UGLIELAND 2022 Perth Heritage Festival


Website and information

This year our ABC Youth Troupes have been given the opportunity to return to this years Heritage Perth Festival. This year you will have the chance to relive the shenanigans of the 1920s, where circus spectacle and fabulous freakishness collided in a melange of performers exploring the outer limit of human possibility.

Uglieland, (also known as White City), was a carnival park on Perth’s foreshore between World War I and 1929. It was originally located at the Supreme Court Gardens, but later in 1922 moved to where the Elizabeth Quay bus and train stations are. The name ‘Uglieland’ came about from the organising body called the Ugly Men’s Voluntary Worker’s Association. They were a unique West Australian fundraising and charity organisation established in 1917. Their inaugural event was the “Ugly Man” competition to raise funds for the Red Cross.

The Ugly Men’s membership was made up primarily of lower and working-class men and women with 21 successful branches across Perth. They raised funds for war-widows and others in need. The popularity of the Ugly Men peaked with the establishment of the annual Uglieland carnivals in Perth and Fremantle, raising about £12,000 each year.  However the carnival caused moral panic amongst the ‘leaders’ of society with allegations of gambling and ‘unsuitable’ activities. After many attempts It was eventually closed in 1929.

Jim the flying Greyhound at White City, 1927. State Library of WA (047743PD)

But alas! The great festival returns for all of Perth to relive and enjoy. So come on down and see our freakish troupes perform their unique performance creations, and watch our Sliders and Colliders original 1920s Slap-stick style silent film! For more information head over to the Visit Perth website and search UGLIELAND.