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Image for Did nostalgia kill the 2014 Big Day Out?

Did nostalgia kill the 2014Big Day Out?

The Big Day Out’s year to forget could throw up some hints about the future of Australia’s festival scene, writes DARREN LEVIN.

A lavish industry function with flashy production and canapés provided by one of Sydney’s best restaurants seemed like the perfect place to unveil an “impossible” Big Day Out line-up. It was late-July, and as the seconds ticked down to an 8.45 announcement, we inched closer to discovering what on earth Ken West was talking about when he said he booked three elusive White Whales. A trippy video flashed up on the screen, revealing each act’s name against a backdrop of lava lamp goo:

The 1975 … Peking Duk … Bo Ningen … The Algorithm … The Lumineers…
A good start
Kingswood … Loon Lake … Cosmic Psychos … Big Gigantic… Rüfüs…
OK, keep ‘em coming
Mac Miller … Pez … Flosstradamus … Mudhoney … Flume…
Seriously, this is killing us!
The Naked And Famous … Tame Impala … Major Lazer … Snoop Dogg…
Twenty more seconds of agonising floating goop followed, and then…
Blur … Arcade Fire … Pearl Jam…

The White Whales had their Free Willy moment, and Ken West and 600 VIP revellers toasted the Big Day Out’s best lineup in years – if not ever. “It’s been a very, very long road to get to this point,” West told FL at the time, “and not in our wildest imagination did we think that they’d all hit at the same time.” This was supposed to be a game-changer for Big Day Out, who were in the midst of a much-needed transformation under the watchful eye of new partner, Lollapalooza promoter C3 Presents. Confidence was so high that, for only the fourth time in their history, they booked a second Big Day Out at Sydney Showgrounds well before pre-sales had even begun.

How quickly things can change.

Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, but no one expected the wheels to fall off the 2014 Big Day Out so dramatically (if at all). By November Ken West’s 50 percent stake had been purchased by Soundwave boss AJ Maddah, almost the entire production team had been sacked, the second Sydney event was scrapped and organisers were looking down the barrel of an $8- to $15-million loss. Blur’s cancellation, of course, was another dagger in the heart of the iconic festival, but that’s not the real reason why the 2014 Big Day Out lineup missed the mark. It failed largely because it catered to the wrong demographic: a 30-plus market that, with the exception of a handful of rock’n’roll lifers and diehard fans, simply don’t go to mainstream festivals. And it failed because the experience offered didn’t meet that audience’s needs.

So how did organisers get it so wrong?

They assumed bands that were popular then are still popular now

Pearl Jam have had an illustrious career. They’ve sold 60-million records worldwide. But ask a 16-year-old to tell you their favourite Pearl Jam track and they’ll probably just laugh at the fact you just said “pearl jam”. Pearl Jam are still releasing albums, but there’s no evidence to suggest they’re actually gaining any new or younger fans. The last time one of their records went double-platinum in Australia it was 1996 and Flume was five years old. Lightning Bolt was described by many as a return to form. And while it debuted at #1 on the ARIA Albums Charts it finished up as the 75th highest-selling album of the year, selling somewhere between 35,000 and 70,000 units.

Pearl Jam fans still pack out stadiums, though. They played five sold-out dates in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on their November 2009 Backspacer tour, which equates to roughly 200,000 tickets (that’s 75,000 tickets more than the entire 2014 Big Day Out). Do the maths and you can see why Ken West was desperate to snare them. But there’s a strong argument to be made that Australian Pearl Jam fans don’t attend festivals – and that’s not a slight on Pearl Jam fans, just the reality of how a 30-plus demographic like to experience gigs.

“Not one other single act on the lineup that would get me in the doors”

In the months following the Big Day Out’s lineup announcement, diehard Pearl Jam fans took to social media to practically beg for sideshows. “I would prefer to share [the experience] with people my own age,” said one fan, “not a bunch of teenagers.” Others wanted to make it clear they were reluctantly attending, but just for Pearl Jam. “You should have special entry zones at the BDO for fans that only want to see PJ, instead of potentially standing around for hours on end, listening to absolute crap that is the rest of the BDO lineup! Not one other single act on the lineup that would get me in the doors.”

The same gripes were playing out on Blur’s Facebook wall.
“Yeah, not going to BDO for one band.”
“I will come to BDO to see you but I’d rather just see you!!!”
“I hate the Big Day Out, but I’ve got my ticket. I’ll be the old mole judging idiots in flower crowns, saying how great the ‘90s were.”
“Big Day Out is horrible horrible, PLEASE do side shows!!”
And so on.

It’s interesting to note that the largest venue Blur played on their first and only tour of Australia in 1997 was the 5500-capacity Hordern Pavillion (off the back of two sold-out Metro Theatre shows). That’s roughly 8000 tickets in Sydney at the height of their popularity, when ‘Song 2’ peaked at #4 in the ARIA charts. They released two more albums – 13 and Think Tank, which peaked at 12 and 30 on the ARIA Albums Charts, respectively – before going on hiatus in the mid-2000s. And there’s nothing to suggest Blur’s popularity stocks rose in Australia in the intervening years. So why were they so sought after?

