Maitreya Festival Cancelled After Permit Refusal Decision Upheld

1 March 2016 | 10:54 am | Neil Griffiths

It's over.

Just weeks after organisers of Melbourne's outdoor Maitreya Festival threatened legal action against local council after being denied a three-year permit, it has officially been announced that the dance event has been cancelled. 

As advised by the Buloke Shire Council, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) upheld the decision made by the council to not stage the festival at Wooroonook Lakes next week.

The council initially denied a permit for the festival after they argued that organisers had not submitted sufficient documentation in regards to planning for the event, which included four letters from council to organisers requesting more information between September-January.

A statement released by the council yesterday reads, "VCAT dismissed the promoter’s attempt to argue a technicality in regard to how the festival had been categorised in the planning permit. The lack of consent to use the land from Parks Victoria as well as Council was also considered.

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"This finding means a Cultural Heritage Management Plan will be needed in line with Council’s previous decision. The tribunal noted one could not be provided in time for the staging of this year’s event and that an urgent hearing would be futile.  The Maitreya Music and Arts Festival cannot go ahead on the forthcoming long weekend."

In a Facebook statement posted this morning, Maitreya Festival organisers announced they are "considering the impacts of the VCAT hearing".

"We'll update you with a formal statement and heaps of further information as soon as we can."

Tickets are still available for purchase on the festival website as of this morning. 

Meanwhile, the petition, which was launched to contest the initial ruling, has garnered over 2100 signatures, crushing its target of 1000. 

According to Fairfax, the cancellation will hurt business owners in the Bulok Shire and surrounding areas, who were expecting a $2.5 million boost for the local economy. 

The Music has contacted festival organisers, VCAT and Parks Victoria for comment.


Hey guys,We know you're waiting to hear from us so wanted to drop by and tell you we're busy considering the impacts of...

Posted by Maitreya Festival on Monday, 29 February 2016