It's official. One of Australia’s longest-running music festivals will ring in the new year at a new location at Murroon in December this year as it moves from its traditional home at Lorne.
In some truly epic news for regional Victoria and the music industry, arguably the biggest Australian NYE festival, Falls Festival, has won planning approval to host its triumphant return at its new home of Pennyroyal Plains in Murroon, just a stone’s throw from Birregurra.
Earlier this month the Colac-Otway Shire Council voted 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.
The key takeaways
- Falls Festival confirms new Victorian home for 2022/2023 after receiving planning approval.
- The Lorne event will be relocated to Pennyroyal Plains in Murroon
- The move intends to grow the event over five years, with a maximum of 25,000 festival-goers approved to attend the new site near Birregurra this year and 30,000 in 2023.
Receiving a permit of two years for its new home, Colac Otway Shire councillors voted four-three in favour of granting a permit (thankfully!) after neighbouring farmers rallied in opposition to plans, raising concerns around livestock welfare and security, as well as noise impacts and traffic congestion.
But the economic benefits of the four-day celebration were too great, leading to the majority of councillors to back the beloved festival in.
“Letters of support, and community members who spoke to their submissions, recognised the event would also open up fundraising opportunities for local groups and organisations,” council mayor Kate Hanson said.
“Hosting the event, with a well-known and established Australian music festival that showcase world class international and local performers to thousands of music fans, will have a significant effect on raising the profile of the area, for the summer period and also year-round tourism.”
To mitigate disruptions to farmers however, the festival can go ahead with a permit that includes 41 conditions, including an Animal Monitoring Plan, strict time limits for set-up, pack up and set times and a bond deposit to cover any land damage.
Known for its incredible line-ups, massive stage productions, and a solid festival atmosphere, it’s after 27 years in beautiful Lorne that Falls Festival moves on to its next chapter, which will see up to 25,000 festival-goers attend the new site near Birregurra this year and 30,000 in 2023. To put this into perspective, 2018/2019 New Year’s at Falls Festival in Lorne sold out at 16,500 capacity.
Less than two hours from Melbourne, an hour and a half from Geelong and 30 minutes from its previous home in Lorne, Pennyroyal Plains is a spectacular and never before used event location which would offer high amenity, reduced travel times and reduced bushfire threat, something was has posed considerable strain on the festival over the past few years.
This move follows the cancellation of Falls Festival in Lorne back in 2019 after just one day with potential fires, smoke, severe winds and tree hazards in the surrounding area considered too risky to keep going, alongside in 2015 when Falls Festival was forced to relocate the site of their Lorne event to the Mount Duneed Estate winery near Geelong because of a blaze burning near the Lorne site.
The 2022/2023 edition of Falls Festival will be bringing some of the greatest acts from all corners of the globe to Australia. Leading the charge is a bunch of international favourites including Arctic Monkeys, Lil Nas X, Peggy Gou, Chvrches and Jamie xx, while on the homefront Falls will see a tonne of local heavyweights including Spacey Jane, Ocean Alley, G Flip, Amyl and the Sniffers, Genesis Owusu, The Vanns, The Wiggles and DMA’s.
There’s also a stack of emerging favourites like Telenova, Elsy Wameyo, RONA, and Juno Mamba to get excited about.
Further elevating the experience for punters, this year will also feature a wildly colourful program of arts events, performances, pop-ups, food stalls, markets, wellness sessions and even a Fall’s swimming pool.
You can read the Colac Council media release here.