Big Day Out 2014

Last year, when Phoenix headlined a night at Coachella, I wondered whether we were running out of legitimate festival headliners. Apparently, we might be. Faster Louder reports that Big Day Out, one of Australia’s biggest music festivals, will take a year off in 2015 but plans to return in future years. The festival’s promoters reportedly lost between $8 and $15 million on the 2014 event, which featured Pearl Jam and Arcade Fire as headliners. Blur dropped out of a 2014 headlining gig at Big Day Out eight weeks before the event, saying the organizers were impossible to work with. In a separate report, Faster Louder noted that former Big Day Out promoter AJ Maddah, the guy who publicly disputed Blur’s accusations against the festival (“all everyone here has done is kiss their ass”), cited a lack of suitable headliners as the reason for the cancellation. Maddah, who just sold his share of the festival, tweeted last week that there is “a shortage of headliners on cycle this year” and “there was fuck all out there.”

Big Day Out is owned by C3 Presents, the company that also owns Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. According to ABC, Maddah sold his share of the festival back to C3 for just $1 two weeks ago, just a year after buying in. He says he has the option to buy back in for $1 if he chooses, though considering Big Day Out co-founder Vivian Lees blamed the fest’s 2014 failure on “megalomaniac” Maddah, it seems unlikely that C3 wants him back. Maddah remains involved with Australia’s metal- and punk-centric Soundwave Festival, which he founded in 2004; he recently announced he’s booked four headliners for the 2015 edition of that event, so apparently there’s no shortage of headliners in that market.

Comments (6)
  1. He’s right, Outkest HAVE been awful live.

    OutKast, on the other hand, have been reportedly fantastic at every show except the first Coachella gig.

    • Just saw them last night in Milwaukee and they were stellar. They seemed to enjoy the crowd and they were rapping their asses off. That first Coachella set sucked…but that’s because Coachella.

      • I was there, too, and I think the reason Milwaukee’s crowd was so amped is because everyone who was there had to buy a ticket to see OutKast, rather than sort of curiously checking them out after seeing Avicii or whoever.

        At any rate, they were fantastic!

  2. Ha, he spelled Outkast like he probably pronounces it.

  3. Instead of Pearl Jam/Foos…zzzz….they should try someone more rock and roll like Miranda Lambert or Kanye West.

  4. Went to the Auckland event last year, best time I’ve had at a music festival in New Zealand, and nearly all reports were very positive. A great shame. However, Laneway Festival is still going in Australasia, the 2014 line-up was as good as any:

    CHVRCHES – Danny Brown – Earl Sweatshirt – Frightened Rabbit – Haim – Jagwar Ma – James Blake – Jamie XX – Kurt Vile – Lorde – Mount Kimbie – Parquet Courts – Run The Jewels (EL-P & Killer Mike) – Savages – Unknown Mortal Orchestra – XXYYXX – Youth Lagoon

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