Big Day Out 2015 Canceled, Promoter Blames Headliner Shortage

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.

Tags: Big Day Out