Partly because of Ken West’s blinding fandom – “I don’t care if nobody goes,” he told FL back in July. “I’m gonna be at the front. I’ll be broke, but I’ll be happy” – and partly because he overestimated the excitement surrounding their reunion.

“The original promoters of the Big Day Out are basically old-age pensioners,” AJ Maddah told triple j’s Hack program on Friday. “The big bands that they remember are the big bands of their time. You need to remember that Blur when they came out at the height of powers did a Hordern Pavillion [in Sydney]. Pearl Jam are an amazing band – the shows were amazing, as everyone who saw them will attest – but there needs to be a counter balance if you have two or three headliners. You’re covering an age range that’s appropriate for a festival audience … Definitely in the last five or six years [that] started to skew a lot older.”


(Photo by Mikey Hartt)

So what is the Big Day Out’s ideal audience?

No one’s sure and that’s arguably its biggest problem. According to a festival insider, the demographic is predominately 18-25, but it shifts year upon year depending on the headliner. Around 20 percent of the crowd were under 18 at the 2013 event, but it wasn’t Red Hot Chili Peppers that brought them through the turnstiles – it was Vampire Weekend, The Bloody Beetroots, Alabama Shakes, Childish Gambino, 360, Sleigh Bells, Foals, Death Grips, B.O.B and Crystal Castles. Even The Killers, through sustained commercial airplay, have a wider appeal than, say, Snoop Dogg and Arcade Fire.

And there’s evidence to suggest organisers were trying to cater more effectively to an older demographic through initiatives like the Like A Boss VIP ticket system and Chow Town. At $100 extra per ticket, Like A Boss offered improved sightlines, a private bar and better toilet facilities, while Chow Town enlisted acclaimed Sydney chefs Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz to curate pop-up style eateries serving gourmet takes on festival fare. Chow Town was one of the success stories of the 2013 event, but was scrapped as one of several cost-cutting measures in 2014. There’s no doubt who it was aimed at, though: Absolutely no one under 20 goes to a festival because they’re suddenly serving lobster rolls on brioche and Chinese duck baos.


(Photo by Cameron Stewart)

It seems almost counterintuitive for a mainstream festival to try and create an experience that suits an older demographic, but Big Day Out not only had Pearl Jam on the horizon, but a model that lives and dies on the strength of its headliners. Trouble is, there’s only a small pool of acts that A) Appeal to that 18-25 demographic; and B) Can command top billing at an event of this magnitude. This is what AJ Maddah meant when he told Hack that the “last 10 years haven’t thrown up many stadium bands”.

But it worked for Lollapalooza Chile…

Just a few months before the Big Day Out’s first announcement, an enormous crowd of 70,000 (more than double the attendance of the Sydney Big Day Out) watched Pearl Jam close the first day of Lollapalooza Chile at Santiago’s O’Higgins Park. Does this mean that Pearl Jam are more popular with young people in Chile? No, but it does illustrate how different the festival experience is in Australia compared to overseas.

The first thing to note about Lollapalooza Chile is that it’s booze-free. And when you remove alcohol from the equation, you create a family-friendly environment that appeals to people that gave up getting blotto every weekend to have kids in the burbs. In other words: The people that still buy Pearl Jam records in 2014.

The second is that Lollapalooza is an anomaly in Chile. It doesn’t exist in a crowded market and it doesn’t have the kind of baggage the Big Day Out accumulated over 21 years. “Lolla in Chile is still a novelty because they haven’t had 20 years of great festivals there,” says FL writer Andrew Murfett, who attended the event last year. “It was a very wide demographic with club kids there to see Deadmau5 and older dudes to see Pearl Jam. It worked well because they probably don’t have the same angst towards festivals people have here.”

“There are 40-year-old dudes with their 15-year-old kids [at festivals]. You never see that in Australia”

The reason Glastonbury gets away with booking The Rolling Stones while still remaining relevant to a younger audience is cultural. Its cool factor doesn’t live and die by its lineup, because it provides a mythological rite-of-passage experience that the Big Day Out lost to Splendour and Soundwave a long time ago. It also creates an environment in which teens, Gen-Ys, baby boomers and ’90s tragics can coexist. “If the show was presented like it was last year, with all the bells and whistles, then I think Pearl Jam fans would’ve been more keen to go,” a source close to the Big Day Out told FL.

However, another industry insider said that regardless of what festivals are offering, when Australian punters hit a certain age they prefer experiencing music in theatres, stadiums, arenas and at intimate club shows. “They don’t want to stand in a paddock. It’s different in Europe. There are 40-year-old dudes with their 15-year-old kids [at festivals]. You never see that in Australia. It’s to do with licensing laws, the culture and how events have evolved.”

Bluesfest and WOMADelaide buck this trend, but it’s important to remember that these are genre-specific events that understand their market and curate their experiences accordingly. They may cast a wide net – “blues” and “world music” mean totally different things to different people – but it’s still very far off Big Day Out’s famed “gathering of the tribes”.

