Australia — Mount Hothams annual summer festival Cool Summer has regrettably been cancelled due to severe fire danger in the Alpine region.
The sad news was announced to the public on Facebook on Friday evening, linking to a formal statement on the Festivals official website.
The organisers announced with heavy hearts that the festival has been forced to not go ahead, due to the spreading of bushfires that have been burning in the Alpine Region of Mount Hotham for weeks now; while The Age reports that the Harrietville blaze, near Mt Hotham, is 22,315 hectares in size and growing.
The Cool Summer Festival was scheduled for the 22nd-24th of February with a stellar lineup including Stonefield, Loon Lake, 2012 Unearthed winners Kingswood, Eagle & the Worm, and Dune.
The festival organisers had to follow the advice of the Department of Sustainability and Environment, recommending all activities around Mount Hotham should be cancelled for safety reasons. The Cool Summer Festivals official statement said that The government run D.S.E has recommended that all upcoming events and activities in the area around Hotham are to be cancelled and all roads to the area are closed and unlikely to open for some time.
As all of you know, the area around Mt Hotham has been severely impacted by bushfires, and is still under threat as we speak, the statement continues. The bushfire is now 10,000 hectares in size and is still out of control. The area that it has now moved into (across the Great Alpine Road) is very hard for fire fighting crews to access and there is a likelihood that the area may continue to stay impacted by the fire for some weeks.
The crew at Cool Summer Festival stated that they have been working around the clock to try and implement a contingency plan, which would involve relocating the festival off the mountain, however the amount of legal requirements and safety measures that must be taken in the efforts prevented a successful re-location.
The local community at Mount Hotham help to fund this successful festival each year, by putting themselves at financial risk offering their businesses to help fund the event. We do it because we love it and we hope that next year we can gain the required support needed to get the festival up and running again.
The statement mentions its love for the lineup and the great acts that were due to perform, adding that it is such a shame but when Mother Nature makes a decision, she is definitely the boss!
All ticket holders will be refunded in the coming days, once organisers finish dealing with the fires and the cancellation of the show.
We know you will all be terribly disappointed thanks for your support and lets make sure we band together to get the festival on its feet in 2014, concludes the Cool Summer organisers.
Its not the first festival to have been affected by Australias extreme weather conditions. Staff and crew at the Marion Bay Falls Festival were evacuated from the grounds following the fires that raged through the island state over New Years. Falls also donated $10,000 of their own money towards the victims of the bushfires through their own Red Cross appeal, while Melbournes the Tote managed to raise an additional $5,000 with a charity gig.
Organisers of the successful MONA FOMA 2013 Festival also pitched in with their own bushfire appeal concert, while Melbournes the Tote managed to raise an additional $5,000 with a charity gig.