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Falls crowd crush blamed on 'confluence'

AAP logoAAP 1/01/2017 Kaitlyn Offer

Falls Festival organisers have blamed the terrifying crowd crush on a "confluence of events", but say the exact cause is still being investigated.

Punters who were injured in the crush on Friday in the Grand Theatre at the Lorne festival site have also been asked to come forward because organisers are blocked for privacy reasons from accessing patient names and records.

In a media statement released on Sunday afternoon, festival co-producer Jessica Ducrou said addressing "such a serious situation is very distressing for all".

"Despite 24 years of successful operation of Falls Lorne, a confluence of events resulted in a serious incident that will require an investigation into the various contributing factors which will take some weeks to determine," she said.

"But please be assured it is our utmost priority."

She said there were 15 security guards at the Grand Theatre who responded along with other event staff and programming was immediately suspended at the stage for the rest of the night.

Ms Ducrou apologised on behalf of Falls Festival and wanted to let affected patrons know "we are deeply upset by this incident and your experience."

Panicked parents have slammed the festival organisers after the crush injured up to 80 people.

Phone reception issues at the location saw many parents unable to reach their children, while attempts to contact those in charge of the festival to get more information were left frustrated with generic, pre-prepared responses.

Parents took to the Falls Festival's Facebook page to express their anger and disappointment over Friday's incident, some saying the organisers' response was "not good enough".

"Falls Music and Arts Festival we have been in touch with you but every response remains generic and our specific questions are yet to be answered," Michelle Kavanagh Cox posted after collecting her daughter from hospital.

In her statement, Ms Ducrou said festival organisers had spent many years working with authorities and emergency services that had resulted in an "impeccable safety record" for the past 24 years.

The festival also had a communications strategy that was fully supported by Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, she said.

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