A rock fan and her kids at Lollapalooza Chile:


Survival of the youngest

After dabbling with heritage acts like Echo and The Bunnymen, and “older” bands like The Hold Steady, The Dirty Three and Stereolab, the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival now focuses on booking bands you know nothing about now, but will want to see in 12 months time. Laneway’s biggest “nostalgia” act for 2014 was Four Tet, who released his debut Dialogue in 1999, and nearly half of this year’s bill put out debut albums in 2013 including co-headliners Lorde and Haim. They sold out three out of five legs, with Adelaide and Brisbane coming very close. It’s no wonder Maddah heaped praise on its organisers when he spoke to Hack last week. “The chaps that work on Laneway really have their finger on the pulse,” he said, “they know exactly what’s going to break and when it’s going to break … By the time they get to Australia it’s a really good buzz.”

This approach has paid off for Groovin The Moo and Falls – even though Falls had Violent Femmes and Johnny Marr on the bill. Marr played a clutch of Smiths classics at Falls Marion Bay including ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’ and ‘How Soon Is Now’ to a crowd, that according to FL’s report, was at least four times smaller than The Rubens. The year before at Falls Lorne, the set “clash” between the Flaming Lips and Flume was not really a clash at all. “Overheard countless times was the invariable conclusion that Flume was going to be sick and that The Flaming Lips – whoever they might be – were probably from the ’80s,” read FL’s review of the show. The inevitable happened: The Lips played to a sparse crowd, while Falls’ Grand Theatre stage was “packed-out well before Harley Streten took the stage”.

Maddah’s failed Harvest Festival is perhaps the starkest example of what happens when you market a festival to an older, arguably less engaged crowd. The surrounds were stunning, the facilities were decent (after a few teething problems in year one), there was a fun and well-curated visual arts program, but when push comes to shove, a 30-plus demographic doesn’t want to trundle around in that proverbial paddock watching bands they loved as teenagers. “I made a mistake … with Harvest, in that I went ‘90s,” Maddah acknowledged on Hack. “I made the mistake of booking a festival of bands that I liked rather than being a bit more current with it and the marketplace didn’t like it and therefore didn’t buy tickets.”

So why is everyone so excited about Outkast?

Because they tick all the boxes of a marquee festival headliner – newsworthiness, exclusivity and buzz – without actually having the proven pulling power to back it up. Outkast were a relatively big band in Australia in their early-2000s heyday. Their first album to chart, Stankonia, came in at a moderate #33 on the ARIA Charts, and while ‘Ms Jackson’ went platinum (70,000 units), it didn’t crack the Hottest 100 until The Vines covered it in 2002. ‘Hey Ya’ came a year later and changed everything. It scored them their first Australian #1 with double platinum sales, came in at #2 in the Hottest 100 (behind Jet’s ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl?’) and helped Speakerboxxx/The Love Below to #9 on the ARIA Charts.

But, like Blur, Outkast’s popularity was on the decline until the time they went on hiatus following 2006’s Idlewild, which managed no charting singles and a paltry #27 on the ARIA Chart. The closest Australia got to an Outkast tour, was a one-off promotional gig by Big Boi in Sydney for a car racing videogame and a run of 500- to 1800-capacity theatre shows with Theophilus London in 2011.

Outkast are a much bigger band in the US, where they’ve been confirmed for Coachella and New York’s Governer’s Ball. While Coachella sold out (it always does, but for experiential reasons not just lineup alone), the response to their reformation from younger fans on social media has been overlooked amid the frenetic media buzz. In the days following the Coachella line-up announcement, Twitter alternated between “idk who outcast is” and “if u don’t know who outkast is you’re too young to go out with me”. There was even a ““Who Is OutKast?” tumblr (now deleted) set up to shame younger fans, presumably those who were listening to Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’ when ‘Hey Ya’ came out.

And yet given the sheer glut of genuine headliners, Outkast – a weird southern hip-hop duo with years of bad blood, an unproven stage show and a 10-year drought of hit singles – have just been confirmed for 40 festival dates around the world. The response to those shows will be telling, but if the Big Day Out’s taught us anything, it’s that sustainable festival models cannot live and die by their headliners alone.

Comments

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reubot

reubot said on the 13th Feb, 2014

that tumblr doesn't exist...

d-ren

d-ren said on the 13th Feb, 2014

it's been deleted. festival promoter conspiracy?

Jonamo

Jonamo said on the 13th Feb, 2014

there were too many rap/hip hop acts at what was essentially an alternative rock music festival. i think the money spent on snoop dog and the other hip hop acts could have better spent on more better alternative rock or electronica acts.

loudQUIETloud

loudQUIETloud said on the 13th Feb, 2014

Snoop had probably the biggest crowd of the day in Sydney other than maybe Arcade Fire.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 13th Feb, 2014



Totally! Less coons, more c[size=2]unts with guitars.

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 13th Feb, 2014

http://31.media.tumblr.com/49667c1b407259ee53347672c78efe80/tumblr_mqe2tjAwyh1s0xsato1_500.gif

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 13th Feb, 2014



Tell that to Bliss and Esso's totally packed crowd*.





*Not that they'd listen to you as they would be too busy robbing you with a filed down toothbrush.

