Big Day Out has previously hosted some of the biggest rock and heavy metal acts including Metallica, Tool and Nirvana. In the last few years, it diversified from being a big ol’ bogan fest and branched out into Hip-Hop and Electronic Dance Music. Expanding its horizons has been exactly what Big Day Out needed to attract a bigger chunk of the population. The festival this year in Auckland featured Pearl Jam, Snoop Lion and The Deftones. This year also wasn’t short of sales, with a record breaking 41,000 attendees to Western Springs, Auckland.
Unlike in 2013, when just Auckland was cut due to poor ticket sales, this time the Australians share our pain.
AJ Maddah, a famous Australian Promoter, bought a controlling stake in the Australian Festival last year… And is now waving the white flag, calling off the festival. He has blamed a lack of headline acts for the 2015 festival, saying that, “It was just the timing that made certain bands unavailable.” He has promised he is already working on the Big Day Out 2016 line up so the festival hasn’t met its maker just yet.
Maddah is also known as the promoter of mammoth Australian Festival ‘Soundwave.’ Maddah said on his Twitter that with the lack of The Big Day Out in New Zealand, it is possible that Soundwave could come to New Zealand. Soundwave addresses a different demographic, distinct in its heavy rock, metal and punk offerings. Being someone who has been to Australia twice for Soundwave, I am incredibly excited. New Zealand has no pronounced festival that salutes rock or heavy metal and this could the festival that Kiwi metal heads deserve.
Being in a remote corner of the world means New Zealand is debatably the most expensive place for our favourite American and European musicians to travel too. With Laneway and Parachute being the only other big festivals that are catered towards the youth of New Zealand (no one goes to RnV for music, no one) we are all just itching for something big. With the Big Day Out’s year off will we see an equally impressive if not a better festival like Soundwave debut at our shores?
Only time will tell what Maddah is crafting for us.