In devastating news for both fans, and for the organisers behind Big Day Out, one the festival’s headline acts Blur have pulled out of their appearances in 2014. Although not yet confirmed by the festival, the news appears to spell the end of the groups first shows in Australia for 17 years.
The huge blow was announced on Twitter by the band, blaming shifting goalposts and that they were let down by “very challenging organisers”
Devastated Blur won’t be at BDO ’14. Shifting goalposts & worked hard to go, but we & Blur fans so let down by very challenging organisers.
— blur (@blurofficial) November 23, 2013
They also took to Facebook to let fans know the news, posting “Devastated to report that Blur won’t be performing at BDO in 2014. It’s a shock that it has come to this.”
“Only 8 weeks to go, the band feels that with the constantly shifting goalposts and challenging conditions of the organisers, they can’t let it drag on any longer and want to make this announcement, to be clear to Blur fans that they won’t be there. We’ve done our very best to work with the organisers and considered every option to make it happen, but they’ve let us down and let everyone else down too”.
The shock exit is sure to send shockwaves through the festival, both for losing a co-headliner as well a logistical headache as organisers had custom-built a new ‘Love’ stage to accommodate Blur, who were planned to close out the festival each night following Pearl Jam’s set.
Blur are the second band to pull out of the lineup, after earlier in the week New York’s shoegaze-inspired indie outfit DIIV announced they were bowing out so the band can continue work on the follow-up to 2012 album Oshin. DIIV’s position on the Big Day Out 2014 lineup has been in jeopardy ever since their frontman, Zachary Cole Smith, was arrested in a drug bust this past September.
It remains unclear exactly what Blur are referring to when they cite “shifting goalposts”, although the festival has gone through a huge transformation behind the scenes these past few months, including the cancellation of the second date for the Sydney leg owing to poor ticket sales and rumours that the future of the festival was in a dire state after a Fairfax media article citing anonymous sources claimed the event was “tipped to lose up to $10 million, potentially making the event unsustainable in the future.”
Following the report, Big Day Out CEO Adam Zammit lashed out at the Fairfax journalist and his editorial team for the article for its rumour-mongering and unprofessionalism, including claims that long-term Big Day Out promoter Ken West had been booted from the Big Day Out team in light of Soundwave boss AJ Maddah buying a stake into the event.
But at the Face The Music conference last week, Ken West said the future of the Big Day Out was not in doubt, while commending Maddah as the “logical choice” for the event moving forward.
“I don’t believe there’s a crisis on any level,” said West of the Aussie music festival market ”It might be fragile, but generally the sales are all there… They’ve been reallocated for the time, we’re in a competitive business. But we just want to put on the best show possible, everybody.”
Big Day Out 2014 Lineup
All Of The Colours
Bliss N Eso (Not playing Adelaide)
360 (Adelaide Only)
Joining the already announced lineup of:
Pearl Jam * Arcade Fire *
Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion * Major Lazer * Steve Angello (Swedish House Mafia) * Flume * The Lumineers * Tame Impala * Dillon Francis * Mac Miller * Ghost * Grouplove * Flosstradamus * Portugal. The Man * Toro Y Moi *
DIIV * The Naked And Famous * Big Gigantic * PEZ * Mudhoney * Cosmic Psychos * Northlane * The 1975 * Loon Lake * Kingswood * Bo Ningen * The Algorithm * DZ Deathrays * Peking Duk * Ben Morris * Rüfüs
Big Day Out 2014 Dates & Venues
Friday 17th January ~ Western Springs, Auckland*
Sunday 19th January ~ Metricon Stadium & Carrara Parklands, Gold Coast
Friday 24th January ~ Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
Sunday 26th January ~ Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney
Friday 31st January ~ Bonython Park, Adelaide**
Sunday 2nd February ~ Claremont Showgrounds, Perth**
*For New Zealand Big Day Out 2014 lineup and ticketing details, please refer towww.bigdayout.com and choose AUCKLAND
**Subject to council approval