Oflick

Oflick said on the 13th Feb, 2014

The promoters are such noobs. If I were running the festival, I'd just type in "idbeholdv" before it starts and become invincible. No risk of the fest dying any more.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 13th Feb, 2014

Up, up, down, down, left, right, B, A, start.

Oflick

Oflick said on the 13th Feb, 2014

http://bbsimg.ngfiles.com/1/14498000/ngbbs472e816c1940a.jpg

Andy_1989

Andy_1989 said on the 13th Feb, 2014

What do you think? Post your comment...

tyler07

tyler07 said on the 13th Feb, 2014

Quite enjoyed this article. Definitely made a few interesting points. I think the reason we all rejoiced at this year's BDO lineup and it didn't sell tickets was because there was notably less dickheads this year (or at least it appeared that way). The lineup didn't bring in the fuckhead-factor.

I had a conversation with a friend at this year's BDO about the future of the festival which lead to what I think is a pretty interesting point - what would happen if you experimented with a super commercial pop act as one of the headliners? 2013 proved you can sell a decent amount of tickets with a bill that spans multiple genres - you just gotta book fresh and exciting acts, so do that again, but book a band like Kings of Leon or Foo Fighters to headline and have Katy Perry or Lady Gaga playing before them. I realise it'd be expensive but surely this year with PJ/AF/Blur was going to be super expensive anyways, so it should be plausible.

If your lineup overall was enough to attract the regular BDO goer, plus a huge pop act on the lineup, you're going to attract some youngens. And most importantly - smokin' hot babes.

monokhrome_nite

monokhrome_nite said on the 13th Feb, 2014

Interesting idea, but I'm pretty sure Lady Gaga will just bring out the twinks in full force.

Oflick

Oflick said on the 13th Feb, 2014

I like the idea, but I can't imagine them taking the risk. And I don't know if it would work if they did. Its possible the pop acts might scare away some of the rock fans, and vice versa.

But it would be awesome if BDO had a lineup like some of the European festivals where they see no problem having hard rock/metal bands play along side pop acts. Roskilde had Slipknot and Rhianna, another festival had Rammstein and Pink. I'd like to see something like that here, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

nos235

nos235 said on the 13th Feb, 2014

Katy Perry would charge about $5 million per show.

Better off forgetting about big names and going for lots of up and comers.

You could possibly pull it off with say Outkast, Daft Punk, Crystal Method, Disclosure, Rudimental but then you might as well be FMF

tyler07

tyler07 said on the 13th Feb, 2014



Lady Gaga does seem to also have a significant following of more legit music fans because of how innovative her first couple of releases were. She'd possibly be the best choice as far as commercial pop acts go. Either her or Rihanna.

Katy Perry would charge about $5 million per show.

Better off forgetting about big names and going for lots of up and comers.

You could possibly pull it off with say Outkast, Daft Punk, Crystal Method, Disclosure, Rudimental but then you might as well be FMF

Katy Perry would not charge $5 million a show. Kanye West charges $1 million and plays the same amount of shows in the same arenas here in Australia and I really don't think you can get away with charging much more than $1mil unless you're The Rolling Stones or something.

I don't think Outkast would be a wise BDO choice either. Daft Punk would be sellouts but it's not going to happen.

monokhrome_nite

monokhrome_nite said on the 13th Feb, 2014



In all seriousness though, I think Lady Gaga isn't really as much of a drawcard as she was circa 2009-11. Rihanna or Beyonce would be the most festival-friendly pop acts I think. Or Kenny could just pop down the road and check what Kylie's doing next summer.

nos235

nos235 said on the 13th Feb, 2014

Her agent says - $2.25 - $3m per show for international dates - http://www.celebritytalent.net/sampletalent/3934/katy-perry/

I read somewhere (citation needed) that she got $5 million for a single show somewhere.

tyler07

tyler07 said on the 13th Feb, 2014



I agree about the change in drawcard status statement but at a festival like BDO it'd be pretty innovative and definitely turn a lot of heads. You need somebody with a little bit of crossover appeal so maybe Rihanna would appeal a little bit more. I think if Lily Allen has worked exceptionally well at BDO then there is room for a bigger and more pop act to work too.

Her agent says - $2.25 - $3m per show for international dates - http://www.celebritytalent.net/sampletalent/3934/katy-perry/

I read somewhere (citation needed) that she got $5 million for a single show somewhere.

That website is an abomination. I felt like my computer was going to get AIDS for even looking at it.

monokhrome_nite

monokhrome_nite said on the 13th Feb, 2014

Her agent says - $2.25 - $3m per show for international dates - http://www.celebritytalent.net/sampletalent/3934/katy-perry/

I read somewhere (citation needed) that she got $5 million for a single show somewhere.


