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Big Day Out promoter KenWest: “We won’t makethe mistakes of the pastagain”

Do we know anymore about the Beetroots show – what can we expect?
All I know is that four months ago they wanted to get the singer from AC/DC to do a guest on a track [on the new album], so that was enough for me. It’s the new Prodigy – Italian, even better. I really like the Europeans in their neutrality to a certain extent and there are similarities between Italy and Australia on that front, in that we are bombarded by English and American stuff and you are still trying to keep your own voice, and somehow they have managed to create an Italian sound. And that is really impressive. The long and short of it is that the process [of booking bands] needs to be a long way ahead if we are trying to find unique events and acts that are going to really power on the day.

Have you heard the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs?
I actually don’t know if it’s done. They are recording but I don’t know where it is at. Yeah Yeah Yeahs were the ones from the word go I really had to have. I just have a lot of faith in them.

You mentioned that there were changes being made to the overall festival experience – what can punters expect?
The main thing is a total ground-up rebuild on the total experience. All of the ideals we started with slowly got chipped away at. Everything grew, everything got more complicated but the original principal of what is was changed.

Will the Lillypad Stage be back this year?
No, not as such. There are a lot of things that will be integrated [into the show, though]. If we go back in time all the Lilypad guys were (and still are) involved, but they were the ambience team and were meant to be working on the ambience of the show, and that pushed to become their own stage and they forgot about the ambience of the whole show. So I’m really pulling them back into [working on] the complete ambience of the [entire] show. And that will include some aspects of performance and craziness and all that kind of stuff – but it may be more of a roving situation.

They are all really highly skilled people doing very stupid things. I’m actually getting them to do more of what they have their high skills in: arts, writing, visuals, food. So we are re-tailoring their thing based on what their strengths and weaknesses are and looking for a deeper relationship. It’s difficult to explain.

This is more of a consolidation year than a break new earth thing because we’re working out ours and C3’s working relationship as we are doing the show and so introducing too much overall change in one go might be dangerous, considering we haven’t worked with each other fully before.

Was there a time in discussion with C3 when you were considering not doing Adelaide and Perth?
Yes! They were totally gone – I was the only stupid person that went ‘I just need to do it!’ And I’ll just wear the losses.

Will New Zealand Big Day Out ever happen again?
New Zealand should have never happened. I think New Zealand will depend on what we can do over there. [We] did a very quick exercise yesterday which was: if you translate the $165 ticket all inclusive, which is what we are doing, to NZ which is only 80% to the dollar plus GST, that is like $220. And so nobody in New Zealand wants to pay $220, they only want to pay about $130. So thus therein lies my problem. And that needs a solution before we can say we will go back there.

[Artists] don’t get paid as much for Adelaide and Perth as [they] do on the East Coast and they need to accept that. So maybe we need to [take that back to NZ] and say, ‘Ok you are only going to get half” or something, and that is the way it should be. And then we can start looking at a budget that might make sense Trying to produce pretty much the same show for $120 instead of $165 is a hard job. As much as they a nice bunch of people over there, it is a very hard job, so we have to get around that problem.

The same thing happened when I went over ten years ago and tried to do Africa, when you are trying to work out the costs of doing this show – when you are working with the Rand! The only way that was going to work was if one or two big acts were bold enough to say ‘Well we don’t care about the money, we want to go and do this’ and that would fall into place. But that all became too hard and so all of these things are going in with your eyes open about what it all costs.

“New Zealand should have never happened"

Does the strength of the Australian dollar continue to cause financial pressure for promoters and events?
There is a very simple cycle involved and Australia and Brazil have the same problem: Good money. And Brazil has been totally pummeled. Because it is buoyant and the dollar is good, and they’ve got lots of money and [agents are going] ‘Gotta go down to Brazil because Brazil and Australia are the only places you are going to get good money.’ Forget about Spain, forget about Italy – have a look what is happening in Europe. I mean if I was sitting in my cushy office in LA or London you just go where the money is. I mean just look at November already with Coldplay and Black Keys and Radiohead and Harvest and all this stuff – it’s just too busy [here].

