Following the controversy over the Gold Coast leg of the Big Day Out, namely a rogue worker being fired after displaying messages for female fans to “Get Em Out” during Vampire Weekend’s set, while Cub Scouts frontman Tim Nelson was involved in an unprovoked attack that left the pianist/vocalist beaten and bruised; the Big Day Out is set to take over the Adelaide Showgrounds tomorrow before celebrating Australia Day at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse on Saturday.

Just as NSW Police urged Sydney revellers to play it safe at the opening leg of the one-day festival, Melbourne’s Police have issued a similar cautionary message to Big Day Out attendees planning to make the most of the national holiday on the weekend.

Officers with sniffer dogs helped nab over 100 offenders at the Sydney Big Day Out, and The Age reports that Vicotria Police are looking to use canines for similar enforcement, with a wider crackdown on drug-affected revellers.

Last year’s Melbourne Big Day Out saw police arresting a total of 20 people on drug offences, a reduction from 2011’s 89 arrests which withdrew the use of sniffer dogs at the festival, but for this year’s edition, they’re set to make a comeback.

“Anyone that is attending that particular event, if you intend on bringing drugs to that event there is every chance that you will get caught,’’ cautioned Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp. “Just don’t do it. Not just for your sake but for the sake of everyone else who attends the event.”

Cr Crisp said patrols will be increased at the Big Day Out this Saturday as part of a wider police blitz aimed at reducing drug and alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour, noting that Australia Day has become the worst public holiday for such offences and assaults, according to new police figures.

Last year’s Australia Day saw 109 bashings reported in Victoria, making for a combine average of 115 assaults on the national holiday in the past five years.

“If you intend on bringing drugs to that event there is every chance that you will get caught… Just don’t do it.” – Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp

Cr Crisp said that the summer heat, bing-drinking, and illicit drug use, in combination with large gatherings of youth led to displays of reckless behaviour, fuelling the growing number of assaults.

“On a lot of occasions it’s young men, alcohol-fuelled, engaging in that behaviour where they basically see themselves as invincible,” Mr Crisp said, noting the majority of offenders are males aged 18 -24 out on community celebrations, with most violence taking place after 5pm.

“They are prepared to take on other people,” he continues. “But the message is if you are out out with your mates and you fit within that age group, act responsibly. It’s a bit like having a designated driver.”

Cr Crisp did not want to ban drinking on Australia Day, but emphasised the importance of drinking responsibly. “They are doing what they should be doing on Australia Day, getting out and catching up with friends and making the most of the weekend. But it’s important to keep this in perspective.”

The presence of police with sniffer dogs has become synonymous with summer music festival season, an issue explored in our opinion editorial on the matter that argued to cease using them as a means for stamping out drug culture at music events where punters have been praised for their responsible behaviour in the last six months.

Police were “pleased” with the small number of arrest’s at Sydney’s Big Day Out, which saw 55,000 punters flock to Homebush and resulting in a handful of arrests and charges.

Meredith’s 12,000 strong crowd at last year’s event were also praised by local police as “very well behaved,” after just two drug arrests and two more related incidents, while over in Perth, Claremont council labelled punters to electronic music event Stereosonic “the worst ever”, despite a meagre 27 drug seizures compared to the 30,000 strong crowd.

Meanwhile Big Day Out rolls into Adelaide tomorrow, and following the praise from our Tone Deaf reviewers attending the Sydney and Gold Coast legs of the festival, revellers can look forward to a stellar day. Including headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers, The KillersAnimal CollectiveOFF!, as well as the likes of Childish Gambino, Death Grips, Band of Horses, Alabama Shakes, Vampire Weekend, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

There’s also a stellar lineup of local acts, including theatrical rock n roll specialists ME, Melbourne emcee 360, rock veterans Grinspoon, hardcore act House Vs Hurricane, and a host of specialised local acts in each capital territory, as well as unique festival features – like the scrumptious Chow Town Menu, a Mexican Wrestling bar, the return of the Lilypad, and even a fully automated robotic band.

Big Day Out 2013 Lineup


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 at the all-inclusive price of $165

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