Falls Festival kicked off its planned four-day run yesterday in Lorne, Victoria, but the remaining dates of the festival have now been cancelled due to predicted extreme weather conditions and the consequent risk to health and safety due to potential fires, smoke, severe winds and tree hazards.
“Forecasted conditions have gotten significantly worse in the past 12 hours, with information coming to light that has not been available to us before the event kicked off on December 28th,” wrote festival organisers on Facebook.
“After consultation with local and regional fire authorities and other emergency stakeholders, it is clear that we have no other option.”
Gates to the festival grounds will close 9am on December 30th. Festival organisers have asked the 9000 patrons currently camping onsite to pack up and leave, emphasising that there’s no need to rush and asking campers to ensure a sober driver is available.
Organisers have instructed patrons on the way to the event to turn back, and given instructions as to how to exit for those currently on the grounds.
“All traffic will exit via Mt Sabine and Deans Marsh Rds onto the Princes Highway. The Great Ocean road is at capacity, please do not return into Lorne or other coastal townships as they are all subject to the same extreme weather conditions. Do not look to camp in the Otways or any forested area, as the fire risk is extreme and there are forecast wind gusts of 90 – 100km per hour with possible lightning.”
Refunds will be processed from 9am Monday, 30th December for ticket purchasers.
“We are gutted to make this call but the safety of our patrons, artists and staff is our main priority,” commented Secret Sounds CEO Jessica Ducrou.
“We would like to thank our regional emergency management team, Surf Coast Council, SES, Police and CFA for their support and advice during this time. We would also like to thank our Falls family who work year round and over the last few weeks who have put their heart and soul into Falls Lorne, we are forever grateful. Please take care getting home safely.”
The remaining Falls events in Byron Bay, Marion Bay and Fremantle are unaffected and will continue as planned.