For crying out loud!: Earthcore pulls plug on future events after drugs-plagued Elmore festival goes ahead without late-night noise permit

December 05, 2017

IN A bizarre rant on its official Facebook page, the Earthcore music festival has cancelled all remaining events after a turbulent few weeks.

IN A bizarre rant on its official Facebook page, the Earthcore music festival has cancelled all remaining events after a turbulent few weeks.

The self-proclaimed ‘‘original bush doof’’ held in Elmore last week operated without permission for late-night noise, according to Environmental Protection Authority Victoria.

The main festival was also riddled with drug use, there was an allegation of rape and a man was arrested on three counts of indecent assault.

And a headline act also pulled out at the last minute due to a financial dispute with the festival organisers.

Posting on their Facebook page, Earthcore said: ‘‘We are proud that we pulled it off against extreme adversity.’’

‘‘Most importantly we’d like to deeply apologise for the certain artist cancellations that were beyond our control.

‘‘Much unlike the fate of similar events like Maitreya and Yemaya festivals, we decided to go all out and ensure the festival proceeded regardless of never-ending government attempts to stop the event.

‘‘We were attacked by a very well-planned smear campaign by international artist Coming Soon, who advertised that our event was cancelled using our own festival flyer with the word cancelled scrawled across it.

‘‘This incredible advertised campaign by Coming Soon then led to a series of acts simply cancelling their performances and keeping huge volumes of money and scapegoating our festival as the excuse for their cancellation.’’

Despite cancellations, the five-day festival went ahead at the Elmore Events Centre on November 23-27.

But organisers did not receive the appropriate approval from the EPA.

They simply failed to obtain one.

The social significance approval would have allowed the event to operate outside the hours of 12pm to 11pm.

A number of complaints were received by the Campaspe Shire Council and the EPA regarding inappropriate noise levels, some of which came in the early hours of Sunday.

EPA executive director regional services Damian Wells said the EPA had not received an application for a social significance approval, the mechanism that places limitations on times and noise levels for public events, from Earthcore before the event. Social significance approval is required for events to operate outside the accepted hours.

‘‘EPA will be contacting Campaspe Shire Council regarding the Earthcore event and the process by which permissions were granted for it to proceed,” he said. “EPA has received complaints about noise levels at Earthcore and is determining an appropriate course of action.”

The EPA said they had no officials present at the festival to monitor noise levels.

Campaspe police Inspector Geoff Owen said loud music was continuous from Saturday to Sunday night.

‘‘Music continued from 12 noon Saturday until 11pm Sunday,’’ he said. ‘‘The prevalance of illicit drug use was also disappointing.’’

Campaspe Shire regulatory and community services general manager Paul McKenzie said they received a number of calls about noise complaints. ‘‘These were referred through to the Environment Protection Authority, as the responsible agency for noise complaints,’’ he said.

‘‘It is unfortunate that large-scale events require a police presence to mitigate illegal and unsafe activities.

‘‘Through the necessity for event organisers to obtain a Place of Public Entertainment permit, council’s municipal building surveyor is able to ensure that events have considered safety as much as possible, engaged with emergency services such as police and ambulance and that the venue has been set up to reduce the risk of harm to patrons.’’

Mr McKenzie said the Elmore Events Centre Committee will determine what events are to be held.

‘‘An evaluation meeting will be held with all key players shortly to review the event, however it would be council’s preference that such events weren’t held at the site and we will include this view as part of the evaluation process,’’ he said.

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