It was a pretty worrying sight to see when the Lorne and Wye River fires started a few weeks back and one of the very major factors was what was going to happen to the annual Falls Festival that is held in Lorne. There is no doubt that any of this is new news to anybody, however, for the 48 hours when the fire was really raging and wiping out houses and environment left right and centre, there was suggestions that the annual event would be cancelled.
Having experienced the magic of Falls for myself on several occasions, the first of which was incredibly memorable for seeing Moby live on stage. I was also excited about the opportunity to see Foals, The Avener and everybody’s favourite Courtney Barnett live.
When it was suggested that the event be cancelled – which was the only option apart from a relocation – I’m sure that if you have been following the discussion on social media you will be aware of the lengths that people would go to to make sure that the event went ahead. Such extremes led to a few disgruntled punters setting up fake Facebook profiles and suggesting the event was to be held at the Myer Music Bowl and camping to be in the Botanical Gardens.
After a bit of sneaky detective work I had figured out this was fake, despite my friend telling me that it was legit real. My first reaction to the relocation to Mt. Duneed was that it was definitely bound to work. Having seen Elton John perform there in early December, I was amazed at how well the setup was for the event. With the amount of people attending, there was no issue of how it was going to work, just the time constraint of two days to shift and put the whole festival together.
Driving down the Colac highway to the site of the relocation, the majestical big tops of the tents can be viewed a mile away. With Circa Waves on the stereo, a big smile beams across my face as I realise that summertime is finally here. Admittedly, it’s a little bit weird to not see the big majestic rolling hills, however, it is the ultimate pinnacle of a summer party. Local band Mighty Duke and the Lords will also be remembered for playing a calypso version of ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) by Beyoncé’.
In the new temporary location, Falls Festival is definitely still kicking arse with one of the better things being the hill incline between the Valley stage and Grand Theatre not being so steep! (If you’ve been before, you’ll know what I mean). Complete with Mexican wrestler straight jacket magic trick, definitely one of the highlights of the first night was El Vez. On the first night, everybody dressed up to bring their best boogie-ing to the table and the costumes were something else.
Between El Vez and Weird Al Yankovic, I took a stroll around the tent and bumped into Darth Vader having a pint with a chap dressed in lederhosen and a giraffe. With a live band in tow, Weird Al Yankovic showed why he was leading the forefront of comedy all around the world. Playing songs off his Grammy Award winning album Mandatory Fun, the set opened with ‘Handy’, a take on Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’ and the crowd erupted with rapturous applause when he finally took to the stage after weaving his way through the backstage with a wireless microphone.
Closing out the night was the ever energetic and highly engaging Art Vs Science. Off the back of releasing their second album, Off the Edge of the Earth and Forever, Forever, they sure knew how to close out the first night of Falls. With light up massive crystals on stage, their high energy set finished with the now infamous ‘Parlez Vous Francais’ and ‘Flippers’.
A miraculous effort to relocate the Falls Festival for 2015, but I am assured that if the decision had to be made again, Mt Duneed could definitely blossom into a second home for the festival.
Happy New Year Forte!
Written by Tex Miller