Okay, but going by that website (which hardly seems trustworthy or reputable in any way) [url=http://www.celebritytalent.net/sampletalent/3872/arcade-fire/]Arcade Fire would have been over $3 million alone.

condog

condog said on the 13th Feb, 2014

i travelled down to melbourne pretty much just for major lazer... i would barely call the lineup nostalgic at all. the reason why none of my mates went is because the ticket costed freakin $180!!! thats ridiculous! the first bdo i went to 10 yrs ago costed $79.99... thats an increase of $10 a yr. will it be $190 next yr? $200 in 2016??? the reason i went to melbourne is it was on my birthday and i scored some birthday money. i bought last minute flights and got a ticket on the gate. i couldnt afford to go to the gold coast one. katie perry or pink will be the final bullet to the head for bdo i cant believe people are saying to get an act similar! lower the price and you will be back to 30 minute sellouts.

nos235

nos235 said on the 13th Feb, 2014

Celebrity Talent International is Not running a Scam, but we are running a very professional agency with great agents and many satisfied clients from 25 years of doing business in our industry.

If you see any negative postings saying scam or fraud on Celebrity Talent International or on myself on the web, they were done by an individual that tried to trick CTI into to helping him exploit fans and celebrities, so we refused to work with him. When we told him this, he then created false Internet records about our company.

Celebrity Talent International has an A+ rating with thousands of talent buyers over the years and if you have any questions on the integrity of Celebrity Talent International in any way, please contact our company and we can give you references from current clients. Our official website is celebritytalent.net. Any other site using our company name is a fake and should not be regarded or trusted.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Glenn Richardson | President
Celebrity Talent International, LLC.

LukeWarm

LukeWarm said on the 13th Feb, 2014

Great to read a balanced, rational article about BDO rather than the usual hysteria. And for all Maddah's flaws, I think he's on the right track with how BDO needs to change. Whether he can make it work - and can find the right acts - remains to be seen.

monokhrome_nite

monokhrome_nite said on the 14th Feb, 2014

Celebrity Talent International is Not running a Scam, but we are running a very professional agency with great agents and many satisfied clients from 25 years of doing business in our industry.

If you see any negative postings saying scam or fraud on Celebrity Talent International or on myself on the web, they were done by an individual that tried to trick CTI into to helping him exploit fans and celebrities, so we refused to work with him. When we told him this, he then created false Internet records about our company.

Celebrity Talent International has an A+ rating with thousands of talent buyers over the years and if you have any questions on the integrity of Celebrity Talent International in any way, please contact our company and we can give you references from current clients. Our official website is celebritytalent.net. Any other site using our company name is a fake and should not be regarded or trusted.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Glenn Richardson | President
Celebrity Talent International, LLC.

I never did trust a Glenn.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 14th Feb, 2014

Celebrity Talent International is Not running a Scam, but we are running a very professional agency with great agents and many satisfied clients from 25 years of doing business in our industry.

If you see any negative postings saying scam or fraud on Celebrity Talent International or on myself on the web, they were done by an individual that tried to trick CTI into to helping him exploit fans and celebrities, so we refused to work with him. When we told him this, he then created false Internet records about our company.

Celebrity Talent International has an A+ rating with thousands of talent buyers over the years and if you have any questions on the integrity of Celebrity Talent International in any way, please contact our company and we can give you references from current clients. Our official website is celebritytalent.net. Any other site using our company name is a fake and should not be regarded or trusted.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Glenn Richardson | President
Celebrity Talent International, LLC.

tl;dr

Celebrity Talent International will book bands on your behalf for a much greater cost than you would pay if you contacted their management directly.

If you are stupid enough to believe that Katy Perry gets paid $5 million per concert then talk to us and we will sort it out for you.

haydendavies

haydendavies said on the 14th Feb, 2014

in response to the pop act; I also like the idea, but I think the backlash would be enormous from the classic rock fans, however if they were to do so, I think the best options would be Katy/Rihanna or Bey and Pink (she would sell out the festival 10 times over knowing the massive boner Australia has for her). Gaga would of worked in maybe 09/10/11.

loudQUIETloud

loudQUIETloud said on the 14th Feb, 2014

They should book Taylor Swift and rename the festival to lQlfest

old_mate_herb

old_mate_herb said on the 14th Feb, 2014

Gorillaz would have been a safer bet. They are big enough in Australia to headline/co-headline aren't they? Was 2010 their first and only tour of Australia?

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 14th Feb, 2014



Yeah, and it lost a lot of money.

That was an amazing tour but it just didn't sell nearly enough tickets. People are stupid.

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 14th Feb, 2014



This opinion keeps getting brought up but it completely ignores the fact that the musical landscape in 2014 is completely different to that of 1992 when the festival started.

Where are all the huge alternative rock bands of the 2010s? The reason why BDO brings out so many 90s rock bands is that these are still the biggest alternative rock bands around in the most part because they haven't been superseded.

Why didn't BDO book big hip hop acts in the 90s? I'd guess because they didn't have anywhere near the level of appeal amongst Australian music fans as they do today.

old_mate_herb

old_mate_herb said on the 14th Feb, 2014

Yeah, and it lost a lot of money.

That was an amazing tour but it just didn't sell nearly enough tickets. People are stupid.

Ah was worried that might have been the case. People are muppets.

hedonism gibbon

hedonism gibbon said on the 14th Feb, 2014

This opinion keeps getting brought up but it completely ignores the fact that the musical landscape in 2014 is completely different to that of 1992 when the festival started.

Where are all the huge alternative rock bands of the 2010s? The reason why BDO brings out so many 90s rock bands is that these are still the biggest alternative rock bands around in the most part because they haven't been superseded.

