Falls Festival

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The Falls Festival
Genre Blues & roots, Rock, Indie, Hip hop, Electronic
Dates 28 December - 1 January


Years active 1993- present

The Falls Music & Arts Festival (commonly known as Falls) is a music festival held annually in Lorne, Victoria, Marion Bay, Tasmania, and Yelgun (30 km from Byron Bay), New South Wales, Australia, on New Year's Eve. While the festival is best known for contemporary music performances, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret, as well as other art forms, are also featured at the event. Due to the length of the event, people bring a tent and camp out at the event; the Victorian and Tasmanian locations have nearby beaches, the New South Wales location - Yelgun is approx 7 km from South Golden Beach, which is 28 km from Byron Bay Main Beach. Many artists playing at the Falls Festival are traditionally of the blues & roots genre, however it is not exclusively of this style, with rock, hip hop and electronic style acts also playing.


The festival started in 1993, with a small one day concert, held in Lorne, Victoria, Australia, and was named Rock Above The Falls. The initial event attracted nearly 11,000 people, far exceeding the organisers expectations, and the organisers quickly negotiated the use of neighbouring land to accommodate the crowd.

Name change[edit]

In 1995, the event adopted a two-day format, and in 1996 the name was changed to The Falls Music & Arts Festival for the first time. The 1999 festival was the first to be held off the Lorne site, moved temporarily to the Torquay site of the Offshore Festival.

Marion Bay, Tasmania[edit]

In 2003, two events were held simultaneously for the first time; one in Lorne, and an additional event at Marion Bay, Tasmania. The same acts played at both events; the 30 December acts who played at Lorne, play 31 December at Marion Bay, and vice versa. Both the Lorne and Marion Bay festivals have continued to run simultaneously and artists continue to be exchanged between the two locations over the course of the festival. Future festivals retained this two-location format.


The headline acts typically perform in the evening on 30 December and 31 December.


In 2008, the Falls Festival won the FasterLouder Festival Award for 'Best Lineup' and the following year the Marion Bay site took out the 'Favourite Venue and Location' award.[1]

Falls Festival 1996[edit]

Falls Festival 1997[edit]

Falls Festival 1998[edit]

Falls Festival 1999[edit]

Falls Festival 2000[edit]

Falls Festival 2001[edit]

Falls Festival 2002[edit]

Falls Festival 2003[edit]

Performers at the 2003-04 event include Australian artists Xavier Rudd, The Beautiful Girls, Gerling, Regurgitator and The Waifs; and international acts Michael Franti and Spearhead, Pennywise, Reel Big Fish, and Ozomatli. Like many Australian festivals, the event also promotes local bands, with many Victorian and Tasmanian artists also performing at their respective state's festival. Solo female performer Missy Higgins also pleased crowds, promoting the release of her album and several popular singles, for which she was later recognised by receiving multiple awards at the ARIA Awards in 2005.

Falls Festival 2004[edit]

The 2004-05 festival was again held at both venues. Both sites sold out very early - the only Falls Festival to sell as fast was the 1999 event. Artists performing at the event included:

Falls Festival 2005[edit]

Artists who performed at the 2005 event include:

2005 was a record year for speed of ticket sales; tickets for the Marion Bay festival sold out two and a half days after going on sale on 15 August, and Lorne tickets selling out one week after coming onsale.

Further allocations of tickets for both festivals were released during December and sold out within hours of coming on sale. An unlimited number of Falls Festival patrons were welcome to attend the 'Falls Cinema' on Thursday 29 December (One day earlier than the official kick-off) in an effort to minimize traffic congestion. It was much the same in Tasmania, however the number of tickets available were capped at 9000.

Falls Festival 2006[edit]

In early July, the new website for the 2006 event was launched. People were able to subscribe to the official mailing list and be entered into the draw to be offered tickets ahead of the official release date of 16 August. Subscribers that were selected would be notified by 30 July. Tickets for the 2006 festival were put on sale as of 9 am, 16 August. All tickets to the Lorne event were gone in just over 2 hours. The Marion Bay event followed suit, with all tickets sold out within 3.5 hours.

The announced performers as of 28 December, include:


Restrictions on ticket sales were made in 2006 (in the form of a ballot) in an attempt to curb the increasing practice of ticket resale, commonly known as 'scalping', as well as to make the access to tickets more equitable. The changes reflected similar alterations made to ticket sale procedures of other major Australian music festivals such as Splendour in the Grass and The Big Day Out. Previously, Tickets had been released for sale in bulk and with no limits on the number of tickets able to be purchased by an individual, resulting in a high incidence of individuals purchasing multiple tickets, and a subsequent sell-out of tickets within a very short period of time, often within 24 or even 12 hours.

The restrictions included a purchasing limit of four tickets per any individual, as well as the initiation of an online ticket lottery, which randomly allocated the sale of approximately 50% of all tickets to a list of people who had registered their interest on the Festival's website. [3] Tickets were also released on multiple dates rather than in bulk, so that sales were more manageable and there was increased consumer accessibility to the sale of tickets.

Falls Festival 2007[edit]

The artists at the festival of 2007/08 include:

(* Lorne Only), (** Marion Bay only)


Ticket purchasing procedures changed again in 2007, extending on initial changes made to procedures in 2006. Changes included:

  • The extension of the ticket lottery from 50% to 80% of all tickets - intended to increase the equity of ticket sale
  • The centralisation of all ticket sales to the Falls Festival Website - intended to eliminate the need to line up outside stores overnight in order to purchase a ticket, as well as prevent criminal problems associated with it such as littering and drinking in public
  • The inclusion of a name and date of birth printed on the Festival ticket - intended to further restrict scalping practices

Tickets went on sale to the general public on Monday 10 September at 9 am AEST, with the 14,500 tickets to the Lorne event selling out on the day they were released.

Falls Festival 2008[edit]

Those marked with an asterisk (*) are playing in Lorne only

Falls Festival 2009[edit]

Those marked with an asterisk (*) are playing in Lorne only
Those marked with a caret (^) are playing in Marion Bay only

Line-up Leak[edit]

On 6 August 2009 some of the bands scheduled to play at the 2009 Falls Festival were leaked online due to a directory being left open on the official falls festival website. In light of the leak the organisers decided to officially release the entire first line-up announcement ahead of the scheduled 13 August release date.[2]

The Falls Funk’n’Soul Revue[edit]

On 7 October 2009 the Falls Festival announced that for the first time they would be putting on a pre-festival party and extending the Falls Funk’n’Soul Revue to Lorne on 28 December. The extension of the revue makes the Lorne festival a 4 day event stretching from 28 December through to 1 January. The Funk’n’Soul Revue will occur over two days across the respective states, on the 28th in Lorne and on the 29th in Marion Bay with slightly differing lineups across the two locations[3]

Falls Festival 2010[edit]

Falls Festival 2011[edit]

Falls Festival 2012[edit]


External links[edit]