THOUSANDS of partygoers with tickets to the Rainbow Serpent Festival are crushed as a permit bungle threatens to cancel the event just eight days before it is start.
Fire and ambulance agencies in the Pyrenees Shire refused to support the event after finding the festival lacked an emergency plan in the case of a disaster such as a bushfire.
Up to 15,000 people are expected to attend the event, to be held on January 25-28, which has been running for 15 years.
Devastated festival organisers have called on everyone to sign the 'Save the Rainbow Serpent Festival' online petition in an attempt to sway authorities to allow the festival to go ahead.
"We understand the decision of not granting the POPE permit was due solely for the safety of all who gather for the festival,'' the petition said.
"It will be a complete travesty that an amicable resolution could not be reached. Most likely signifying the end of an important economic and cultural event."
Organisers met the local council at 4.30pm to appeal against the decision.
Fans waited in anticipation for news on the Rainbow Serpent Festival Facebook page, with good news coming just before 7pm: "The meeting went very well."
"We are submitting a new application tomorrow which council have told us will be fast-tracked. We still need the support of CFA, Police and Ambulance Victoria but we are working furiously on that as we speak and we are hopeful," the post said.
"We definitely want to take this opportunity to thank Pyrenees Council for meeting with us today and Cr (Michael) O'Connor for his support."
Pyrenees Shire Council Mayor Michael O'Connor earlier denied the death of 34-year-old Epping man Daniel Buccianti, who died of drug-related causes at last year's event, was an issue in the councils decision.
Instead he pointed to last week's Chepstowe fire which burned eight houses to the ground and said organisers were not prepared for a similar emergency.
"It is extremely sad, this festival has grown from 3000 visitors 10 years ago to what it is today,'' Mr O'Connor said.
"It is a popular gathering and unfortunately the organisers put on a fantastic production but their administration is hopeless."