Did the advent of Harvest affect the Big Day Out at all?
A few of the acts we looked at got taken off our list when offers that seemed ridiculous to us were coming from Harvest and we said ‘You can have them!’ So that is about as far as that went. But also some acts for us are worth more for our event than they are for other people’s events [and vice versa]. It’s totally to do with just playing your own game and less to do with looking over your shoulder and if you are really curators of music and you have a good history of getting it right, then you have to go back to trusting your gut.

This [BDO] lineup is more for the surfer crowd who really like their four to the floor stuff. They don’t listen to metal 24 hours a day, but they’ll listen to Rage one minute and an ambient thing late at night probably on their fourth bucket bong. But there does feel like there is a depth in this lineup for people who really love music.

This year is shaping up to be a great one for you guys, good luck!
I want it to be more of a gathering again. It’s not about selling out the first day in the first six minutes. It means we can focus on delivering what we said we would do, it’s less on the run. And I have total confidence in the show: if it sells out great, if it doesn’t it will be close.

Comments

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jacegalvin

jacegalvin said on the 15th Jul, 2012

"New Zealand should have never happened"
Quote of the day.

TheOriginalSlipdog

TheOriginalSlipdog said on the 15th Jul, 2012

No he makes worse ones, fuck.

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 15th Jul, 2012

"New Zealand should have never happened"
Quote of the day.

No. Quote of the day.

Ken West

There were certain bands we couldn’t get. Like Refused; we just had to contact the band direct because we didn’t know what was going on. And they said the guitarist is producing an opera in Sweden, so they said he might have some work clashes but then we thought, ‘Well you don’t get time off for that, he is working for himself”. So that idea timed out and I think they are coming in three months, it’s still in the bidding process.

My pants are heading to explosion town.

Napoleon Solo

Napoleon Solo said on the 15th Jul, 2012



I just quoted the article. I thought it was obvious.

Ironic-Satire

Ironic-Satire said on the 15th Jul, 2012

i hate how he felt the need to accuse aj of offering bands too much money. 1) what's wrong with giving bands plenty of money. 2) they probably prefer soundwave because it has better overall lineups.

loudQUIETloud

loudQUIETloud said on the 15th Jul, 2012



Because it means ticket prices are more expensive and he was talking about Harvest festival and tours not just Soundwave.

jacegalvin

jacegalvin said on the 15th Jul, 2012



Oh, you meant the quote about Refused.
My bad.

doubtfulsounds

doubtfulsounds said on the 15th Jul, 2012

"why there will never be another BDO in New Zealand."

A bit misleading, West only says it is difficult and would be hard to make work but doesn't necessarily rule it out completely.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 15th Jul, 2012

The New Zealand dollar must make it more difficult to put on the show in New Zealand. Your costs to hold the event there are obviously going to be lower in AUD terms, but the artists will cost the same. When you combine a smaller crowd with a much lower ticket price (in AUD terms), it makes it pretty hard to be economically viable.

They already have to deal with Adelaide and Perth being borderline economic prospects.

deanoss

deanoss said on the 15th Jul, 2012

"We won't make the same mistakes of the past again"

Tell me more...
http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2007/07/23/GRINSPOON_wideweb__470x277,0.jpg

Fake Plastic Android

Fake Plastic Android said on the 15th Jul, 2012

Every promoter is making a mistake until they bring out Silversun Pickups for a proper tour.

shazie

shazie said on the 15th Jul, 2012



Words of beauty and wisdom

SeniourButtkiss

SeniourButtkiss said on the 20th Jul, 2012

make it a hard rock/metal festival again and people will come... simple

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 20th Jul, 2012

It never was just a hard rock/metal festival.

BDO has really just followed musical tastes over the years.

Heretik

Heretik said on the 20th Jul, 2012

yeah, possibly the worst lineup so far this time around!

