Perth Festival’s Highway to Hell judged Australia’s best cultural event

Perth-Festival-Highway-to-Hell-Dom-Mariani-and-the-Tommyhawks-photo-by-Tashi-Hall.jpgThe massive free, family-friendly finale to Perth Festival 2020, Highway to Hell, has been judged the Best Cultural, Arts or Music Event in Australia.

Highway to Hell was named a winner at the 2020 Australian Event Awards on Wednesday night at a ceremony simulcast live from Perth Arena and venues in three other cities across Australia.

Built around a rolling convoy of musical stages, Highway to Hell marked the 40th anniversary of the burial of Freo boy and legendary AC/DC frontman Bon Scott. More than 144,000 people reclaimed 10km of Canning Highway as the world’s longest stage for an epic one-day carnival of music, art, and suburban mythmaking.

The event doubled trade for local businesses, had a direct economic impact of $6.1 million and a flow-on economic benefit to the tune of $17.2 million.

Perth Festival presented Highway to Hell in partnership with the City of Melville, the City of Fremantle and the Town of East Fremantle. The event also was supported by the State Government through Lotterywest, Tourism WA and other key agencies.

In an incomprehensibly difficult year for Australia’s events industry, we offer a huge congratulations to all the other Australian Event Award winners and finalists from across the country, especially here in Western Australia.

Perth Festival Artistic Director Iain Grandage, who accepted the trophy at the WA ceremony at Perth Arena, said the Festival was thrilled to receive the award on behalf of the thousands of people who made Highway to Hell happen.

“The people of Perth brought our dreams to life by turning out and celebrating our ambitious Bon-fest with such magnificent enthusiasm and generosity of spirit,” said Grandage. “It was a day to remember before everything changed in a year we will never forget.”

“It took a village to raise this wild child of an event and we are forever thankful to the incredible artists, volunteers, sponsors and supporters who backed us in to turn it into rollicking reality.”

“Our immense gratitude goes out to them all, particularly the State Government through Lotterywest, Tourism WA, the Public Transport Authority, Main Roads, WA Police and other agencies, and the three amazing local councils in Melville, Fremantle and East Fremantle,” said Grandage.

The annual Australian Event Awards, for events held between July 2019 and June this year, were judged by industry leaders and experts from around Australia. Entries were assessed on all aspects of event management including best practice, innovation, marketing, stakeholder engagement and management, sustainability and event legacy. To see the full list of 2020 winners and finalists, visit:

The 2021 Perth Festival returns from 5 – 28 February. The festival program will be released on 18 November 2020. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Perth Festival’s Highway to Hell featuring Dom Mariani and the Tommyhawks – photo by Tashi Hall