Patrons Trampled at Falls Festival

Music festivals are meant to be a time of leisure and fun,

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  • A stampede has occurred in Lorne’s Falls Festival Overnight
  • More than 60 patrons injured, some seriously.
  • Organisers need to provide more exits.

Music festivals are meant to be a time of leisure and fun, yet it always seems that something will go terribly wrong.

Right now music festivals are happening all over Australia like Beyond the Valley and Falls Festival, where popular music acts from all over the world fly from one venue to the next to entertain us into the new year.

Last night due to large crowds, impatient patrons and not enough exits, a stampede broke out at Falls Festival in Lorne, and more than 60 young music fans were injured, 19 seriously, in the crowd crush.

It happened just before 11pm last night at the Grand Theatre, as the crowds were in a rush to leave band DMA’s set in order to get a good view for London Grammar, which was on the other side of the festival grounds and about to start.

Police said that the crowd crush began when people at the front of the crowd lost their footing amongst the huge rush while trying to leave the performance. Meanwhile people behind were pushing and shoving.

State Health Commander Paul Holman said that the 60 people injured in the human stampede aged from their late teens to late 20’s were assisted by paramedics and first aid providers. He said 13 women and six men had to be taken to hospital with possible spinal injuries, head and facial injuries, leg, rib, hip and pelvic fractures and cuts and bruises.

“It was quite a chaotic scene and required a major response”, he said.

Entertainment had been suspended due to the emergency situation and witnesses on social media described seeing young people unconscious, with shoes torn off and mobile phones crushed.

In lieu of this horrible outcome, many have blamed the accident to be because of a lack of exits for such a massive crowd.

Festivalgoer, Lucy Spry who wrote on the Falls Festival Facebook page said; “It was extremely serious… so many of us thought we weren’t going to make it out of that. Not enough exits for such a large crowd!”

Another patron wrote, “Shoes were torn off, phones crushed and bones broken let’s be serious this is a traumatic event for the patrons”.

Holman further wanted us to know that Ambulance Victoria had paramedics and ambulances on site, dedicated to the event.

“We had a good medical presence on site and worked closely with first aid providers and local hospitals to coordinate the treatment and transport of those injured”.

“While the injuries are significant, this could have been quite the tragedy and we are grateful that the outcome was not worse.”

Hopefully organisers of these large music events will opt to put in more exits for such large venues next time, but for now, lets hope everyone participating in New Years Eve antics tonight stay safe and have a happy new year!

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Amanda is an imaginative and enthusiastic writer currently studying a Masters of Writing and Literature at Deakin University. She is passionate about her family, friends, good food and good music (and maybe that glass of Sav Blanc too). Catching the travel bug at fifteen, Amanda liked what Europe had to offer and after graduating high school she took on a work and travel gig with her twin sister in 2012. She spent the adventurous and rewarding year waitressing in England, bike riding in Tuscany, getting caught in the rain in Spain (literally) and visiting family in Croatia. Now Amanda lives in Melbourne where culture and cuisine come alive and while she completes her post-graduate studies, she will work towards landing the job of her dreams within the writing, editing and publishing industry.