A message from Festival Directors, Dave Horsley & Kate Howat

It’s with an immensely heavy heart that we announce SWIFF’22’s Storyland outdoor music event has been postponed due the unprecedented weather patterns caused by La Niña. This postponement does not affect the other 99% of screenings and events happening at SWIFF’22, which will continue as planned from April 21 to May 6.   

La Niña, the weather pattern causing the Northern NSW Flood Crisis, has impacted Coffs Harbour, including Storyland’s event site, as well as several of our artist team and crew who have been personally and directly impacted by flooding in Northern NSW.


After seeing many festivals cancelled late over the last two years, and the heartbreaking impact that has had on everyone involved, we have made the responsible but very difficult decision to postpone now, before festivalgoers travel from around Australia, before trucks are packed with equipment, before food vendors purchase their produce, and before artists and crew travel to Coffs Harbour. 


The weather outlook across the board is bleak for the next few months, and the accumulated ground water on site has impacted what we can and can’t do.


We ask all ticketholders to please continue supporting live music, and our vision to bring Storyland to the Coffs Harbour community, by holding on to their tickets until the new date is announced, but of course if people need a refund, please contact the festival directly.


With our aim to make this an ongoing, annual, and fantastic celebration of music and arts, largely locally produced for our Coffs Harbour community and visitors, this decision is about being responsible for the jobs our team depend on, being able to produce a quality, ambitious, and ongoing event that our community deserves. It’s critical that we get the first year right.


We will announce a new date for Storyland as soon as we can, coordinating with our artists and team, which will sit outside the SWIFF’22 festival dates. 


A one-day festival isn’t just one day. It requires significant bump-in and bump-out either side, which is also likely to be impacted by weather. Thank you to our crew for your work across the last year, along with our team of artists, and our festivalgoers for supporting the next chapter of Storyland. 

The full 16-day SWIFF’22 indoor film and special events line-up will continue to go ahead as planned from April 21 to May 6, and we thank everyone for their continued support the festival. 


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