The future of quintessential Australian summer music festival Big Day Out now hangs in the balance, as co-owner, Soundwave Festival founder AJ Maddah has pulled out of the event, leaving it 100% owned by an American promotions company. Documents obtained by Music Feeds show that as of the 4th of June, ownership of Maddah’s entire stake in the company was transferred across to US-based partners C3 Presents.
Maddah had previous come on-board the struggling company in September of 2013, partnering with former rival and BDO co-founder Ken West. But the current documents now list both AJ Maddah and Ken West as “previous directors” of the company, indicating that both have now ceased association with the Big Day Out.
The festival was first held in 1992 and rose to become the cornerstone of the Australian summer festival circuit, but in recent years it found itself plagued by bureaucratic issues, controversy, and dire financial strife. The 2014 instalment of the Big Day Out is alleged to have put the company anywhere between $8million and $11million in debt.
More to come as the story develops.
Photo: Mark Metcalfe via Getty Images.