Why didn't BDO book big hip hop acts in the 90s? I'd guess because they didn't have anywhere near the level of appeal amongst Australian music fans as they do today.


Beastie Boys were pretty big in the 90s at BDO?! way bigger than Snoop today in all departments i would think, at least from seeing the two all those years apart, and despite a strong showing for snoop beasties were mainstage as the sun went down, top slot.


I guess Arctic Monkeys would be the biggest drawcard for alternative rock still post-2000, QOTSA doing Ent Cent duo with NIN left a hole that could have been filled this year... but i guess Josh is pissed with BDO among many others on his ever-expanding shit-list these days.

if you hypothetically threw those 2 in instead of Beady Eye n cut PJ to 90mins+encore i'd like to think the crowd would have been 5-10,000 stronger...

......i'm all for some genre-diversity at the BDO, esp with the market as it is as you point out BH .... but, if they're gunna keep it nostalgic next year why not go the whole damn hog and fork out for Led Zeppelin to headline.... and make sure Them Crooked Vultures are on the bill too, that'd fire up a pretty wide array of punters and keep the rock element intact.

monokhrome_nite

monokhrome_nite said on the 14th Feb, 2014



I honestly hope people are being sarcastic or joking when they kept acting as if Led Zeppelin are even going to reunite again at all, let alone play the goddamned Big Day Out, because these sorts of posts keep happening and it bothers me.

squeekums

squeekums said on the 14th Feb, 2014

my take,
bdo is dying in the a** because of the organisers arrogance
they could see the 'older' acts and new gimmicks wernt working with the demo they after, lets face it its not the 90s and tastes have changed :( but persisted with it and have been trying to tell people what they want to see - read organisers want their faves there on the big stage, not put the current crowd faves on big stage in prime time slots

someone said this year had less dickheads,
people may not like it but them 'dickheads' are the money spenders, the ones they need through the door, they are the ones that drop crazy money on booze and merch not just 2 drink wonders that get a single stubbie holder. in turn that helps bdo make its money back, something they obviously lost this year too

i worked there for almost 10 years, dropped it this year, not worth it

hedonism gibbon

hedonism gibbon said on the 14th Feb, 2014

Sarcasm is so 90s... Can we call it "pure hypothetical ideology" instead please? ;)

More interested in response to rest of post tbh, being a rocker not a hip hopper, that bit was just a fantasy footnote, with a fair bit of piss obviously dribbling from the trouser leg

Demosthenes

Demosthenes said on the 14th Feb, 2014

This opinion keeps getting brought up but it completely ignores the fact that the musical landscape in 2014 is completely different to that of 1992 when the festival started.

Where are all the huge alternative rock bands of the 2010s?

Playing at Laneway, clearly.

killerbunyip

killerbunyip said on the 14th Feb, 2014

i'm 48, went to the first bdo and seen many since. i and other mates didn't go this year only because the line up didn't thrill mei'm not a big pearl jam fan, and have seen cosmic psychos and mudhoney etc repeatedly and didn't need to pay $185 to see them again. also, the bdo adelaide venue changed from the showgrounds to aj's soundwave site at bonython park, which offers little shade on a stinking hot day. but if it had been a great lineup, i'd still have been there.

Becboo4

Becboo4 said on the 14th Feb, 2014

splendour in the grass had some spectacular line ups with some great reformed acts (pulp, pixies, janes addiction) but it was worthy to note that the biggest crowds were up seeing empire of the sun or what ever skip hop purveyor is the flavour of the month with jjj. i think that the issue actually is that australian audiences don't like paying festival prices - you will find that everywhere else there is a lot more cross pollination of y,x and boomer.

snapcrackleROCK

snapcrackleROCK said on the 14th Feb, 2014

Here's a fun game - Complete the following sentence 'In order to save BDO, AJ needs to either book Daft Punk or a reformed __________.'

Demosthenes

Demosthenes said on the 14th Feb, 2014

Only if Becks plays an exhibition match in the D against Sydney FC.

Skinny Al

Skinny Al said on the 14th Feb, 2014

laneway sold out sure, but how many people went. in melbourne last years crowd was about 10,000 this year with the longer space (which was fucked btw) at the dean turner stage there would have been about 15,000. bdo is trying to sell 50,0000 tickets to melbourne. they still had a bigger crowd at bdo this year (25,000?) than laneway. bdo thought we came for the whales, i never did, the kids come for the big stages, the music lovers come for the 2 lesser stages, essential and green stage. (dont get me started on why its now red after 20 years of green stage!!) after bdo stuffed the smaller stages in 2013 we all sat back and wanted to see, cause at $200 a ticket its not worth going to if the lesser stages just have crap. (waves at snoop). as it was i was able to pick up a cheap ticket cause no one wanted to pay full price. so for melbourne there were 3 factors, ticket price, 2nd tier bands not up to scratch and the fact it was friday when peeps work. (although it worked for me cause there were so so many tickets being unloaded cheap!!)

