Falls Festival Victoria has had to relocate its three-day summer music festival to Melbourne’s CBD and scrap camping entirely after local residents near the planned camping site protested.

Falls Festival Vic will be renamed Falls Downtown Melbourne and will be held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and surrounds across the same dates December 29, 30 and 31. The NSW and WA festivals will go ahead as planned.

This will be the first Falls since the pandemic and the first time the Vic festival was set to be held at Pennyroyal Plains in Birregurra near Colac. It had previously been held on the same site in Lorne every News Years for 27 years.

But organisers have been forced to relocate after locals in the Colac area raised concerns.

Falls Festival co-producer Jessica Ducrou said Colac Shire Otway Council approved the planning permit for Falls to be held at a new location at Birregurra back in June. But although they had the support of council and the local MP, a “small group of locals” were against the festival and being held in their area and appealed the planning permit at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

Unfortunately for Falls Festival, the VCAT hearing date is set for February/March 2023, after the event was meant to take place, so they’ve had no choice but to relocate.

“Thanks so much for all the support from stakeholders, the venue, artists, all who contribute to Falls and especially our patrons,” Ducrou said in a statement.

“We’re thrilled that the show will go on at Sidney Myer Music Bowl.”

Falls Festival Downtown Melbourne will feature the same line-up of acts already announced, across two stages. But without camping the festival will no doubt feel quite different.

Ticketholders who are not able to attend the new Falls venue in Melbourne will be able to apply for a refund from 12pm AEST Tuesday September 13 until 5pm AEDT Thursday October 13.

All Falls Festival Vic camping tickets will be automatically refunded from Thursday 29 September 2022.

Falls organisers have said Moshtix will get in touch with all account holders directly with more information, including how to exchange your Birregurra tickets to the Byron event if you would like the full camping festival experience.

Falls will go ahead at North Byron Parklands from Dec 31 to Jan 2, and Falls Downtown Fremantle will be held on Jan 7 to 8.