Victoria's Rainbow Serpent Has Cancelled Its January Music Festival Because of the Bushfires
Instead, it's hosting a one-day party in the CBD and a multi-day festival over Easter.
Since first launching its multi-day dance festival fun back in 1998, Rainbow Serpent Festival has become a January long weekend staple in regional Victoria. But, just two weeks out from its 2020 event, the Lexton festival has had to cancel because of Victoria's catastrophic bushfires.
In a statement released last night, a RSF spokesperson said the decision was made after a meeting and site inspection with the CFA, Victoria Police, Forest Fire Management Victoria and Pyrenees Council staff. "Due to a number of safety concerns stemming from the fire that affected the site and the wider bushfire impacts across the country, it was agreed that holding RSF over the scheduled weekend in Lexton simply isn't the right thing to do," the statement says.
This fire season in Australia has already been a catastrophic one, with more than six-million hectares and thousands of homes destroyed and an estimated one billion animals killed by bushfires so far. Lorne's Falls Festival and NSW's Lost Paradise were both cancelled in December due to bushfire threats.
There is some good news for music lovers, though. RSF has announced not one, but two replacement festivals. The first one will take place on Sunday, January 26 — coinciding with the festival original dates of January 24–27 — in Melbourne's CBD. Dubbed the Urban Edition, it'll feature multiple stages and "the majority of special guest performers from the original lineup". Exactly who and where haven't been announced just yet, but RSF promises these details will be released in the upcoming days.
The second festival will be taking place in the original location over the Easter long weekend, April 10–14. Details other than the location — Lexton, a two-hour drive west from Melbourne — are currently scarce, but festival organisers have said the regional event is important to help support local communities and businesses.
"This event is important for the rebuilding of the local communities that were directly impacted by the fires and boosting their local economy," organisers said in the statement. "As well as your Rainbow favourites, we'll be hosting a number of community related events including tree planting, a community working bee and the delayed opening of the [email protected] Arts Hub."
RSF organisers have said they're also looking at how else the two new events can help "drive community fundraising" for the bushfire relief.
Ticket holders unable to attend one or both of the new events will be offered full and partial refunds — and new tickets will be released for those wanting to head along.
Rainbow Serpent Festival: Urban Edition is happening on Sunday, January 26 in Melbourne's CBD and Rainbow Serpent Festival: Regen Edition is happening sometime between April 10–14 in Lexton, Victoria. For more information, keep an eye on the Rainbow Serpent website.
Top image: Flickr
Published on January 09, 2020 by Samantha Teague