Waroona bushfires force cancellation of Southbound 2016

Southbound 2016 has been cancelled due to the Waroona bushfires.
Southbound 2016 has been cancelled due to the Waroona bushfires.

THE ongoing Waroona bushfires have forced the cancellation of the 2016 Southbound Music Festival. 

Event organisers confirmed at 9.30pm on Thursday night that due to the fire situation in the festivals surrounding areas, the event was called off. 

"After ongoing communications and information provided from the West Australian Police, Main Roads Department and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, we have no option but to cancel this year's event," the statement said. 

"We cannot compromise patron safety and proceed knowing people's lives are at risk getting to the event."

A large transport problem was caused on Thursday morning when a bushfire in Waroona forced the closure of both the Forrest Highway and South Western Highway. 

These are the main two roads connecting Perth to the South West. 

Event organisers said their first and foremost thoughts are with the local community who have been challenged by the current fire situation. 

"We give all our love and support to our local family in this intense time of stress," the statement said. 

The fire, which started Wednesday afternoon and reached emergency status during the night and into Thursday morning, left organisers with no time to relocate prior to gates opening on Friday.

“Everyone on site is absolutely devastated as we were working so hard to bring the best Southbound yet," event director David Chitty said. 

"Please understand at this time we will be extremely busy dealing with the cancellation and our thoughts are with those in danger due to the nearby fire."

Information regarding ticket refunds will be released on Wednesday, January 13.

Event organisers ensured the public Southbound patrons will receive a full refund on tickets purchased via official channels. 

For a full list of road closures, visit mainroads.wa.gov.au and to keep updated with all alerts and warnings, visit http://www.dfes.wa.gov.au/alerts/Pages/default.aspx.