One of Australia’s most popular music festivals has been cancelled this year to “rest, recover and recalibrate”.
Falls Festival announced on Instagram on Wednesday the annual event will not go ahead in either of it’s three iconic locations – Melbourne, Byron Bay and Fremantle – this December.
It is the third time in the past four years the event has been cancelled, the previous cancellations, which were in 2020 and 2021, were due to the Covid pandemic.
Falls Festival announced they will cancel the 2023/24 festival. Picture: InstagramIt is the third time in four years that the event has not gone ahead. Picture: Instagram
“After an impressive 28 years ringing in the New Year with some of the world’s biggest acts, the Falls team are today switching on their OOOs and taking this New Years’ season off to rest, recover and recalibrate,” a post said.
“We send huge love and appreciation to all our patrons for their ongoing support and for the great vibes they brought to the 2022/23 events.
“You really are the heart and soul of Falls Festival, and we look forward to updating you with our plans when the time is right.”
The festival said they are hoping to ‘rest, recover and recalibrate’. Picture: Instagram
The exact details of the event cancellation are still unclear.
It comes two months out from an incredible line-up due to take the stage at it’s twin festival Splendour in the Grass including Lizzo, Flume and Mumford & Sons.
Splendour in The Mud fallout
Secret Sounds, the team behind Falls Festival, were the target of a public fury last July after torrential rain flooded the grounds of North Byron Parklands, leaving campers stranded in the mud or stuck in a car queue for up to ten hours.
The organisers Secret Sounds came under scrutiny last year after twin festival Splendour in the Grass faced a number of problems. Picture: InstagramFalls Festival went ahead in December 2022. Picture: Instagram
The organisers were slammed for a lack of communication with hundreds of attendees as they waited into the early hours of the morning for answers.
The first-day of the festival was cancelled and thousands were forced to find last-minute accommodation as flooded campgrounds were abandoned.
Partial refunds were offered to some attendees for the cancelled first day, unused camping tickets, and to cover the cost of bus tickets.
Secret Sounds offered attendees of the 2022 festival a discounted price to purchase tickets to this year’s event which has yet to sellout.
The site of the original Falls Festival in Lorne was put up for sale in March. Picture: Instagram
Despite the fallout from the July event, it appears Falls Festival went on without a hitch in Byron Bay, Fremantle and Melbourne.
It was the first year the three-day event was hosted at Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne’s CBD after decades at the festival’s original home in Lorne.
The 58 hectare site was put up for sale in March.
Industry under pressure
The cancellation of Falls Festival this year comes after a handful of smaller festivals were canned.
Deniliquin-based Play on the Plains was cancelled a month out from the event in March due to “low-ticket sales”.
Nine festivals were wiped out in NSW alone last year after flooding saturated venues and disrupted supply chains and transport routes.
Wollongong festival Yours and Owls was cancelled in April, followed by Wine Machine in the Hunter Valley.
Falls Festival joins a series of Aussie festivals forced to cancel events in recent years. Picture: Instagram
Then again in October, Strawberry Fields which usually takes place on the border of NSW and Victoria was cancelled after flooding on the Murray River.
Newcastle festival This That cited rising insurance premiums along with extreme weather patterns when they cancelled ahead of cancelling in the same month.
Beloved Newtown Festival has called curtains on the annual event earlier this month.
The Newtown Neighbourhood Centre (NNC), which organises the event, cited unmanageable costs in keeping the festival free.
Over in Queensland, Lunar Electric pulled the plug on their Gold Coast event in February despite boasting Doja Cat as the headliner.