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Australia’s Falls Festival forced to relocate

The Secret Sounds-promoted festival has announced a second relocation after a group of local residents appealed a planning permit for the first

By IQ on 13 Sep 2022

Falls Festival, Lorne

Falls Festival, Lorne

image © Rick Clifford/Facebook

Australia’s Falls Festival is set to relocate from regional Victoria for the first time in its 30-year history.

The event, promoted by Live Nation-owned Secret Sounds, will now take place at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne with the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Lil Nas X and CHVRCHES performing across two stages.

Secret Sounds had previously announced the event would move from its longtime home in the seaside town of Lorne to Birregurra in Colac, a small city in the western district of Victoria, after the local authority approved a planning permit.

However, despite strong community support, an application was made to the Victorian civil and administrative tribunal by a group of locals appealing the decision.

A hearing date for the appeal had been set for February and March – after the event was scheduled to take place on 29–31 December – which 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,” the festival’s co-producer Jessica Ducrou said.

A hearing date for the appeal had been set for February and March – after the event was scheduled to take place

Among those opposed to the event being held at Birregurra are Colac farmers concerned about the event’s potential impact on cattle at neighbouring farms.

Some told local media that 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,” the Gerangamete farmer Chris Roberts told the Surf Coast Times. “What are we going to get out of this festival going forward? I don’t know.”

The Colac Otway mayor, Kate Hanson, said the appeal application was a blow for the area.

“Council is disappointed for community groups and business owners who were looking forward to an increase in spending in the region this year,” Hanson said. “However, we’re pleased that Secret Sounds is still keen to continue to consider our shire for future Falls festival events.”

Ticket holders who are unable to attend the new venue in Melbourne can apply for a refund.


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