The Brag Media
News November 5, 2021

What’s impacted as Falls Festival redraws its map in Tasmania & Victoria?

What’s impacted as Falls Festival redraws its map in Tasmania & Victoria?

Photo credit: Charlie Hardy

Economic repercussions were inevitable when an event as major as Falls Festival redraws its map when it returns in the summer of 2022/23.

As announced this week, the Marion Bay, Tasmania, date has been dropped after 17 years.

The Victoria show moves to Pennyroyal Plains in Murroon, a 30-minute drive from Lorne, its surf coast birthplace for the past 27 years.

The Lorne property is owned by Falls, with permanent stages and toilet blocks.

The two locations that remain untouched are North Byron Parklands, Yelgun, NSW; and Fremantle Oval, Fremantle, WA.

The blame game has already begun in Tasmania, where Falls not only serves as a rites-of-passage but a place for the local fans to catch up with those international and major Australian acts that traditionally only tour the mainland.

Of the 15,000 that attended in 2013, 55% were from interstate or overseas, and a study put its contribution to the Tasmanian summer economy at $15 million directly and indirectly.

It was no secret that with tickets having to be priced cheaper, Marion Bay was not always financially viable.

The local live music sector is blaming the Government for not coming through with enough funds to keep the festival there, while tourism executives predict the volume of summer visitors will be affected.

Sarah Courtney, minister for tourism, hospitality and events issued a statement that she understood the decision was “disappointing for many Tasmanians” .

“We have engaged closely with the organisers of Falls Festival through Events Tasmania in recent months,” she added.

“We understand that this hasn’t been an easy decision for them following the impact of the pandemic on their business.”

She said Tasmania has a track record of producing home-grown talent and fostering unique and popular events.

“The Government is continuing to engage closely with the events and hospitality sector, which we know has faced many challenges due to COVID-19, and look forward to future summer events and concerts across Tasmania.”

Falls co-CEO Jessica Ducrou told the Hobart Mercury: “We’ve been in discussions with Events Tasmania, they understand what we need.

“It really would require Government support to come back.”

Ducrou and co-CEO Paul Piticco were drawn to Pennyroyal Plains for the Victorian show – which draws 17,500 – because it is visually spectacular and was a never-before-used event location.

“The space is truly special. We fell in love with its gentle topography and sweeping open spaces, which has created the opportunity for Falls to transform its new landscape into a deeper and more immersive festival experience” they said.

With Falls having won tourism awards previously, the Colac Otway Shire is hoping for a similar boost.

“It will showcase our beautiful region to the musicians, event organisers, media and audience who will attend the three-day event,” said mayor Kate Hanson.

“It will bring a much-welcomed boost to the local economy and a nice escape from the pressures of the last couple of years for music lovers near and far.”

Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism General Manager Liz Price called the move “still a win for the region. The inland location is great for getting some dispersal”.

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