If you haven’t heard about how disappointing the Big Day Out will be for people in Adelaide and Perth, you must have been lying under a rock. Given that the Big Day Out is set to celebrate its 20th year, you would expect the event to get even bigger, but alas this is not the case. Even for those who are attending the East Coast shows, there have been grievances with the line-up, stages and ticketing.
The major disappointment is that in Perth and Adelaide one of the major headline stages has been canned, this means that Kanye West, Hilltop Hoods and Mariachi El Bronx will also no longer be performing. This forced the Big Day Out organisers to offer refunds or exchanges for all their tickets.
The line up has also upset a lot of the usual BDO festival goers. The headliners are Soundgarden, a band so old and in my eyes lack lustre, that nobody would be buying their tickets just to see them. So old that when you google ‘Soundgarden’, the bands first reference is not at the top of the page, unlike previous headliners Muse, Iggy Pop and Neil Diamond. Hence none of the shows have sold out.
Kanye West is the second headliner, and who I believe should finish the show instead of Soundgarden. But even Kanye is a poor headliner having played not six months earlier at the Splendour in the Grass festival. Surely out of all the top bands in the world somebody else would be keen to come headline the BDO (other than Soundgarden). Other than Kanye, both Nero and Kimbra have also been rehashed, attending Parklife less than 3 months ago.
Overall the line-up did not amount to the hype. There was no Blink 182, or Pearl Jam, or even Prince (which Ken West talks about). And the style of the staggered release seemed to annoy people more than build excitement. Especially when there was only 19 bands in the first round. Overall it is no surprise that music lovers chose to attend other festivals such as Soundwave who announced over 50 bands in their first announcement than wait to hear who could be playing BDO 2012.
With the ticket price at $165, its also no surprise that BDO hasn’t sold out given the cost and the line up. More annoying is the $10.80 booking fee which is not charged per transaction, but rather per ticket, in what can only be described as a greedy money grab. Just another factor that will contribute to the 20th Anniversary of the BDO being remembered for all the wrong reasons
You can view organiser Ken West’s interview with the New Zealand Herald regarding all the issues plaguing the BDO below. Despite giving reasons for the BDO failures, you cannot help but think that this guy may not be the best music festival planner in Australia anymore. At least he honest in admitting “I’ve managed to piss off everybody’.