The new sole owners of the Big Day Out (BDO) have confirmed the music festival will not be held next year although they intend to bring it back in the future.
US company C3 Presents, which was yesterday revealed as the new owner of the event, made the announcement today.
It comes after months of speculation over the future of the long-running festival and revelations yesterday from Sydney Showground and Flemington Racecourse executives that festival organisers had cancelled their 2015 venue bookings.
Last week, festival co-owner AJ Maddah sold his stake in the festival, having only just bought his way into BDO last year.
He is due to speak with Hack on triple j in an exclusive interview this afternoon.
Speaking with the Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Showground manager Peter Thorpe said festival organisers cancelled their venue booking last week.
“It’s very disappointing for the fans and for us because it’s an iconic event,” Mr Thorpe said.
“It was the first rock ‘n roll event I went to and the first we held. I was there for 20 years at Paddington and we’ve been with it here ever since.”
It was a good, safe, well run festival where you could drop your kids off at the start of the day and pick them up at the end of it.
Ross Knight, of the band Cosmic Psychos
Ross Knight played at both the first and last Big Day Outs with his band Cosmic Psychos. He said he was shattered to the hear the festival was ending.
“It’s been going long enough to be something that you can rely on,” he said.
“Times change but I can’t understand why it’s still not a huge success. It’s a real shame for kids too because it was a good, safe, well-run festival where you could drop your kids off at the start of the day and pick them up at the end of it.”
Helen Marcou, co-founder of Save Live Australia’s Music (SLAM), said hundreds of people in the industry would be affected by the decision.
“There’s studios, and publicists, and printing, and everything else that comes with it,” Ms Marcou said.
“When there’s a big player like that that leaves the market, we see less sideshows, so our mid-range venues aren’t putting on gigs.”
Sounds Australia export music producer Glen Dickie said he was confident the festival would return.
“We know the people from C3 from South By (Southwest) and Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza and those kinds of things. They’re smart operators,” Mr Dickie said.
“It’s in their best interests to stop and re-assess before they do anything again.”
BDO has been a staple in the Australian music festival scene since 1992 when it debuted in Sydney before expanding to Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth the following year.
Festivals on Queensland’s Gold Coast and in Auckland, New Zealand were added in 1994.
- Photo: Rammstein perform at the 2001 Big Day Out on the Gold Coast. (AAP: Dave Hunt)
- Photo: Crowd surfing at the 2003 Big Day Out at the Sydney Showground, Homebush. (AAP: Dean Lewins)
- Photo: The Red Hot Chilli Peppers crank it up at the Big Day Out in 2000. (AAP: Dean Lewins)
- Photo: Festival-goers are hosed with water as temperatures soar towards an expected 40 degrees at the Big Day Out at Olympic Park in Sydney on January 22, 2010. (Dan Himbrechts: AAP)
- Photo: Foo Fighters vocalist Dave Grohl rocks out at the 2003 Big Day Out on the Gold Coast. (AAP: Dave Hunt)
- Photo: Music fans enjoy a sunny start to this year’s Big Day Out at Wayville Showgrounds in Adelaide, January 29 2010. (Patrick Rocca: ABC News)
- Photo: Powderfinger perform at the 2005 Big Day Out on the Gold Coast. (AAP: Tony Phillips)
- Photo: Saint Saviour of British electronica outfit Groove Armada performs at the Big Day Out in Sydney on January 22, 2010. (Dan Himbrechts: AAP)
- Photo: The crowd at the 2010 Big Day Out in Sydney. (AAP: Dan Himbrechts)
- Photo: Bluejuice rock the Big Day Out at Olympic Park in Sydney on January 22, 2010. (Lucy Carter: ABC News)
- Photo: Security staff cooling down festival goers at the Big Day Out music festival in Adelaide, January 30, 2009. Adelaide is experiencing a heat wave, with the city experiencing its third day in a row with temperatures exceeded 40C. (Rob Hutchison: AAP Image)
- Photo: Kraftwerk performing at the 2003 Big Day Out at the Sydney Showground, Homebush. (AAP: Dean Lewins)
- Photo: Thousands of music lovers attend the Big Day Out festival on the Gold Coast on January 20, 2008. (Jack Tran: AAP Image)
- Photo: Kanye West performs on stage at the Big Day Out on Queensland’s Gold Coast on January 22, 2012. (Getty Images: Chris Hyde, file photo)
- Photo: Music fans at a Gold Coast Big Day Out. (triple j)
Rumours the festival would be scrapped first emerged last year following poor ticket sales and a loss of between $ 8 million and $ 15 million.
The Sydney event, normally scheduled for two days, was reduced to just one.
Mr Maddah also told triple j’s Hack program the event would not be returning to Perth because it had become a burden for all involved.
Over the years, BDO has been headlined by bands and artists such as Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, Metallica, Beastie Boys, Foo Fighters, Limp Bizkit and Marilyn Manson.