Big Day Out

Big Day Out

Infobox music festival
music_festival_name = Big Day Out

caption = Big Day Out Main Stages Auckland 2007
location = Australia
* Sydney
(1992 - 1997, 1999 - present)
* Melbourne
(1993 - 1997, 1999 - present)
* Perth
(1993 - 1997, 1999 - present)
* Adelaide
(1993 - 1997, 1999 - present)
* Gold Coast
(1994 - 1997, 1999 - present)
New Zealand
* Auckland
(1994 - 1997, 1999 - present)
years_active = 1992 - 1997, 1999 - present
founders = Ken West and Vivian Lees
organiser = Ken West
dates = Late January - early February
genre = Rock, hip hop, electronic
website = [ Official website]

The Big Day Out (BDO) is an annual music festival that tours Australia and New Zealand which originated in Sydney in 1992. As of 2003, it has featured 7 or 8 stages (depending on the venue) accommodating popular contemporary rock music, electronic music, mainstream international acts and local acts.


The festival began in 1992 as a Sydney-only show with Violent Femmes as the headline act, along with Nirvana and a range of other foreign and local alternative music acts playing at the Hordern Pavilion. In the months preceding the event, Nirvana's "Nevermind" was released and became an international smash hit, therefore guaranteeing the success of the festival. Kurt Cobain was chronically ill at the time of the show..

In 1993, the festival was extended to include Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide. In 1994, shows in Auckland and the Gold Coast were added. In 1997 it was announced that that year's event would be the last. The following year promoters, Vivian Lees and Ken West, organised a predominantly electronic and dance festival; however, the event was cancelled, and the Big Day Out returned in 1999.

American band Pearl Jam were booked to headline the 2001 tour almost 12 months in advance, as they had just started to do festivals for the first time since problems at festivals in the early 90's. On 30 June 2000 at the Roskilde Festival Denmark, they ended their set prematurely after the crowd surged forward, crushing and fatally injuring 9 people. They pulled out of the BDO, claiming to never do festivals again. Pearl Jam later played Leeds & Reading Festivals, UK, in 2006.

Artist lineups

Each year since its inception in 1992, Big Day Out has attracted a large range of artists and acts to perform ranging from Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine,Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys and Metallica, and has been a launching platform for many Australian artists such as Silverchair, Powderfinger, You Am I, The Living End, Grinspoon and many others.

Flag ban controversy

On 21 January 2007 a decision was made by the organisers to discourage Big Day Out patrons in Sydney from bringing and displaying the Australian flag. The organisers said the decision was a result of recent ethno-religious tensions in Sydney, complaints that the previous year's festival had been marred by roving packs of aggressive flag-draped youths, [ [ Flag row rocks Australia concert] , Al Jazeera, Retrieved 28 January 2007] and recognition that some indigenous Australians have issue with celebrating the start of British settlement.

Sections of the community had strong views supporting or objecting to the policy. The then Prime Minister John Howard, the then New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma and the then Federal Leader of the Opposition Kevin Rudd publicly condemned the move. Premier Iemma suggested the event be cancelled if the organisers cannot secure the safety of attendees. Main stage act Jet performed in front of a large backdrop of a black-and-white Australian flag cut-out of their name, with lead vocalist Nic Cester adding "I can't tell anyone else what to do but we as a band are very proud to be Australian and we don't want to feel we are not allowed to feel proud". [cite news|first=Kathy|last=McCabe|coauthors=Benson, Simon|title=Big Day Out flag ban sparks fury|url=,23663,21096947-10388,00.html|publisher=The Daily Telegraph|date=2007-01-22|accessdate=2007-01-22]

However, other people including Andrew Bartlett of the Australian Democrats, sports writer Peter FitzSimons and members of the hip hop outfit The Herd expressed concern that the flag was being misused by a handful of aggressive attendees in a jingoist manner, and that rock concerts were not the appropriate venue to be waving a flag. [ [,22049,21095817-5001021,00.html Fly your Aussie flag | The Daily Telegraph ] ]

Compilation albums

* "Disrespective" (2002)
* "Big Day Out 03" (2003)
* "Big Day Out 04" (2004)
* "Big Day Out 05" (2005)
* "Big Day Out 06" (2006)


* [ Big Day Out - Past Lineups] . Retrieved December 18, 2006.
* [ Sydney Morning Herald story] .
* []

External links

* [ Official Big Day Out website]
* [ Official Big Day Out 2008 MySpace]
* [ Big Day Out '08 Info] yourGigs

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