Those of you holding out hope that the Big Day Out will roar back into glorious life following its year off – presumably doing things most other Australians do on their year off like accidentally desecrating Mayan ruins, vomiting into Camden gutters and catching a nasty case of the clap off a plumber from Mudgee whilst Contiki-ing through Belgium – you may well be shit out of luck.
At one point 50 percent owner of the festival but now not owner but also still involved business person AJ Maddah fielded questions on his ever active Twitter feed and just about all but ruled out a return to the salad days of summer for Australia’s pioneering touring festival.
At best, the festival would have returned in somewhat of a truncated format, with festival dates being restricted solely to east coast stops, with both Perth and Adelaide now off the map as far as major touring festivals are concerned – a decision mirrored by Maddah’s bread and butter Soundwave Festival.
Alarm bells for the BDO began ringing when Soundwave’s 2016 dates were revealed, putting them squarely in territory that traditionally has been filled by the BDO, with dates move forward on the calendar to late January, including a Melbourne slot on the Australia Day public holiday.
Maddah’s Tweet late yesterday confirmed that, at this stage, the Big Day Out looks set to stay on the bench for at least another year, citing the “pissweak” Australian dollar and a shortening pool of appropriate headline acts as the primary motivators to keep it on ice.
@stephaniiimedia With the pissweak state of the AUD$ and general availability of bankable headliners I would guess 2017 at earliest.
— AJ (@iamnotshouting) April 28, 2015
If and when it does return, what form it will take remains to be seen. Owning and promoting companies C3 Presents and Live Nation have expressed concern over the festival’s future viability as a touring unit and – by and large – the global market agrees with the principle that festivals are generally not touring entities; Australia exists as something of an anomaly in that regard. Suggestions have been made that the festival focus solely on Melbourne and Sydney moving forward, with the idea of concentrating all resources down into a single, standalone festival – a la Splendour in the Grass or Lollapalooza – very much a possibility.