After much lobbying and bidding from Queensland cities to host them and eventually scouting three potential sites the organisers of the Big Day Out have found their new home on the Gold Coast for the touring festival’s 2014 edition.
Metricon Stadium has been selected to host the Gold Coast leg of the popular one-day festival, reports Gold Coast News, and Big Day Out CEO Adam Zammit and his team issued a formal statement today in conjunction with the State Government, Gold Coast City Council, and Metricon Stadium bosses.
“Our new venue meets the highest of our expectations and standards and we hope will be the home of Big Day Out for years to come,” said Mr Zammit. “The Gold Coast show is the first stop on the Australian run of Big Day Out dates and for the many international acts who have never visited Australia, it’s always great to fly them into the Goldie first.”
Located in Carrara, southwest of the river to the Big Day Out’s original Gold Coast Parklands site, Metricon Stadium is a 25,000 capacity sporting arena and official home to the Gold Coast Suns football club. As previously reported, Metricon Stadium was in contention to be the future host of the festival alongside a privately owned property in Helensvale and another site in Carara, that was originally thought to be the forerunner to host the Big Day Out.
Gold Coast News reports the deal for the one-day festival to be held at the stadium will see the main stage set up inside the arena, with the secondary stages constructed on the surrounding land, owned by local Carrara council. The deal was signed late yesterday after months of negotiations and scouting by Big Day Out CEO Adam Zammit.
Drawing in $40 million annually to the local economy, the January event had been shopping around for a new location after it was looking like the one-day festival was being evicted by the Queensland State Government, who were transforming the festival’s regular site at the Parklands Showgrounds into an athletes’ village for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Located in Carrara, southwest of the river to the Big Day Out’s original Gold Coast Parklands site, Metricon Stadium is a 25,000 capacity sporting arena and official home to the Gold Coast Suns…
After lobbying and bidding by cities as diverse as Tweed Heads, Cairns, Mackay, and Townsville, who saw the advantage of hosting the Big Day Out, which brought more than 40,000 people to the 2013 edition on January 20th, organisers eventually committed to staying on the Gold Coast thanks to a deal between the Big Day Out and the State Government brokered by Queensland’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Jann Stuckey.
Minister Stuckey managed to secure a secure a last minute deal with the Queensland government that would see the festival stay on the Gold Coast for at least another five years. As part of the five-year deal, through Minister Stuckey’s negotiations, the State Government will front the bill for Big Day Out’s relocation costs.
Speaking today at the announcment, Minister Stuckey said the Metricon Stadium move was a win-win for local businesses and festival goers on the Gold Coast. “This decision brings certainty not only for the event organisers but also for other businesses and music lovers benefitting from the festival,” Ms Stuckey said.
The move to Metricon Stadium has also pleased the arena’s officials, who have in the past expressed a desire to see the facility, constructed in 2010 at a cost of $144 million, being used outside of the AFL season, presumably after a December 2011 performance from Foo Fighters at the venue, attracting a crowd of more than 37,000, demonstrating its use as a music site.
Big Day Out CEO Adam Zammit, speaking in a press release issued today, “Big Day Out founder Ken West, myself and our partners C3 Presents are very excited to be moving into a great new venue for 2014, a year which will see our biggest and best line-up in years.”
Considering some of the big name acts announced as part of the Austin City Limits festival, which is presented by Big Day Out’s creative partners C3 Presents, it could mean the 2013 lineup is offering some clues as to who will be making the trip down under for Big Day Out 2014 – including The Cure, Depeche Mode, Muse, and Kings of Leon – to name just a few.
Next year’s Big Day Out will also see the festival returning to New Zealand after the Auckland leg was axed last year, organisers were forced to cancel its 20 year tradition of extending to NZ to essentially cauterise the financial wounds of its troubled 2012 edition.
New Zealand promoter Campbell Smith explained that the decision to relaunch the Auckland leg was as much about the fans as it was the funds. “We strongly felt that there was real desire from fans for the event to return to Auckland, and more than anything else that really whet the appetite,” he says.
“We became determined that if we could, we should bring it back. We have spent the summer working with the Australian Big Day Out team and new American partners, C3… to bring this thing back to life in New Zealand,” including a lineup “designed specifically for its New Zealand audience,” says Smith.
The return to New Zealand, the new home on the Gold Coast, and the potential pulling power of its American promoters – all are set to help build upon the successful reinvention of what Big Day Put promoter Ken West called “a ground-up rebuild,” with “the slant this year [being] high-quality musicianship,” hoping to lure back an older demographic who had dismissed the festival as a young peoples’ event in recent years.
You can check out our coverage of Big Day Out 2013 below:
UPDATE: The Big Day Out Twitter account posted an image following today’s announcement: