Falls Festival abandons plans of new Victorian home of Pennyroyal Plains in Murroon

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Falls Festival abandons plans of new Victorian home of Pennyroyal Plains in Murroon

Credit: Rick Clifford

After relocating its 2022/23 event to the Melbourne CBD, Falls Festival organisers have withdrawn from the VCAT planning approval process for the Murroon location in Victoria.

The future home of one of Australia’s longest-running music festivals, Falls Festival, is up in the air, with organisers withdrawing from the VCAT planning approval process for the previously proposed location in Murroon, Victoria.

This won’t affect this year’s event that will go ahead as announced at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne as Falls Downtown Melbourne. 

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Falls Festival is relocating to downtown Melbourne for its 2022 Victorian event

Known for its incredible line-ups, massive stage productions, and a solid festival atmosphere, after 27 years in beautiful Lorne, festival organisers announced plans to ring in the new year at a new location in Murroon in 2022 as it moves from its traditional home at Lorne.

While Falls Festival won planning approval to host its triumphant return at its new home of Pennyroyal Plains in Murroon, just a stone’s throw from Birregurra (with the Colac-Otway Shire Council voting to approve the festival’s move from near Lorne on the Great Ocean Road, after the application of the new festival site received 24 objections and 14 submissions in support of the three-day event), an application by a small group of locals was made to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) appealing this decision and a hearing date set for February/March 2023, after the event was meant to take place.

“A small group of objectors opposed the planning permit approval for Falls Birregurra in Murroon, Victoria and applied to the Victorian  Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) to put a halt to it. Unfortunately, following initial compulsory mediation, the parties could not achieve a resolution and a hearing was set for late February early March next year,” explains Falls Producer and Secret Sounds Co CEO, Jessica Ducrou. 

“Given the time and expense, we have decided to withdraw from the approval process. The festival  industry is recovering from the pandemic and a long, expensive process pursuing this application is  something we’ll need to reassess in the new year. 

“It has taken two-years of consultation and planning permit approval processes to get to this point  and despite support from the local community and Colac Otway Council, the process has been  stalled by the objectors through VCAT. 

“We thank all the community and stakeholders who have supported the Falls Festival to date. We know from numerous economic impact studies of these events in the past that they provide the  area with tens of millions of dollars in economic stimulus and short-term employment for locals over  the period of the festival.” 

The Mayor of Colac Otway Shire Council, Cr Chris Potter said: “Council approved the issue of a  permit for a Falls music festival near Birregurra and was looking forward to the social, cultural and  economic benefits that a major event brings to the region.  

“We are disappointed that Secret Sounds has had to withdraw from the VCAT process at this time,  but look forward to continuing to work with them on future opportunities.” 

The objectors forced the festival to relocate this year’s event, relocating to Melbourne for the first time.

Now billed as Falls Downtown Melbourne, the event will now take place at Sidney Myer Music Bowl and surrounds across the same dates 29, 30 and 31 December, bringing along the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Lil Nas X, Peggy Gou, CHVRCHES, Jamie xx and more. Final  tickets are available via Moshtix now