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 20th Jul, 2012



Surely you meant to say best? Surely?

Maximillian Billion

Maximillian Billion said on the 20th Jul, 2012



Not that I comment much on here, but surely you didn't wait 4 odd years on these forums just to open with that?

bigval

bigval said on the 21st Jul, 2012

This idiot should just stop talking, he couldn't have made a bigger fool of himself over the past 12 months. The lack of professionalism is staggering.

Go and ask Mike Patton why none of his bands will ever play on the BDO again (after Fantomas in 2009) and why Soundwave/Harvest are the festivals of choice for him (Faith No More in 2010/Mondo Cane in 2012).

Quicky

Quicky said on the 21st Jul, 2012

Can you elaborate on that? Not all of us are close friends with Mike Patton....

Oflick

Oflick said on the 22nd Jul, 2012

I'm with Quicky on this. I was unaware Mike Patton had sworn off Big Day Out.

Quicky

Quicky said on the 22nd Jul, 2012

AJ Maddah is apparently good friends with Mike Patton and ultimately at the end of the day, this discussion of "Mike Patton vs BDO" comes to two factors I think at the end of the day:

1) Loyality / more friendly with the Soundwave Team. We need to take into account that AJ Maddah wouldn't of had Fantomas at SW 2009 and Harvest wasn't established in 2009. BDO took the opportunity and provided a good band to play on the side stage during Neil Young.

2) More money on the table - we're in a day & age where people are buying less and less music and illegal downloads is of the highest concern. Lets not forget the bidding wars.

I don't think that Mike Patton hates BDO in any regard. From what I understand from reading articles, there are alot of bands who come off the BDO tour loving it wishing they could do it again because its a holiday with a few shows a week.

Oflick

Oflick said on the 22nd Jul, 2012

The only thing I can imagine that would have made Mike Patton hate BDO would be because they kicked Mr. Bungle off in 2000. But he played in 2002 and 2009, so it would have been a major delayed reaction for him to start hating them now. What you said is probably right Quicky.

But Bigval's wording implied that something happened in 09 with Fantomas:

monokhrome_nite

monokhrome_nite said on the 22nd Jul, 2012

Most of bigval's posting history consists of how Big Day Out and Ken West are the most terrible things to ever happen to Australian music anyway.

Quicky

Quicky said on the 22nd Jul, 2012

Was there ever a reason for kicking Mr Bungle off the bill in 2000?

I think Faith No More seemed like a reunion for funds for Patton projects and SW threw alot of money at them so therefore SW wins at the end of the day.

Oflick

Oflick said on the 22nd Jul, 2012



The Red Hot Chili Peppers hate Mike Patton and/or Mr Bungle.

Quicky

Quicky said on the 22nd Jul, 2012

[FONT=Arial,Helvetica][SIZE=2]Good read from http://www.bunglefever.com/faq.html#I.14

