THE popular Falls Festival at Marion Bay will no longer take place in Tasmania, upsetting music lovers who have flocked to the event over the past 17 years.
Having been cancelled last year due to Covid restrictions, organisers had until last month been cagey about whether the festival would go ahead.
It is understood the festival organisers and the State Government could not reach a deal in terms of taxpayer money underwriting the event.
As well as cancelling Marion Bay, the Lorne event will no longer go ahead, instead shifting to Pennyroyal Plains in Murroon, Victoria.
The event was a huge tourist drawcard for the South East of Tasmania, with economic activity in the region dramatically rising as visitors flock to the area.
“After 27 years in beautiful Lorne and 17 years in fabulous Tassie it is with mixed feelings that Falls Festival moves on to its next chapter,’’ organisers said.
“It has been a privilege to operate Falls Festival in such beautiful locations and we’re so thankful to the Surf Coast Shire, Sorell Council and supporting stakeholders of Lorne and Marion Bay who have shown Falls Festival such incredible support over the years.
“We hope that our Lorne and Tassie Falls fam (family) will join us at Pennyroyal Plains. “Less than two hours from Melbourne and 30 minutes from its previous home in Lorne, Pennyroyal Plains is a spectacular and 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.”
Tourism, Hospitality and Events Minister Sarah Courtney said the decision was disappointing for Tasmanians.
“We have engaged closely with the organisers of Falls Festival through Events Tasmania in recent months, and we understand that this hasn’t been an easy decision for them following the impact of the pandemic on their business,’’ Ms Courtney said.
“I would like to thank Falls Festival for their investment in Tasmania over the last 17 years, which has attracted thousands of visitors to the state and provided a boost to Tasmania’s summer economy.
“The Government is continuing to engage closely with the events and hospitality sector … and look forward to future summer events and concerts across Tasmania.
“Tasmania has a track record of producing home-grown talent, and fostering unique and popular events.
“We look forward to continuing to maximise opportunities for our highly talented local musicians, and other local businesses, such as food vendors, which allow us to have such a vibrant event sector.’’