The organisers of Falls Festival have released a statement regarding the closure of the festival in Lorne owing to the health safety risks caused by the forecast weather.
‘It is with a heavy heart we have had to cancel the remaining days of The Falls Festival in Lorne,’ says the release. ‘Monday December 30 in the Otways and surrounding region will be a risk to health and safety due to potential fires, smoke, severe winds and tree hazards. The decision has not been made lightly, our patron and staff safety is our priority.’
The release says that forecasted conditions grew significantly worse with information coming to light that had not been available to organisers before the event kicked off on December 28. After consultation with local and regional fire authorities and other emergency stakeholders, they say it was clear that they had no other option. ‘While conditions are fine at time of writing, we are taking the opportunity to move everyone offsite safely and in good time.’
The 9,000 people who were onsite on Sunday were asked to calmly pack up their campsite.
Patrons were told that the Great Ocean Road is at capacity, and not to go into Lorne or other coastal townships as they are all subject to the same extreme weather conditions. They were also warned against camping 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.
Food, medical and sanitary facilities remained open all day Sunday December 29, however music and bars did not operate.
Ticket refund today
All ticket purchasers to the Lorne 2019 event will receive a full refund including booking and payment processing fees and refunds will be processed from 9am Monday today.
Falls events in Byron, Marion Bay and Fremantle are unaffected and we look forward to good times with you.
Secret Sounds Co CEO Jessica Ducrou said they are gutted. ‘We had to make this call – the safety of our patrons, artists and staff is our main priority,’ she said last Sunday. ‘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.’
Gates to the event site will close at 9 am today.