Festival postponed due to fire dangers

The Gellibrand River Blues and Blueberry Festival attracts hundreds of people to the Otways every year.

Rising fire danger has forced organisers to postpone a major Otways festival for two months.

The committee of the Gellibrand River Blues and Blueberry Festival has pushed the late February event back to May 1 to 3, after authorities warned of high fire danger in February.

Member Corrie Koorn said the festival, which celebrates the delights of blueberries as well as blues music, would be safer at the later date.

Mr Koorn said firefighting authorities had assessed fire danger in the Otways and warned that organisers might need to cancel the event at short notice if they continued with the February date.

“It was recommended to us that the CFA mapping predicts it’s very likely that we’ve got extreme conditions at the end of February,” he said.

“It won’t be a good time to have a music festival and market with hundreds of people in the Otways.”

Mr Koorn said that if they continued planning to have the Festival in late-February, they might have to cancel it at short notice, such as with Lorne’s Falls Festival late last year.

“If we cancelled it four days before, we would be fully committed to paying the performers, advertising and administration costs,” he said.

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