Big Day Out – the largest and most-attended music festival on the Australian summer circuit – somehow manages to take your standard festival excitement and up it to the next-level every year without fail. It’s unknown if this unique breed of mayhem is caused by some mystical festival gods wielding the Power to Party over the tour, or if the heaving Big Day Out beast has taken on a life of its own as the operation has grown over the years. There’s been some compelling phenomenons go down over the festival’s history; let’s start with the weather.
The Gold Coast leg is a notorious sweat cauldron. Attendees check their personal hygiene at the door and open the sweat-gates on their pits and ass cracks. It’s not unusual to see massive tattooed dudes faint from the toxic mix of sunstroke, dehydration and tinnies. Ironically, this year the GC BDO was facing the possibility of a wash out as a result of Queensland flooding but, fortunately for ticket buyers, organisers have insisted the show will go on. The 2010 Sydney show experienced weather that could only be described as biblical. The meteorological rollercoaster went from insane heat (a woman walked past shouting “42.3 degrees Celcius!”) to horizontally gusting winds, extremely large and painful rain pellets (hail?), and ultimately a perfectly clear night sky.
Sydney Big Day Out 2010: drenched crowd
Image by Barry P
While weather may be a conversation no-no in general life, when it comes to outdoor all day festivals it can dictate the majority of pre-fest decisions that need to be made. [Or perhaps that’s just me because I’m 28 years old and sensible now? People say that with age comes wisdom so trust me on this: I may be nerdy and lame, but I’ve racked up enough festival hours over the years to know how to avoid getting overly wet, muddy, uncomfortable, cold, blistered or arrested at a festival.] Here are our BIG DAY OUT 2011 DOs and DON’Ts.
Do wear reliable footwear. Festivals are the place thongs go to die and Big Day Out in particular is a thong black hole. And no one wants to pash on with someone whose ankles are caked in filth. Fact.
Do wear or take sunscreen. Sunstroke and the subsequent skin-peeling are the pits. Ditto melanomas.
Do take your own disposable poncho if rain is predicted. Those bad boys run out quickly once the clouds break. To pack a poncho is to pack a smug grin when people around you are drenched and shivering three hours later while you’re solid as a rock.
Do observe the timetable. You can find them here. Missing out on your favourite band because you got distracted talking to Fuzzy from Video Hits would be a shame.
Do look good. Festivals are to hook ups what David Bowie is to awesomeness so wear something that brings out the blue in your eyes or the gleam of your spray tan. Big Day Out is a jungle of loose, attractive, half-dressed singles. Prepare to engage make out mode.
Do employ festival etiquette – your “festiquette” (thanks to Pedestrian pal Jaala Webster from whom we’ve borrowed that expression). It’s okay to shove people aside – IF you do it with an excuse me and apologetic smile. Everyone’s in it together so share the love and be conscious of the comfort of others. Manners can get you a long way e.g. onto tall handsome stranger’s shoulders.
Do party responsibly. It’s a special occasion that happens only once a year so getting loose is all part of the day. But Do also remember that an off chops cat hugging randoms with their eyes rolling into the back of their head is gross and security will be on your ass before you can say Steve Rubell.
Do eat. Festival food tastes more awesome than normal food for some reason. And you need your strength for all those dance moves remember?
Don’t wear a swimsuit as your main item of clothing unless you are at a coastal location. It looks hell slutty. Unless that’s the idea then go forth and get felt up my scantily clad sisters!
Don’t wear thongs. Seriously people.
Don’t pat the sniffer dogs. Beagles are super cute but a body cavity search is not.
Don’t sing along too loudly. You have a lovely voice but your fellow attendees paid to see The Black Keys and not a solo show by Mouthy McSingsing. That said, Do scream along to Rammstein in German. It’s the closest thing to godliness you can get on this earth.
Don’t forget to refill your water bottle from the free water areas which you can observe on the venue maps. It is nothing short of criminal to charge $5 for 600ml of liquid life. What do they think we are, chumps?! Outrageous.
Don’t get a spray tan the morning of the festival. You’ll get streaky.
Don’t insist on taking your shirt off guys. You look like an almighty prick. Believe it or not girls can tell if you’re packing an epic rig with or without your shirt on.
Don’t go on the human slingshot if you’ve just had a jager bomb.
Most importantly DO have a great time and look after each other.
For all the details go to www.bigdayout.com