Bushfire Forces Change Of Location For Falls Festival

26 December 2015 | 7:40 pm | Staff Writer

Vic event to go ahead

Yesterday's bushfire that devastated the Great Ocean Road area in Victoria has forced the relocation of this year's Falls Festival.

Event organisers have just issued a statement announcing the change.

After a meeting with emergency services this afternoon, "It was agreed that the Lorne farm, for this particular event, is potentially high risk."

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The four-day camping event will now take place at the Mount Duneed Estate, on Pettavel Road, just north of Torquay. It begins on Monday.

The statement added that the festival organisers' "number one priority is always the safety of our patrons and our friends.

"With that in mind, we have spent the past 24 hours securing another Victorian venue for the event to continue."

The location is one used for events staged by A Day On The Green.

Festival Co-Producer Jessica Ducrou said today, "First, and most importantly, our hearts and thoughts are with our neighbours and local communities in the Lorne area who continue to deal with this heartbreaking situation. The safety of our patrons is always our number one concern, and our discussions have directed us to a new home and Falls experience for the year."

Organisers met with members of the CFA, Victorian Police, Emergency Management Victoria, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Surf Coast Shire today before making the decision to go ahead with the event that is expected to attract 15,000 people across its four days.

Ducrou added, "The team at Falls will deliver an outstanding event for all of our ticket holders attending. We'd love to thank the Surf Coast Shire and Geelong Councils, emergency services for their ongoing support of the festival, the guys at Mount Duneed Estate, including their neighbours and to all of you - our patrons - who have been very supportive and patient throughout this difficult process."

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley praised the festival promoters for consulting with the Lorne community, "The Falls Festival organisers have always had the safety of the community front of mind and have worked very closely with emergency services and the Surf Coast Shire to get the right outcome.

"This is about people's safety and that was the focus in coming to the decision to relocate the festival."

All Lorne tickets will be accepted at the gates and scanned by Falls and Oztix staff. As the festival is proceeding, refunds will not be offered, however for those who would prefer to attend another event Falls are offering Lorne patrons the opportunity to switch their tickets to the Marion Bay or Byron Bay legs of the event.

Those who wish to switch to the interstate festival locations have been advised to contact Oztix directly at info@oztix.com.au.

All Lorne ticket holders are also being advised to keep an eye on their inbox over the next 24 hours for updates regarding event information and traffic access.

Falls organisers also reiterated that the Byron Bay and Marion Bay events are business as usual.

The sold out event this year features Foals, Bloc Party, Courtney Barnett, Hilltop Hoods and Disclosure among their headliners.