Falls Festival organisers abandon plans for Murroon site for now

falls festival

Falls Festival organisers have withdrawn from a planning process for a proposed site in Murroon, putting in doubt the long-term location of the festival in Victoria.

The festival’s previous home in Lorne came to an end three years ago, when it was forced to cancel in 2019 due to a bushfires, followed by two further pandemic cancellations.

This year’s festival is being staged at the end of the month at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, while it looks for a permanent home in regional Victoria.

Event organisers said they will re-assess the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) approval process next year after a “small group of objectors opposed the planning permit approval for Falls Birregurra in Murroon, and applied to VCAT to put a halt to it”.

“Unfortunately, following initial compulsory mediation, the parties could not achieve a resolution,” said Jessica Ducrou, Falls producer and chief executive of Secret Sounds.

“Given the time and expense, we have decided to withdraw from the approval process.

“It has taken two years of consultation and planning permit approval processes to get to this point and despite support … the process has been stalled by the objectors through VCAT.”

Colac Otway Shire Council mayor Chris Potter said the council was “disappointed that Secret Sounds has had to withdraw from the VCAT process”.

“But look forward to continuing to work with them on future opportunities,” he said.