This article was originally published in Lot’s Wife Edition 5: Identity
With the recent cancellation of Big Day Out, it looks like we’re headed for some Small Nights In instead.
With new ownership by C3 Presents, Big Day Out is taking a break in 2015 and hoping to return in later years. The festival has been slowly falling apart recently with festival-goers no longer responding with such excitement to the acts. In recent years, acts such as The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, Pearl Jam and The Living End were not enough to satisfy the thirst of young music lovers.
Of course we remember Blur pulling out of this year’s Big Day Out and the affect it had on the festival’s image. What organisers hoped would be a godsend may have inadvertently caused the destruction of their beloved event. With Blur cancelling on the festival, not only did the requests for refunds roll in, but let’s admit it, we all began to question exactly how (not so) together Big Day Out was. I mean, if they couldn’t even keep one of their bands happy, how did they expect to entertain a sea of audience?
So what does the cancelation really mean for the festival in the future? Traditionally as such an iconic event, its termination in 2015 is sure to cause a stir with the regular attendants. The festival was not only a signal to mainstream music lovers but alsoa way for young Aussies to begin learning about the music scene this country is so famous for. Big Day Out has always been seen as a kind of initiation into the music festival arena.Every kid who wants to go to a festival goes to BDO first, often coming out with the music festival ‘bug’. And it makes total sense. Big Day Out has always provided a vast array of tunes, a little something for every taste, and even appealing to a boarder audience.
Perhaps this vast audience was the festival’s downfall. By aiming at no particular age or social group, the festival ended up with a number of bands that a few people would want to see, and the rest that they were unfazed by. Festivals like Soundwave and Stereosonic have a more focused target market and a narrower demographic. Theysupply bands that will appeal to this demographic, making the event unique and More attractive.
Unfortunately, Big Day Out’s appeal to the general music lover is already covered by several established festivals like Groovin’ the Moo and Splendour in the Grass. With these competitors raking in the profits, festivals like Big Day Out taking ‘a year off’ can prove to be even more damaging that suffering from another loss or fiasco. So why should BDO unnecessarily run if the other festivals have proven enough to satisfy the audiences’ thirst? On the other hand, there is no harm in some healthy competition and arguably music lovers should be provided with a variety of festivals to choose from.
Personally for me, I will always remember Big Day Out as being my very first music festival, and hope that in a couple of year’s time another girl with atrocious taste in music can enjoy herself there just as much as I did.