What is this about a feud between Mike Patton and Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Did it really get Mr. Bungle kicked off of a festival?
[FONT=Arial,Helvetica][SIZE=2]Based on various interviews with the people involved, it seems to boil down to this: In 1989 Faith No More released an album called "The Real Thing," and several singles from that album for which videos were made. The video for "Epic" became very popular, and Patton was suddenly seen in silly clothing, swinging his long hair around, rapping to Faith No More's funk-metal sound, all over the world. Anthony Kiedis seems to have been oblivious to the fact that this sort of combination of funk, metal, and rap (always accompanied by bad clothing and hair) had been the trend on the West Coast for some time, and wasn't actually invented by his band. Envious of Faith No More's success, and angry that it seemed to have been achieved at least in part due to the wild frontman who he thought had stolen his "moves," he accused Patton of ripping him off in the press. Members of Mr. Bungle responded by gleefully threatening Kiedis with bodily harm in the press. Eventually Patton and Kiedis met in person, were polite to one another, and everyone lost interest.
Many years later, after Faith No More was long gone and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were hugely successful, the release of Mr. Bungle's "California" was pushed back by Warner Bros. so it wouldn't come out at the same time as the Red Hot Chili Pepper's similarly-named "Californication." Then, when Mr. Bungle were asked to play at some European festivals in the Summer of 1999, Kiedis threatened to cancel his band's appearance, and Bungle were dropped. That Halloween, Mr. Bungle retaliated by playing a show in Pontiac, Michigan dressed as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, complete with freqent heroin injections and covers of really bad songs. This resulted in Kiedis having them kicked off of some Australian festivals.
Fun quotes:
"OK, here's what happened, 'cause I know he has his opinion, now here's mine. In that interview the writer said, 'Are you guys sick of people ripping you off?' I said, 'Who are you referring to?' and he said, 'Well, Mike Patton in Faith No More.' So I told him what our drummer said, and yeah I watch that 'Epic' video, and I see him jumping up and down, rapping, and it looked like I was looking in the mirror. The thing is, I had no problem with him personally. I mean, I love 'The Real Thing,' and I liked his vocals on that record. I mean, when I heard the record I noticed subtle similarities, but when I saw that video it was like, 'Wait a second here, what the fuck?'" -- Anthony Kiedis
"I mean, the Chili Peppers is something I hadn't really thought of in years. And I'll go ahead and tell you this. Why not? I haven't told anybody else yet. We were looking at booking some Mr. Bungle shows in Europe this past summer, some big festivals, which is something we'd never done before. We figured it'd be a good thing: We'd get to play in front of a lot of people who wouldn't otherwise hear us. Our agent was in the process of booking these festivals, and it was becoming apparent that we'd landed some pretty good ones—one in France, another one in Holland, some big-name festivals. Turns out someone's holding a grudge! We were booted off several bills, including a really big festival in Australia, specifically because Anthony Kiedis did not want us on the bill. He threatened to pull the Chili Peppers if Mr. Bungle was on the bill. Now, rationalize that one! That's so fucking pathetic! I mean, this guy's selling a million records! We are not even a speck of dust on this guy's ass! What's the fucking problem? It's unbelievable." -- Mike Patton
"I would not have given two fucks if they played with us there, but after I heard about some Halloween show where they mocked us and read another interview where Patton talked shit about us, and I was like, you know what, fuck him and fuck the whole band." -- Anthony Kiedis
"We were booked, months in advance, to do eleven festival dates in Europe. Come Summer, we get a call from the three biggest of those festivals, all of them the same day, saying that we can't play, because the headlining band retains the right to hire and fire whomever they wish. We found out it was the Red Hot Chili Peppers, so our manager called their manager to find out what the hell was going on, and their manager was very apologetic, and said, 'We're really sorry, we want you to know this doesn't reflect the management's position, or the band's for that matter, it's Anthony Kiedis who wants this.'" -- Trey Spruance

bigval

bigval said on the 23rd Jul, 2012



Something did, I don't know what that something was but was told by a person who spoke to Patton on that tour that none of his bands will ever play at the BDO again.

When there was speculation in late '09 about FNM doing an aussie tour in early 2010 the same person assured me it would be Soundwave and not the BDO regardless of what kind of money was on the table.

jacegalvin

jacegalvin said on the 23rd Jul, 2012

Something did, I don't know what that something was but was told by a person who spoke to Patton on that tour that none of his bands will ever play at the BDO again.

When there was speculation in late '09 about FNM doing an aussie tour in early 2010 the same person assured me it would be Soundwave and not the BDO regardless of what kind of money was on the table.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPuSJeVOw7I




Fixed, your original post didn't have enough.

