Just as organisers are gearing up to kick off Big Day Out for 2013, starting with the sold out Sydney date on Friday 18th January and followed closely by an appearance on the Gold Coast the following Sunday on Jan 20, promoters are now staring down the fact that the event will not be returning to its Gold Coast home for future versions of the festival.

A proverbial bidding war for the new location of Big Day Out for 2014 and beyond has now broken out between major Queensland locations following confirmation from Big Day Out CEO Adam Zammit late last week that the annual music event was looking for a new venue following the State Government’s decision to transform Parklands showground – where Big Day Out is regularly held – into an athletes’ village for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Speaking to Gold Coast.com.auZammit confirmed that organisers “are exploring several other options from far northern NSW and various options in Queensland for our 2014 event.”

“While Big Day Out remains determined to keep its show on the Gold Coast, the punishing commercial terms applied to last year at Parklands, combined with a lack of confirmed support by local and state government, means we can’t guarantee the show will stay,” said Mr Zammit.

Big Day Out has played on the Gold Coast since 1994, bringing an enormous list of huge names to the Sunshine State, as well as many as 38,000 revellers, last year alone, travelling from interstate and other parts of Queensland contributing a healthy dose to the tourism industry. The change of location will no doubt hurt the Gold Coast’s cultural scene, with Billy Cross – a local promoter, whose company helps run the bars at Big Day Out telling the Courier Mail that the event contributed millions of dollars into the Coast every year.“While Big Day Out remains determined to keep its show on the Gold Coast… we can’t guarantee the show will stay.” – Adam Zammit, Big Day Out

Zammit and his Big Day Out associates reportedly were looking into a new site at Helensvale as their first preference, but the State Government allegedly blocked the move, leaving organisers to continue to hunt for a new festival venue.

They’re not without interest however, with the North Queensland towns of Cairns and Townsville both vying for the festival according to Carins.com.au

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning confirmed that local council would contact the event, while Mayor of Townsville Jenny Hill said that her city an constituents were already in talks with promoters about relocation, while organisers of the Woodford Folk Festival have also held discussion about bringing the one-day Queensland leg to the region.

According to the Sunshine Coast DailyWoodford festival director Bill Hauritz had been in discussions with the Big Day Out organisers about the potential of hosting the event at the 365 acre Woodfordia site, but was concerned that the mid-January date would clash or be too soon after their own early summer event.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning also noted the city’s interest, citing that it would help bring more local and international talent to the area which would be a boon for local industry. “We are always open to potential opportunities such as this and will certainly make contact with the organisers to determine what would be involved in terms of a commitment from the city,” Cr Manning said.

The Mayor added that the city was well equipped for such a large scale event, with the showgrounds being the ideal site. “There is no doubt that an event such as this would provide a big boost to the city’s economy in that it would bring a number of visitors here at a time of the year when things can be quiet from a tourism point of view,” said Cr Manning.“We’re continuing to look at all options and Far North Queensland towns like Cairns, Townsville, and Mackay are all possibilities…” – Adam Zammit, Big Day Out

Big Day Out chief executive Adam Zammit responded that Manning’s offer was certainly taken into consideration, but was one of a number on the table. Telling Cairns.com.au: “We’re continuing to look at all options and Far North Queensland towns like Cairns, Townsville, and Mackay are all possibilities, though we wouldn’t say they’re proximate opportunities for us in 2014.”

Zammit added that Far North Queensland “deserves and needs a big music festival,” adding that the good work done with regional touring festival Groovin The Moo in Townsville had “laid great groundwork” for events for big music festivals in the area, but “whether that’s Big Day Out is another question…”

“We pay close attention to the growing, young population up there and would love to service them with a great event in the future,” said Mr Zammit.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive officer Rob Giason commented that a large music event in Cairns would depend on where the majority of festival-goers would be coming from. “Surfers Paradise has a population of 500,000 and nearby capital cities like Brisbane means Big Day Out has a catchment area of around three million people,” said Mr Giason.

“If the majority of their participants within a two-hour radius, they would be looking to hold it near larger populations,” he continued. “A bigger catchment area means a greater opportunity of securing people to go… It would be worthwhile looking at the requirements to see where we sit with regards to possible consideration.”

The local councils’ interest in the Big Day Out, from both a cultural and tourism point of view, is a positive contrast to the tone of those over in Perth, where the local council of Claremont has been engaged in a bitter vendetta against Big Day Out and Soundwave over the use of their local showgrounds for their current iterations, including forcing the Big Day Out into a curfew over noise complaints.

Big Day Out 2013 Lineup


Big Day Out 2013 Sydney Lineup Announcement

The Medics * Something With Numbers * Urthboy * Thy Art Is Murder * Deep Sea Arcade * Royal Headache * Bob Log III * Chance Waters * Good Heavens * Stereogamous * The Griswolds * Fishing * The Gooch Palms * Donny Benet * triple j unearthed winners: Jackie Onassis

Big Day Out 2013 Gold Coast Lineup Announcement

The Medics * Dead Letter Circus * I Heart Hiroshima * Paul Mac * The Cairos * Bob Log III * Hey Geronimo * We All Want To * Evil Eddie * Skinwalkers * Dave’s Pawn Shop * Lily Rouge * The Vernons * Sneeky Picnic * triple j unearthed winners: Jakarta Criers

Big Day Out 2013 Adelaide Lineup Announcement

The Medics * The Beards * Paul Mac * Grey Ghost * The Killgirls * Full Tote Odds * Messrs * Allday * Lady Strangelove * Steering By Stars * Sincerely, Grizzly * Stab Capital * Gemini Downs * Archers * Dr Piffle & The Burlap Band * triple j unearthed winners: The Aves

Big Day Out 2013 Melbourne Lineup Announcement

The Medics * Bodyjar * Seth Sentry * Chicks On Speed DJ Show * Bob Log III * The Smith Street Band * Kingswood * Yung Warriors * Money For Rope * Jackson Firebird * Split Seconds * For Our Hero * Generik * Zanzibar Chanel * The Stiffys * triple j unearthed winners: Apes

Big Day Out 2013 Perth Lineup Announcement

The Medics * Sugar Army * Chicks On Speed DJ Show * Emperors * The Chemist * Sons of Rico * Further Earth * Arts Martial * Rainy Day Women * Boys Boys Boys! * The Love Junkies * Skank MC * Dead Owls * Tomàs Ford * triple j unearthed winners: Foam

Big Day Out 2013 Event Dates

Friday 18th January – Sydney Showgrounds – SOLD OUT!

Sunday 20th January – Gold Coast Parklands

Friday 25th January – Adelaide Showgrounds

Saturday 26th January – Melbourne Flemington Racecourse

Monday 28 January – Perth Claremont Showground

Big Day Out 2013 tickets are on sale through www.bigdayout.com at the all-inclusive price of $165, or $265 for the Like A Boss ticket.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine