$7 Million Payout For Falls Festival Punters Crushed In 2016

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Falls Festival 2015-16 (Marion Bay) Falls Festival 2015-16 (Marion Bay) © Eden Meure

77 people trapped in a Falls Festival stampede in 2016 wil recieve a share in almost $7 million in compensation.

Some details of the settlement, approved by The Supreme Court of Victoria a month ago, surfaced yesterday on triple j's hack programme.

Shortly before 10pm on Friday 30th December, 2016 a crowd swell occured in The Grand Theatre. DMA's had just completed their set and the people were exiting to see London Grammar. The exits were found to be inadequate causing panic and injury. Prior to the ruling, Ash Sounds Pty Ltd had admitted liability for the crush and acknowledged the victims suffered injury, loss and damage due to their breach of duty.

Melbourne law firm Madden's Lawyers commenced the class action in March 2017 in which some of the plaintiffs suffered permanent injury. Maddens’ Principal, Kathryn Emeny, told the ABC "the compensation payments will enable group members to look to, and plan for, the future. In respect of some of the larger claims, we anticipate the compensation payment will be life changing."

There were no critical injuries. Falls Festival was quick to advise of the incident on social media within two hours of the events unfolding.

In a statement this week, a spokesperson for Falls Festival told Hack they hoped the settlement brought some comfort to the victims.

"We hope that the settlement will bring some relief and closure for all of the participants.

"We also want to assure the participants and all those who attend our events, that health and safety is our number one priority. We care deeply about the welfare of our patrons, and are continually improving and adapting our safety protocols on an ongoing basis."

News of the personal injury settlement follows the announcement from Falls Festival organisers that this year's events will not be proceeding despite initial plans to forge ahead with an all-Aussie line-up in Lorne, Byron Bay and Fremantle.



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