Australia's Pitch Music & Arts cancels final night due to extreme weather warning

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  • In a statement, the festival said the local authorities had issued a fire danger warning on Sunday afternoon.
  • Australia's Pitch Music & Arts cancels final night due to extreme weather warning image
  • Australia's Pitch Music & Arts cancelled its final night yesterday, March 10th, due to an extreme weather warning. As temperatures hit highs of 39 degrees celsius over the weekend, the festival issued two weather updates via Instagram before a third post, shared yesterday, confirmed that its Sunday night programming wouldn't go ahead. The music shut off at 7 PM local time. (The festival also cancelled all musical programming between midnight on Friday and 6 PM on Saturday.) Pitch Music & Arts sits in the Grampian Plains, several hours west of Melbourne. "We've been in consistent communication with all relevant authorities regarding the weather conditions leading into the event and were advised that we could proceed as planned as late as Thursday afternoon," the organisers told Resident Advisor. "Of the further advice we received on Friday, we rescheduled some entertainment and incoming buses for Saturday. We've been in a unique situation where the fire danger rating was fluctuating but we were diligently following the advice from all emergency authorities each step of the way. The directive on Sunday was of a different nature and that's why we took immediate action to cancel the festival at that time." The statement continued: "Patrons onsite had access to ample shade, cooling misting fans, food and water. We have various methods to communicate essential information across the festival site, including multiple information screens, info hubs, helper hubs and roaming staff. Free WiFi was available at the box office and at the food trucks and market stalls for patrons who needed to contact friends or family not onsite." The organisers also issued an additional statement on Instagram yesterday confirming the death of one festivalgoer, a 23-year-old man. According to the Guardian, he died of a suspected drug overdose after being airlifted to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne in a critical condition in the early hours of Sunday morning. "We're devastated that this has occurred at an event where community has been a driving force over the last seven years," the organisers wrote. One of Australia's most beloved dance music festivals, Pitch Music & Arts welcomed 18,000 people and dozen of acts from abroad and across Australia. Resident Advisor hosted a stage for the fifth year running. Read the festival's statements on the cancellation and the death in full.
    Correction, March 11th: A previous version of this article said there 20,000 people at Pitch. The capacity was actually 18,000.