The weekender will now host two events: one in inner Melbourne in January and one back on its original site in rural Victoria in April.
The long-running Victorian weekender announced just before Christmas that bushfires had hit the festival site in Lexton, Victoria, although most buildings and infrastructure were able to be saved.
Following extensive talks with the local fire service, police and council, a decision to reschedule the event's 23rd edition has been made. A statement from Rainbow Serpent explains: "Due to a number of safety concerns stemming from the fire that affected the site and the wider bushfire impacts across the country, it was agreed that holding RSF over the scheduled weekend in Lexton simply isn't the right thing to do."
Instead, an event will be held in inner Melbourne on January 26th, the originally scheduled weekend, "hosting the majority of special guest performers from the original lineup." A few months later, a "special multi-day event" will take place on site in Lexton over the Easter long weekend beginning April 10th.
"We're looking into how we can best use these events to drive a community fundraising effort for the bushfires and will confirm those details in the coming days," the statement concludes. "We ask everyone to please be sympathetic to the needs and wellbeing of the broader community at this time but also the incredible strain our crew are currently experiencing in trying to work towards an outcome that is acceptable, enjoyable and safe."
More information on both events is to come.
Artists and labels from across Australia have been releasing EPs and compilations or pledging funds from Bandcamp catalogues in an effort to raise money for the nationwide bushfire relief effort. You can find a roundup of those releases and labels here.
You can donate directly to the bushfire relief effort via the following organisations:
Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief And Recovery
New South Wales Rural Fire Service
Country Fire Authority Victoria
Fire Relief Fund For First Nations Communities
NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue And Education Service
Salvation Army Disaster Appeal