As much of the country battles the devastating bushfires and extreme conditions that have wreaked havoc across the New Year’s period, the indomitable spirit of the Australian people has never been in clearer focus.
Photo Kurt Petersen Photography
From the tireless work of the CFA, the RFS and our volunteer firefighters, to the hundreds of spare beds on offer, through to the millions of dollars raised in fire relief so far - it’s obvious that the best of us are doing all we can in a time of great need. All our thoughts here at Secret Sounds and Falls Festival are with those affected locally and nationally in the current conditions.
This unflappable character was writ large during the Lorne leg of Falls Festival this year, as the unavoidable weather conditions forced an early closure of our stunning festival site after only one day of festivities.
Far from dropping their bundles, the loyal Falls crowd were absolutely amazing in their response to this body blow, patiently packing up their tents and waiting in line to leave, keeping spirits high and cobbling together alternate New Year’s plans as they went. Some of these plans weren’t too far removed from what they would’ve been served up amongst the ancient trees of the Otway Forest either way, as several generous artists put together huge fundraisers in lieu of their headline sets.
“A huge thanks to you, our Falls audience. While it was disappointing, your overwhelming support around the mid show Lorne cancellation was nothing short of inspiring. A lot of people, wildlife and firies are doing it damn tough at the moment and your safety was our priority. Thankfully the rest of Falls ran beautifully with some of our best festivals yet, including standout performances from Halsey, Disclosure, Vampire Weekend, the legendary John Farnham & Baker Boy with too many others to mention. And of course, a mega shout out to our awesome Falls team who put in huge amounts of care, good old-fashioned hard work and heart which make Falls Festival what it is. Thanks to all, here’s to a safe 2020!!”
Jessica Ducrou & Paul Piticco xo
Melbourne’s inner city was flooded over the last weekend on 2019, with huge shows by the likes of Halsey, Peking Duk, Yungblud, Holy Holy, Baker Boy, G Flip and many more all raising nearly $100,000 for the CFA and related authorities. Overall, the response to this difficult situation was a credit to both the artists and their devoted fans.
This joins the $18,000 raised for the Salvation Army relief efforts during Falls Black Friday sales, over $23,000 donated from Byron ticket sales to the RFS. Further news on the festival’s involvement in Sound Relief fundraising coming soon.
Elsewhere in the country, Falls Festival further cemented its reputation as Australia’s premiere New Year’s festival.
Perfect weather and a pristine site greeted revellers in Byron Bay as the likes of Halsey, Vampire Weekend, Disclosure and PNAU strutted their stuff. The masterful Peking Duk were given the opportunity to ring in the new decade, setting their controls for the heart of the sun and levelling the main arena with a banger-laden set.
Falls’ Tasmanian leg in Marion Bay allowed direct access to the stunning white shores of nearby beaches and patrons took full advantage. Towels in hand, they hit the water and spliced some serious sun with an unforgettable set from the legendary John Farnham, among many others. Therapy dogs also roamed the grounds, proving a huge hit with literally everybody and the Smalls Festival family arts precinct was also buzzing from go to woah.
Out West, our friends in Fremantle continued to build on what is fast becoming a signature event of the Port City’s calendar: Falls Downtown. Across the weekend, the breezy, tree-filled oasis of Fremantle Oval played host to our trusty headliners, as well as an exclusive set by recent J Award winner Matt Corby.
Corby’s set bookended another banner year for Falls Festival, which showcased yet again that the convergence of fabulous music and art, dazzling surrounds and unbeatable crowds will always provide the perfect start to a New Year.
If you missed out on a memento from the shows, the online merch store is now up and running.
The team at Falls want to thank their staff, artists, local authorities, emergency services and of course their ever-loyal patrons who continue to make Falls Festival the most amazing experience as they head into their 28th year. Exciting updates and festival announcements coming in 2020!