Falls Festival moves to Melbourne after appeal from locals

Featured image credit: Joey Thompson on Unsplash

Falls Festival has been moved to Melbourne after residents close to its new regional Victoria location opposed the event.

The three-day festival, which will welcome performances from US rapper Lil Nas X and English rock band Arctic Monkeys, will now take place at Sidney Myer Music Bowl across two stages. 

Secret Sounds’ Falls Festival was due to move from its usual home in Lorne to Birregurra in Colac, after Colac Otway shire council approved a planning permit. However, an application was made by locals to the Victorian civil and administrative tribunal, appealing the decision. 

A hearing date for the appeal had been set for February and March after the event was due to be held, which prompted organisers to make the move to Melbourne. 

Farmers in the region had been concerned about the event’s potential impact on cattle on neighbouring farms, and the noise and light pollution from the festival potentially harming livestock. 

The festival’s co-producer Jessica Ducrou told the Guardian: “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.”

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

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

Falls Festival will be held December 29 – 31 in Melbourne while the Byron Bay dates are December 31 – January 2. A further event will be held in Fremantle January 7 – 8.