Rainbow Serpent Festival returns to Lexton

THE Rainbow Serpent Festival will return to Lexton this month after organisers of the four-day music and arts festival secured a permit from the Pyrenees Shire Council.

But council officers will conduct random checks during the January 24-27 event to ensure the festival complies with all correct safety and security provisions.

Police have also maintained they will be out in force to ensure the festival is conducted safely.

Extra safety measures were enforced last year after the death of 34-year-old Epping man Daniel Buccianti of drug-related causes in 2012.

The 2013 event also nearly had to be cancelled after the permit process failed to satisfy safety requirements.

In a last-ditch effort to save it, organisers lodged a new permit application, with the council agreeing to have it fast-tracked.

Pyrenees Shire Mayor Robert Vance said this year’s process had gone smoothly, with all the emergency service agencies ticking off on the festival.

“There’s got to be the fire brigade on site, there’s got to be police on site and there’s got to be medical officers on site,” he said.

Cr Vance said the council was happy to support the event, which delivered a significant economic boost to the region annually.

Festival marketing director Tim Harvey said Rainbow organisers had worked with the local authorities and emergency services to ensure the festival had a minimal impact on the environment and surrounding communities.

He said it had come a long way during the past 16 years, from a small gathering in a secluded clearing to a permanent site well-equipped to accommodate thousands of people.

“People now travel from all over the world to western Victoria to experience what many people have said is the best outdoor festival of its type in the southern hemisphere.

“The festival provides common ground for a wide assortment of people. Regardless of any demographical differences, people come together with the join aim to connect.”

More than 100 musical artists will perform across a range of genres, with art installations, performance art and fire shows also transforming the site.

rachel.afflick@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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