In the two towns of Lorne, Victoria and Marion Bay, Tasmania, a less than 20-year-old New Year’s tradition has sprung up and become a sell-out event that brings in music lovers from around the world. The Falls Music and Arts Festival is one great way to bring in the New Year if you happen to be in Australia at the time.
Falls Music and Arts Festival
Australia’s musical alternative for celebrating the coming of the New Year
Begun in 1993, the original Falls festival was a one day event and took place only in Lorne. Even so, that first year brought in around 11,000 people. This eventually led to the opening of another location in 1999, that of Marion Bay. It also prompted them to expand the festival from one day to four. Nowadays, Falls festival runs from December 29th to January 1st and brings in about 16,000 people every year.
This event brings in some pretty big bands from around the world. Performances are mostly musical and generally of the blues and roots genres, though rock, hip-hop and electronic music also plays rolls in the festival. In addition to the music there are numerous groups and individuals putting on acts of comedy, burlesque, puppetry, cabaret, dance, theater and other visual art performances.
If you plan on going, you’d better be ready to rough it up a bit. Camping is the way to stay at Falls and there are limited resources on the site, particularly a lack of hot water and flushing toilets. Luckily, New Years happens to fall during the Australian summer, so freezing cold nights aren’t too much of a problem.
The popularity of the event means that tickets are sold out almost as soon as they go on sale, so don’t count on getting there this year unless you can find someone scalping them. They also tend to be pretty expensive, so be prepared to pay. But whether you go to one location or the other, this is a great way to celebrate New Year’s in Australia and perhaps spend some time before or after the festival enjoying the many sites that the country has to offer.