It's a sad day.
Created as an opportunity to showcase local up-and-coming Australian talent and the very aesthetically pleasing Great Ocean Road (and all its treasures), Loch Hart Music Festival has quickly become the one of Victoria’s best boutique festivals over the last couple of years.
The regional festival was gearing up to take over the small scenic town of Princetown in Summer for its third edition when the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on Australia and the rest of the world. Forcing the immediate cancellation and postponement of hundreds of concerts, conferences, events and festivals across Australia and the rest of the world, it seemed no one was immune to its effects, and now Loch Hart Music Festival have revealed the miserable, but expected, fate of this year’s festival.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must vacate our November 2020 dates. Given the current state of things in Victoria this is unlikely to come as a shock, however, it is still an extremely difficult decision to make,” Festival Director, Jayden Bath said in a statement today.
“In an industry that has been devastated by the pandemic, we are one of the fortunate festivals. Although we began preparations for Loch Hart 2020 in January this year, we have had the benefit of foresight, which was not afforded to some,” he continues.
“We have exhaustively explored the possibility of alternate dates, shifting to a socially distant festival, reducing our size, capacity or amount of days, and even the possibility of a drive-in festival.
“Ultimately, in the current environment even the best-laid plans can come unstuck. We can only run a festival that we truly believe in and that pays homage to the culture and community that has been built at Loch Hart 2018 and 2019.”
Situated a stone’s throw from The Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge along Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road, the three-day festival has played host to a number of established and emerging performances, including the likes of Alice Ivy, Didirri, Waax, Last Dinosaurs, Alpine, The Senegambian Jazz Band, Genesis Owusu, and more to the delight of hundreds of happy punters.
Having doubled their numbers in their second year, while maintaining their intimate and friendly atmosphere, Loch Hart Music Festival were on an upward trajectory that would have seen them deliver their best festival yet.
While we won’t be hitting the Great Ocean Road with our tents and tinnies this year, the festival is looking forward to November 2021, when they aim to be bringing the music back to the small scenic town of Princetown.
“What we can tell you is that we plan to use this year off to make some dramatic additions. We are going to double-down on our environmental responsibilities, install new site infrastructure, explore new arts genres, and cast an open mind to what the future of Loch Hart may be,” Jayden continues.
“See you all in November 2021 revamped, bigger and better than ever!”