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 14th Feb, 2014

Why would it matter if they call the stage green or red. That is such a silly thing be annoyed about.

nos235

nos235 said on the 14th Feb, 2014

Remove Blur, Pearl Jam and Arcade Fire completely and just go with what remains at $95 a head, would probably have made money

Braveheart81

Braveheart81 said on the 14th Feb, 2014



I don't know if this logic really works.

Purely based on how many people can watch each stage, BDO has to sell a lot of tickets to people who want to watch the big acts at the main stages.

I think the problem revolves around casual music fans no longer being as interested in going to the BDO as their festival for the Summer to go and get loose with their mates.

I think the festivals that have really eaten into the BDO crowd are things like FMF and Stereosonic where lots of people are going to get fairly loose.

hedonism gibbon

hedonism gibbon said on the 14th Feb, 2014

Here's a fun game - Complete the following sentence...


'In order to save BDO, AJ needs to either book Daft Punk AND a reformed ___ABBA__.' :rolleyes:

wernersaurus

wernersaurus said on the 15th Feb, 2014

first of all i personally detest the comment "there are 40-year-old dudes with their 15-year-old kids [at festivals]. you never see that in australia%u201d - i have driven from townsville to the gold coast bdo for 11 years with my son and three or four of his friends. i am 60 now and still attend concerts and festivals. when possible and usually my decision has nothing to do with headline acts. what keeps me away from the bdo (last attended in melbourne 2012) is the general choice of acts - specifically the two main stages.
once the bdo got to the stage where the main headline acts are kanye west or this snoop dog guy, or having gigs on the main stage like bliss and ezo or hilltop hoods (funny that - all hip hop acts) who's sole identity is having the possibility to have a microphone in front of thousands of people so that they can express their personal "shit" (i think bliss and ezo at melbourne bdo used the word in excess of 100 times to describe their "creations") - i am out of it. my last bdo act was spent at the alternative stage in melbourne enjoying real musicians playing real instruments performing real music.

i my self, and my son and his friends for that matter, are going to festivals to see and enjoy live music not playbacks and microphone monkeys churning out "shit".

sorry bdo - it was great whilst it lasted but you have lost purpose!!


gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 15th Feb, 2014

Pictured: A wernersaurus in its native habitat.

http://watermarked.cutcaster.com/cutcaster-vector-800922307-Old-Dinosaur.jpg

Man, I wish when I was growing up my dad had been cool enough to take me to music festivals and then complain about how it was all just noise, and why do those guys keep grabbing their crotches?

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 15th Feb, 2014

I only listen to music on acoustic guitar not this fake ass electric stuff. It's not even the real sound of the guitar.

I listen to real music made by reeeeeeaal musicians.

nos235

nos235 said on the 16th Feb, 2014

What's that song that uses the sample of Abe Simpson's Lolapalooza rant?

I used to be with it, but then they changed what *it* was. Now what I'm with isn't *it*, and what's *it* seems weird and scary to me. It'll happen to you...

Jose Cuervo

Jose Cuervo said on the 16th Feb, 2014

http://www.loureedmetallica.com/images/bg-lulu.jpg

Oflick

Oflick said on the 16th Feb, 2014

I like Lulu. I was super sad when Lou Reed died.

bscheffers

bscheffers said on the 16th Feb, 2014

They need to go back to the winning formula, 2010 was i think the highest ticket sales bdo has achieved. Going by similar style lineup and getting artists such as Black Keys, The Strokes, Lily Allen, Foster The people, Grimes, The Weeknd, M.I.A, Pretty Lights, Die Artwood would be a lineup i could see working for bdo.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 16th Feb, 2014

The Strokes aren't playing shows.

Lucan

Lucan said on the 16th Feb, 2014



___ find a way to kill off ALL the other Summer festivals to return a BDO monopoly. Dob the other mobs into the ATO, plant drugs and tip off the authorities, pull the fire alarm, etc.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 16th Feb, 2014



If they did get that lineup, everyone would scream and cry that they were repeating lineups.

snapcrackleROCK

snapcrackleROCK said on the 16th Feb, 2014

I also think that the people who used to go to BDO to get dressed up in costumes, get munted and take selfies are now going to the cricket to do that instead.

wernersaurus

wernersaurus said on the 16th Feb, 2014

gumboy - nice link - love it !!!

by the way - did i mention noise anywhere!?!? got nothing to do with it (i do pa work for local bands and have my own band) - it's the choice of acts and nothing else - nostalgia does not even come into play. i like new stuff (bosnian rainbows as an example). also - went to gtm last year (with my girlfriend and her kits) and loved tame impala, the temper trap ... etc etc.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 16th Feb, 2014



You must be a perfect stepdad if you can't spell "kids."

Nosyt

Nosyt said on the 16th Feb, 2014

Nah, she's a drummer.

snapcrackleROCK

snapcrackleROCK said on the 16th Feb, 2014

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_1meddlingkids_1686.jpg

AJ would've gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you pesky kids.

