’s own personality as a venue. I have performed there, and attended some unforgettable performances there. I now live interstate, and bought a CD recorded at The Fly, simply because of that. I didn’t know the artist, but I knew the venue, and knew that would make whose ever performance it is, very special. Fremantle is losing so many long-established retail and restaurant venues, let us not lose another. Our cultural history has been borne of the The Fly By Night, and I enjoyed the stories my Mother told me about the premises in it’s previous incarnation in the 1940s and 1950s.
    Cultural heritage is worth fighting for, and worn keeping.

  4. grant Touchell says:

    The `Fly By´ is an integral part of the Fremantle and Western Australian music industry. I played my first shows at the venue for years and it was a fundamental part of my experience and musical growth, as for many other professional musicians today. It has given so much to the public and deserves to continue doing so.

  5. The Fly is part of Freo’s heart 🙁

  6. I agree Dianne. Goodlyck Fly by Night

  7. Keiffer McMillan says:

    Well the way I see it the FLY BY NIGHT BAR in Freo is an integral part of the. USIA scene an any one who loves the music out WESTERN AUSTRALIA knows this place .. It would have a serious negative effect on the music scene .. Hope this venue can be preserved

  8. Brian Waldron says:

    Not only is The Fly a great venue, it is also great value. I learnt this when I was home in Perth for a visit in the past couple of years. I’d seen an act ion Sydney with my partner and while in Perth I bought three tickets to take my hosts to see the same act. The two tickets in Sydney cost the same as three tickets to see the same act at The Fly. And the Sydney show didn’t offer up the same great support act as The Kill Devil Hills at the Fly.

    Not only is the Fly a great venue, the likes of which Fremantle and Perth can’t really do without, but it also offers the punters reasonably priced access to some great touring acts as well as supporting a lot of home-grown talent.

    Surely this is the sort of cultural heritage that the National Trust should be supporting rather than threatening.

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