Revellers flee popular Falls Festival amid extreme bushfire threat

Revellers attending the annual Falls Festival on Victoria's Great Ocean Road have been ordered to leave, with organisers cancelling the rest of the four-day event due to extreme weather.

About 9000 festivalgoers have until 9am on Monday to pack up their Lorne campsites and find lifts to leave the 27th annual music and arts festival, organisers said on Sunday.

A stage is pictured at Falls Festival.
Falls Festival in Lorne, Victoria has been cancelled due to weather. Source: Instagram/ Falls Festival

The four-day festival opened on Friday and was due to have revellers partying into 2020.

But the predicted extreme weather conditions in the Otways and the surrounding region poses too great a risk to health and patron safety, organisers say.

"We are gutted to make this call but the safety of our patrons, artists and staff is our main priority," Secret Sounds Co chief executive Jessica Ducrou said.

"Please take care getting home safely."

Tom Davies sprays water onto smouldering bushland at Mount Glasgow, Victoria.
Mount Glasgow resident Tom Davies sprays water onto smouldering bushland. Source: AAP

The decision has been made with emergency stakeholders and fire authorities, she said.

"It is clear that we have no other option," a statement from the festival reads.

A CFA firefighter is seen in burnout land near Mount Glasgow, Victoria.
A firefighter inspects charred forest near Mount Glasgow. Source: AAP

A total fire ban is in place across the state on Monday.

Extreme heat, wind, possible storms and fire risk are on the cards for Monday in the area, Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Dean Stewart told AAP.

"It is going to be hot, it is going to be windy there is some potential for storms coming across," Mr Stewart said.

"The heat and the wind will push the fire danger up to severe to extreme around parts of the state. If you have all those people in a bush environment ... it is is not a good recipe."

A walker braves the heat to walk around Albert Park lake during hot weather in Melbourne.
A woman braves the summer heat at Albert Park. Source: AAP

Food, medical and toilets will remain open on Sunday but there won't be any music playing or bars open.

Party-goers are urged not to go back to Lorne or other coastal towns as the same extreme weather conditions are in place, while the Otways faces an extreme fire risk.

An information centre will be set up in Geelong.

Full ticket refunds - including booking and payment processing fees - will be processed from Monday back to the original purchaser's credit card.

Falls Festivals events in Byron, Marion Bay and Fremantle remain unaffected.

A cyclist fills up his water bottle while police watch over the public cooling down on St Kilda beach during hot weather in Melbourne.
A parched cyclist stops at St Kilda beach. Source: AAP

‘I’m super devastated’

Pop star Halsey told her Instagram followers she woke up to news of the festival’s cancellation.

“Obviously I’m super devastated because obviously I was really excited to play the show and see you guys,” she said.

“It sucks but I’m also happy because it’s important that Falls (Festival) is keeping you guys safe.”

Halsey added she understands fans’ disappointment with the cancellation.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to make it up to you,” she said.

On Twitter, people were angry and frustrated by the news.

A woman tweeted she travelled 12 hours to Falls Festival to see Halsey. Another added she travelled eight hours.

“Devastated,” one man tweeted.

“Safe and grateful, but devastated.”

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