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Falls Festival Is Forging Ahead with Plans for Its 2020 Music Festival

While social distancing and public gathering restrictions are still in place, Falls Festival is hoping to go ahead — with an all-Aussie lineup.
By Samantha Teague
May 06, 2020
By Samantha Teague
May 06, 2020

While social distancing and public gathering rules are still in place across the country, some companies are starting to look to the less-restricted future. Qantas yesterday said interstate travel could be back on the cards by July, Restaurant and Catering Australia wants hospitality venues reopened in June and, now, Falls Festival has announced it's powering ahead with plans for its New Year's festival — with some big changes.

In a statement released this morning, Falls Co-Producers Jessica Ducro and Paul Piticco said they'd decided to push ahead with the end-of-year festival. "As Australia heads towards the recovery phase of COVID-19 we have decided to move forward with optimism, and work towards presenting our Dec 2020/Jan 2021 event in a way that will best bolster Australia's live music industry," the statement said.

Details of the summer festival, which usually takes places at Tassie's Marion Bay, Lorne in Victoria, North Byron and Fremantle, are scarce for now, but the duo has announced one big change: an all-Aussie lineup.

With Australia's borders currently closed and even travel between just Australia and New Zealand "still some time away", keeping the lineup local does seem the smart choice — and it has the added bonus of helping Aussie musicians, many of which have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown. According to website I Lost My Gig, Australian music industry workers have lost approximately $340 million worth of income since the crisis began.

Falls Festival hopes it'll be able to help support some of those impacted with its locally focused festival. "We have some of the most exciting acts in the world and this special 'home grown' edition of Falls will ensure that money stays in our local economy, providing maximum financial benefit for the Australian music community – artists, management, crew, agents, roadies, production etc — as well as the thousands of contractors and suppliers who rely on our events for their income," Ducro and Piticco said in the statement. The festival will also help raise funds for Support Act, a charity delivery crisis relief services to those in the music industry.

It's positive news for those in the industry and music fans alike, but the the festival is not yet set in stone. Two-person public gathering rules are still currently in place in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, and Australia's ban on non-essential mass gatherings of over 500 people was one of the first restrictions implemented — way back on March 13, 2020 — so could, if we're to work backwards, be one of the last lifted.

The Australian Government has also said some level of social distancing measures will need to remain in place until a vaccine is found, which Federal Science Minister Karen Andrews told the ABC earlier this week was still 10–15 months away. So, if the festival is to go ahead, it could look a little different — and a have a lot less punters in tow. Falls Byron usually has around 25,000 attendees, while Falls Lorne has 9000.

Last year, the music festival was impacted by the bushfires, with the Lorne leg cancelled one day in because of extreme and hazardous weather.

Falls Festival is hoping to go ahead in December 2020/January 2021. We'll let you know if and when more details are announced. 

Published on May 06, 2020 by Samantha Teague


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