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Falls Festival in spat over unauthorised use of design

A Melbourne artist has lashed out at the popular Falls Music and Arts Festival for using her designs without permission. 

Elena King of Rittleking designs told Fairfax Media it was only by accident that she found out her creation, The Moody Face shirt was selling at the festival.

"I have a friend up there working at the festival and they messaged me with a picture of the merchandise stand selling the design," she said.

"I produced the original drawing about three months ago and made the shirts for friends as presents then started selling them to people via my website and the Rittleking Instagram.

"I also sell the designs through a few small artist run stores around Melbourne."

Ms King said once alerted the festival administration got in touch with her.


"They got in contact with me, they removed the shirt from sale which was good of them," she said.

"I have a representative that's working with the festival to come to a fair arrangement over the issue."

She said the festival administration had initially posted a brief comment on their Facebook page in response to the criticism, calling the incident an "unintentional mishap".

However, Ms King, who hand-screen prints the shirt in her Brunswick studio, said the incident highlighted the problems facing independent artists. 

"I'm just frustrated as they are supposed to be supporting local artists not stealing their designs," she said.

"It was a big mistake on their behalf and they understand that. But this happens way too much to small businesses and artist and in the end I just want the problem to be acknowledged."

The Falls Music and Arts Festival was moved from Lorne to Mount Duneed Estate after devastating fires hit Wye River and Separation Creek along the Great Ocean Road on Christmas Day. 

More than 16,000 revellers are expected to attend the event which features an international and local line-up including Disclosure, Bloc Party and Courtney Barnett.

The sold-out annual four-day music festival,  launched in 1994, started on Monday and runs through to New Year's Day.


Hello everyone! Just wanted to say thank you for the overwhelming support over this crazy shirt, Falls Festival have...

Posted by Elena King on  Monday, December 28, 2015