Major music festival sets sights on calling Southern Downs home

Organisers of electronic music and arts festival Rabbits Eat Lettuce have reached an agreement for Cherrabah Resort to become its home for the next decade. (Supplied)

By Jeremy Cook

Organisers of electronic music festival Rabbits Eat Lettuce are expected to seek approval from the Southern Downs council to make the region its “permanent home” for the next decade.

In a statement, organisers of the four-day camping festival revealed they had reached an agreement for Cherrabah Resort, located about 30 kilometres south east of Warwick, to become the event’s home for 10 years.

“After months of negotiations we have reached an agreement for a 10 year venue contract for the new permanent home of Rabbits Eat Lettuce at the breathtaking and expansive Cherrabah Resort,” the statement read.

“Our loyal REL family, you will know how big this is for us.

“After working at so many different venues stretching from NSW up to Sunshine Coast QLD, [it] felt like REL was more like a traveling circus.”

Under local laws, organisers will need specific planning approval from the Southern Downs Regional Council to hold the event regularly at Cherrabah.

While ticket sales have already opened for the 2025 edition of Rabbits Eat Lettuce, Warwick Stanthorpe Today understands organisers have yet to formally apply for council approvals.

A council spokeswoman said “Material Change of Use” approval will be required for the festival to host there on a regular basis.

“At this stage, an application has not yet been lodged with council,” the spokeswoman said.

“The festival organisers have indicated they will be lodging a Material Change of Use application to hold the event regularly on the site.

“This will go through an assessment process with council’s planning scheme.”

At this stage, the council has not issued any permits for next year’s event, the spokeswoman confirmed.

If given the go-ahead, 2025 will mark the third year organisers have hosted the colloquially named “bush doof” at Cherrabah.

The resort played host to the festival’s 15-year anniversary over Easter in 2024 when it became the first multi-day festival in Australia and the first event of any kind in Queensland to introduce pill testing.

Tragedy surrounded the festival during its first year at Cherrabah after two festival goers were found dead inside a tent from a lethal drug overdose in 2019.