Step aside Big Day Out, it looks as if Soundwave is the new biggest kid on the festival block. With the final leg finishing up in Perth today, 2013’s Soundwave festival has been dubbed a huge success in regards to attendance figures.
As Adelaide Now reports, an estimated 40,000 ticketholders attended the Adelaide slice of the festival at Bonython Park, its penultimate showing, on the 2nd of March. By comparison, this is a giant figure when compared to the estimated 17,000 attendees at the Adelaide Big Day Out Festival earlier this year. Previous Big Day Out festivals are still well under this year’s Adelaide Soundwave figures, with last year’s worrying figure of roughly 12,000 punters in Adelaide.
Sydney’s leg of the Soundwave festival this year once again drew the most punters, with an estimated 75,000 ticketholders attending the concert, smashing the Big Day Out’s figures of approximately 57,000 attendees. Sydney’s BDO continues to bring in big numbers, with about 47,000 in 2012 and 55,000 in 2011.
Despite the controversy that surrounded Sydney’s leg of the Soundwave Festival this year, including a magnesium flare that was ignited in the crowd which injured a young girl, and transportation issues that led to juggling of playing times and the cancellation of Garbage’s headline slot, the festival was still a successful event thanks to the big names and huge turnout.
Another huge festival that is known to bring in large numbers is the Stereosonic Festival. As The Age reports, Sydney was estimated to pull a huge 60,000 people for its record attendance in 2012, with the electronic and dance festival regularly seen as Australia’s biggest festival. Until now that is, with Soundwave’s huge 75,000 punters beating the Sydney crowd once again.It goes to show that drawing big crowds can be as simple as adding the huge international names punters are dying to see perform live.
Melbourne’s Soundwave Festival had approximately 60,000 fans packed in at the stage last Friday 1st March, trumping Big Day Out’s attendance of around 50,000 people in January earlier this year. Flemington Racecourse has seen approximately 42,000 punters in 2012’s BDO festival, lead previously by a huge 52,000 in 2011 – all still under Soundwave’s massive showing for 2013.
For a predominately rock and heavy metal festival, Soundwave Festival is consistently bringing in huge numbers this year in all states so far, with huge names such as Metallica, Blink 182, The Offspring, Cypress Hill and Paramore on the bill. Sticking to the same formula each year, whereby bringing in big acts on a big bill, ultimately brings in big ticket sales.
This idea has proved successful year after year for Soundwave organisers. It goes to show that drawing big crowds can be as simple as adding the huge international names punters are dying to see perform live (even if there were only four Australian acts among a lineup of more than 70).
Strong ticket sales for Big Day Out’s 2013 rebranding can also be attributed to big international names such as Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Animal Collective. Following its troubled 2012 tour, which saw the last leg in Auckland New Zealand cancelled, and pulling the headliner Kanye West from Perth and Adelaide shows, Big Day Out adopted a more focussed lineup and extracurricular events to 2013, which was ultimately deemed a success in relation to its high ticket sales.
Big Day Out, known for over 20 years as the big one in Australian summer music festivals, may no longer be the number one festival for young Australian music lovers, thanks to Soundwave’s growing national success.
While official attendance figures are yet to be revealed by Soundwave organisers, we can bet that festival boss and serial twitterer AJ Maddah will have something say following the festival’s conclusion in Perth today.