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 23rd Jul, 2012

finally got around to reading the interview and thoroughly enjoyed it. the right questions were asked and the appropriate answers were given, albeit rather candidly. i think Ken West really understands the importance of staying onside with the media so giving half-hearted interviews or playing his cards close to his chest is a thing of the past now.

a couple of aspects stood out to me. i had no idea how much control bands had over sideshows. i always figured it was a case of ok if the festival sells well you can do a sideshow. the festival+sideshow combo is probably one of the best things about being a music fan in this country so i hope it stays strong for a while.

he has taken a bit of a gamble by putting acts near the top of his lineup before they release an album. but all he really needs is for two or three of them to have a big hottest 100 track and he'll be cheering. the chances of that seem very high. so good on him for taking a punt i'm confident it'll pay off.

and he shouldn't be disheartened by last year. a lot of people including me had an awesome time at the 2012 event. half the reason im going again this year is because of the great experience i had last time.

Bandolier

Bandolier said on the 25th Jul, 2012

big day out is a gather. of 15 year old kids.

HardcoreMusic

HardcoreMusic said on the 25th Jul, 2012

to be honest big day out has been prretty gay for the past few years but i still went to the last four (in auckland). its wasn't always the best lineup but its about checking out something new and supporting artists. however i would still heavily prefer soundwave over big day out (i've flown over to that fine country you call australia twice for it so far) and so long as the lineup is great again in 2013 i might make that three years in a row. so now that ken west has said nz sucks, aj should fly his epic soundwave to my doorstep. :)

Stugalug

Stugalug said on the 25th Jul, 2012



What do you mean? Do you think the Big Day Out is similar to a Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras?

Quicky

Quicky said on the 25th Jul, 2012

I thought this year's BDO was fairly ordinary - Best Coast, Kanye West, Papa Vs Pretty and Nero were the real standouts to me. I'm just hoping a shit timetable doesn't result with this lineup.

liquidtopaz3

liquidtopaz3 said on the 25th Jul, 2012

This year's BDO was one of my favorites. I was only at the Main stages for Boy & Bear and Kanye, so spent most of the day in the shade, and had great views at the front of the crowd for plenty of sets at the Green and Converse stages.

01seb

01seb said on the 25th Jul, 2012

This year was amazing with no crowds. Wondered in 15 mins before Royksopp started and got barrier, got 2nd row at Kasabian and got centre barrier for Noel Gallagher after everyone left at the end of Foster the People.

tyler07

tyler07 said on the 25th Jul, 2012

This year's BDO I thought was pretty awesome with lower crowd numbers and some killer performances.

Yeezy, Parkway, Frenzal, Royksopp, My Chem, Soundgarden. Was definitely an awesome time.

jacegalvin

jacegalvin said on the 25th Jul, 2012

This year had Regurgitator.
Nuff said.

tyler07

tyler07 said on the 25th Jul, 2012

So did BDO 2008, which was my first and still best BDO I've been to.

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 25th Jul, 2012

Battles --> Kimbra --> Kasabian --> Soundgarden --> Kanye --> Noel was near perfect. actually would've been perfect had Kasabian not been so boring.

tyler07

tyler07 said on the 25th Jul, 2012

My ex-girlfriend made me see Kasabian.

We broke up because she cheated on me, but dragging to me to Kasabian was by far the worst thing she ever did to me.

sarcasm_mister

sarcasm_mister said on the 25th Jul, 2012

the friend i saw Kasabian with never paid me back for the ticket.

jacegalvin

jacegalvin said on the 25th Jul, 2012

I really liked Kasabian's performance....

Quicky

Quicky said on the 25th Jul, 2012

They were great at their sideshow. Otherwise really average at BDO.

liquidtopaz3

liquidtopaz3 said on the 25th Jul, 2012

They were great at the 2010 BDO, but couldn't be bothered seeing them this year. I think we decided to have a dinner break when their set was on.

monokhrome_nite

monokhrome_nite said on the 25th Jul, 2012



Pshaw. If anything, BDO has not been gay enough as of late.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 26th Jul, 2012



Totally. Rammstein has really been the only homoerotic band to play in recent years and the crowd loved them.

Miss Pye

Miss Pye said on the 28th Nov, 2012

yeah yeah yeah, iv just been stabbed in the heart....