Music festival returns – at surprise location

Victoria’s famous Falls Festival will make its long-awaited return in December, following a two-year hiatus and with a second location change.

For the first time in its nearly 30-year history, the three-day festival will relocate from regional Victoria to inner-city Melbourne.

US rapper Lil Nas X and English rock band Arctic Monkeys will lead a long list of performers at Sidney Myer Music Bowl across two stages.

It comes after organisers previously announced the event would move from its home in Lorne to Birregurra in Colac after Colac Shire Otway Council approved a planning permit.

However, despite overwhelming community support, an application was made to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal by a small group of locals appealing the decision.

A hearing date for the appeal has been set for February and March, after the event was scheduled to take place and prompted the relocation to Melbourne.

“Thanks so much for all the support from stakeholders, artists and all who contribute to Falls, we’re thrilled that the show will go on at Sidney Myer Music Bowl, ringing in the new year in Downtown Melbourne,” Falls Co-Producer Jessica Ducrou said.

Local farmers concerned about the event’s impact on cattle at neighbouring farms were among those opposed.

Some told local media noise and light from the show could potentially harm their livestock.

“We’ve heard all about the businesses that are going to benefit from this. But my business is farming,” Gerangamete farmer Chris Roberts previously said according to the Surf Coast Times.

“How is this going to affect us, and what are we going to get out of this festival going forward? I don’t know.”

The event has been held annually since 1993 but was cancelled the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ticket holders who are unable to attend the new venue in Melbourne can apply for a refund from September 13 until October 13.

Last year, it was announced the festival would be scrapped from Tasmania after 17 years.

The show will still be held in Byron Bay, NSW and Fremantle, Western Australia.

In 2015, the event was moved to Mt Duneed Estate near Geelong after bushfires devastated the Great Ocean Road.

It was cancelled in 2019 due to predicted extreme weather conditions.

In 2020, a multi-million dollar class action lawsuit involving 77 people was settled with festival organisers.

The victims, who sustained various injuries in a 2016 stampede, received almost $7 million following a settlement approval by the Victorian Supreme Court.


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