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Highway to Hell

Photo: Cam Campbell

The McGowan Government, through Tourism WA, struck a new four-year deal to support Perth Festival's annual headline event until 2023. As part of the new funding agreement, Tourism WA will sponsor the 2020 Perth Festival closing event, Highway to Hell. 

The Highway to Hell event will take place on March 1, 2020 - the 40th anniversary since original AC/DC front man Bon Scott was laid to rest at Fremantle Cemetery.

The free event will take place along Perth's southern stretch of Canning Highway - from the Raffles Hotel to the Old Fremantle Traffic Bridge - and take inspiration from the AC/DC song of the same name, in celebration of Scott's connection to the area.

It will showcase local, national and international acts, including female rock trio Shonen Knife from Japan, bluegrass band Steve 'n' Seagulls from Finland and the Pigram Brothers from Broome, along with the WA Police Pipe Band and the Perth Symphony Orchestra.

The acts will perform a curated program of AC/DC songs as they move along the 10km route on flatbed trucks, at short intervals.

Based on previous Perth Festival headline events, Highway to Hell is expected to attract a large crowd, including thousands of interstate visitors who will contribute millions of dollars to the WA economy.

There will also be performers leading the world's largest karaoke rendition of AC/DC's Highway to Hell, as well as other static and roving performances taking place in venues and among the crowds along the Canning Highway route.

The highway will be closed to traffic and visitors will be invited to set up picnics from 3pm along the northern side of Canning Highway, from the Raffles Hotel to the Old Fremantle Traffic Bridge, before the main performance program begins at 5pm. Hospitality businesses along the route will be open with extended trading permits.

The Festival will be promoted through a targeted digital marketing campaign in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Malaysia, and has the potential to deliver strong national and international media coverage and online reach due to AC/DC's huge popularity worldwide.

Perth Festival, which is the longest-running annual international multi-arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere, has been supported by the State Government through principal partner Lotterywest and other agencies since 1992.

The full program of events will be released on Thursday, October 31. A suite of four festivals that celebrate place and honour history and shared stories of WA - in particular Noongar stories - will also be a feature of the program of events.

The State Government, through Lotterywest, has been supporting the Perth Festival for more than 25 years and has provided $7.7 million for Perth Festival this year.

As a result of Lotterywest's 2018-19 record sales result, a $700,000 boost was made available for Highway to Hell to ensure the event is free for the whole community to enjoy.


Page reviewed 27 February 2023