Plain Views

Plain Views said on the 17th Feb, 2014

I think the yearly appearances of MAB and his wife Charlenne kind of ruined the appeal of the BDO for most.

icedcoffee

icedcoffee said on the 17th Feb, 2014

kids these day don't support festival hell they barley support music free downloads for them and its the old bands that still sell bdo foo fighters rage against the machine metallica rhcp they were the sell out years not all this arcade fire vampire weekend and other crap you tring to hype

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 17th Feb, 2014



http://i.imgur.com/8y895h1.gif

Patrick Holmes

Patrick Holmes said on the 18th Feb, 2014

I'm thinking Frank Ocean would be a good get? (granted Aus was third time lucky)
Twice he has failed to deliver shows here which means people are still hanging to see him. He is big enough and now seen as splendour headlining size. A new song/album to pick up the hype would make him a good ticket seller

nos235

nos235 said on the 18th Feb, 2014

Would young people today want to see a reformed R.E.M ?

Oflick

Oflick said on the 18th Feb, 2014

I would, but the target demographic of BDO probably wouldn't.

loudQUIETloud

loudQUIETloud said on the 18th Feb, 2014



http://i.imgur.com/E4FExQz.gif

Lucan

Lucan said on the 18th Feb, 2014



They need to be off the scene for a bit longer. Not trying to be a smartar$e, but I don't think they're massively missed, yet.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 18th Feb, 2014

Young people today wouldn't be in to REM at all, unless their parents force them to sit down and listen to the albums.

Note that when I say 'young people' I mean in large scale numbers, obviously there will be a few here and there.

Basically, if Pearl Jam couldn't get the BDO sold out, REM won't do it either.

MorningAfterboy

MorningAfterboy said on the 18th Feb, 2014

Also, R.E.M. are never getting back together.

Like, ever.

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 18th Feb, 2014

I hope so.

Sometimes it's nice for things to end.

gumbuoy

gumbuoy said on the 18th Feb, 2014

And even if they were to play some special occasion shows, just as once-offs rather than properly reforming, and even if they decided to include Australia in those shows, they sure as hell wouldn't go to BDO.

Can you imagine AJ and Michael Stipe talking? "Listen you bald skinny fuck, you're going to do what I say, when I say it, and if you don't like it, fuck you, fuck your family, and fuck your entire fucking fuckfuck existence."

And then imagine what AJ would say in reply?

*golf swing*

berlinchair101

berlinchair101 said on the 19th Feb, 2014

@mstipe How many poofos does it take to change a light bulb? #shitjoke #nohomo

Nosyt

Nosyt said on the 19th Feb, 2014

I foresee BDO 2015 will be the biggest and best ever once the carbon & mining tax is dumped.

nos235

nos235 said on the 21st Feb, 2014



It was a leading question....

leading into this....

that if REM isn't going to be a drawcard for the Nostalgics then basically nothing will. Point taken though that they need to be broken up a bit longer to be missed more.

You know what though, I don't think it was Nostalgia that killed the BDO this year - it was two things, Reflektor and Blur. Not Blur pulling out, Blur being billed as headliner in the first place- if it had been Oasis and Reflektor had been a better album, I reckon you'd easily have sold 2.45 % more tickets

hedonism gibbon

hedonism gibbon said on the 21st Feb, 2014

first of all i personally detest the comment "there are 40-year-old dudes with their 15-year-old kids [at festivals]. you never see that in australia%u201d - i have driven from townsville to the gold coast bdo for 11 years with my son and three or four of his friends. i am 60 now and still attend concerts and festivals. when possible and usually my decision has nothing to do with headline acts. what keeps me away from the bdo (last attended in melbourne 2012) is the general choice of acts - specifically the two main stages.
once the bdo got to the stage where the main headline acts are kanye west or this snoop dog guy, or having gigs on the main stage like bliss and ezo or hilltop hoods (funny that - all hip hop acts) who's sole identity is having the possibility to have a microphone in front of thousands of people so that they can express their personal "shit" (i think bliss and ezo at melbourne bdo used the word in excess of 100 times to describe their "creations") - i am out of it. my last bdo act was spent at the alternative stage in melbourne enjoying real musicians playing real instruments performing real music.

i my self, and my son and his friends for that matter, are going to festivals to see and enjoy live music not playbacks and microphone monkeys churning out "shit".

sorry bdo - it was great whilst it lasted but you have lost purpose!!

i personally loved every bit of this post...


...except the last line of biased old man judgement fucks the whole beautiful view, sorry bro, mudhoney rule, the sydney indoor sidestage with live mud cosmic psychos kingswood vista chino deftones was best in a long time! fuck the arena yeah! :)

BDO imho has lost direction imho, not purpose

i blame the driver, and the streetsigns

hedonism gibbon

hedonism gibbon said on the 21st Feb, 2014



:)


...is it, the stoopedest idea ever, to suggest they ...

-scale it down
-reinstate a better blend of indie and commercial representation
-and genres that don't clash too extremely or oppositely,
-whilst exploring diversity still,
-and find a greener,
-breezier,
-more relaxed venue (silverwater region where The Great Escape was held for 2 yrs was superb)

-and leave the extortion for consumables to the prison over the fence!!!

[2cents paid]

Robert Warhol

Robert Warhol said on the 25th Jun, 2014

i'm a chicken lady and i don't go to festivals in case my eggs get broken in the crowd.