Australia's Southbound Festival Canceled Due to Bushfire Risk

Cassandra Hannagan/WireImage
Courtney Barnett performs at Falls Festival on Jan. 1, 2016 in Byron Bay, Australia. 

Bushfires have forced the late cancelation of Australia’s Southbound festival, which boasted a lineup of local and international acts including Disclosure, Courtney Barnett, Bloc Party, Weird Al Yankovic, Foals and Gary Clarke, Jr

Southbound was scheduled to run Friday-Sunday (Jan. 8-10) in Busselton, a regional town 140 miles south west of Perth, Western Australia. Organizers nixed the camping event on the advice of authorities when access to the site was deemed compromised by raging fires in surrounding areas. 

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“We cannot compromise patron safety and proceed knowing people’s lives are at risk getting to the event,” organizers Sunset Events Presents announced as Southbound 2016 was officially scrapped.

A fire broke out Wednesday afternoon and reached emergency status during the night and into Thursday morning which “left us with no time to relocate prior to gates opening tomorrow,” organizers explained.

Excess food from the site would be distributed to firefighters and locals evacuated from area, promoters explained in a post on social media.

Outdoor concert promoters are mindful of the destructive power of bushfires which typically spark during the country’s long, hot summers. In the lead up to Christmas, the Lorne leg of the Falls Festival in Victoria, in the south east of the country, was relocated to a new venue due to the threat of bushfire.