2014 marked the last time the Big Day Out graced the Australian summer calendar, marking the end of a rather spectacular collapse for a festival that was not only the pioneer of the modern Australian touring festival, but the high-water mark of the summer festival circuit for much of the 90s and 2000s. Now, thanks to the effortlessly great Double J, the story of the Big Day Out’s rise to the top of the Australian music mountain – as well as its ultimate and rather ugly fall – is being charted thanks to a new in-depth, behind-the-scenes podcast series.
The five-part series Inside The Big Day Out launches today, with each episode set to chart a different, crucial period in the life-cycle of the festival, which began as a single-day event in Sydney in 1992, after what was originally supposed to be a Violent Femmes headlining tour suddenly exploded in interest because the chief support band, some unknown US group by the name of Nirvana, released a reasonably popular album called Nevermind.
Over the course of the five episodes, host Gemma Pike is delving into key moments in the festival’s history, from the explosion of Silverchair and the wild stories from the festival’s halcyon days, to the tragic death of Jessica Michalik during Limp Bizkit‘s infamous set in Sydney at the 2001 festival, through to the dissolution of the working relationship between festival founders Ken West and Vivian Lees and, ultimately, the decline and fall of the festival via sales to AJ Maddah and then subsequently to American booking group C3.
Episodes are set to be released weekly beginning today, and will featuring input from perennial BDO artists like Cosmic Psychos, The Living End, Grinspoon, Eskimo Joe, Frenzal Rhomb, Powderfinger, Magic Dirt, You Am I, the Violent Femmes, Jebediah, and Shihad, as well as from Lees, West, Maddah, and other key behind-the-scenes figures.
You can get at the podcast via all your usual podcast outlets, as well as via the Triple J app and Double J website.