Big Day Out 2013 kicked off last Friday at Sydney’s Olympic Park and under scorching high temperatures of 43 degrees, Police were out in force after issuing a statement encouraging festival-goers to prepare for the heat, drink responsibly, and stay safe.
“It is important for everyone to look out for themselves and for their mates,” said Acting South West Metropolitan Region Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner David Eardley. ”We strongly encourage revellers to be sun smart, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water instead of alcohol, keep cool and have a plan in case you or a friend feels unwell.”
NSW Police with teams of sniffer dogs were onsite at Homebush, and were encouraged by the behaviour of punters after only three arrests were made from the more than 55,000 people that headed to the event.
A media release by NSW police this morning reports that officers from across the South West Metropolitan Region, including the Dog Squad, Mounted Police Unit, and Commuter Crime Unit were out in force, targeting drug and alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour, but within the festival itself, and for revellers in transit outside the event.
Named Operation Quest, the bust issued 108 people with cautions, with three infringements total. Three more were arrested for robbery, supplying prohibited drugs, and an incident in the evening of a punter breaking into the festival assaulting a police officer.
“In the very hot conditions we experienced… most people acted wisely and were able to enjoy themselves without acting illegally or anti-socially,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Eardley said, indicating that the vast majority of Big Day Out attendees were well behaved.
“There are always some people who attempt to bring illicit substances to these venues and more than 100 were detected by police officers and drug detection dogs,” said Cr Eardley. “Sadly one of my officers was injured during an isolated violent incident but the alleged assailant was quickly identified and arrested.”“In the very hot conditions we experienced… most people acted wisely and were able to enjoy themselves without acting illegally or anti-socially,” David Eardley, NSW Police
A 23-year-old man attempted to jump the barrier to the Sydney Showgrounds, and head butted a policeman attempting to restrain him. The officer was sent to Concord Hospital, treated for surgery for his broken nose, while the offending man was taken to Auburn Police Station and charged for assault occasioning grievous bodily harm and resisting arrest.
Officers also seized large amounts of alcohol from attendees travelling by train at Olympic Park Railway Station, while a total of 145 rail infringements were issued across 84 trains travelling to and from the event.
Three arrests, and 108 offences is a much healthier result than last year’s Big Day Out, with an operation that saw 49 people charged with drug possession, 4 with drug supply offences, and 16 people issued cannabis cautions, while another 165 people were refused entry for being drunk.
“We will continue to ensure people can attend festivals and enjoy themselves lawfully, in a safe and secure manner,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Eardley said.
High profile police operations continue to go part and parcel with the summer season of music festivals, with last year’s Stereosonic, Strawberry Fields, Splendour in the Grass, and Creamfields all yielded large numbers of drug related offences. Byron Bay Superintendent Stuart Wilkins was furious after the Splendour bust, claiming “this culture of drug-taking at music events needs to stop,” after both punters and staff were busted with illegal narcotics.
The continuing presence of sniffer dogs and police has had some affect however, as the number of people caught at large scale events has been on the downward trend as of late, as shown by the Sydney Big Day Out results.
Meredith’s 12,000 strong crowd at last year’s event were 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, the Big Day Out continues around the country, following its successful turns in Sydney on Friday, and in the Gold Coast yesterday, the next stop is in Adelaide this Friday, before hitting Melbourne for Australia Day on Saturday 26th January, then wrapping up in Perth on the following Monday.
The touring festival has sold out its allocation of VIP Like A Boss tickets just weeks from its opening, and punters will be enjoying a stellar lineup of international acts, including headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers, indie faves Animal Collective, punk heroes OFF!, as well as the likes of Childish Gambino, Death Grips, Band of Horses, Alabama Shakes, Vampire Weekend, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs – who could be playing a secret post-festival gig courtesy of their label, Modular.
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
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS (Exclusive Australian Shows) / THE KILLERS / YEAH YEAH YEAHS / VAMPIRE WEEKEND / BAND OF HORSES / THE BLOODY BEETROOTS (LIVE) / KASKADE / ANIMAL COLLECTIVE / B.o.B / SLEIGH BELLS / FOALS / ALABAMA SHAKES / 360 / CRYSTAL CASTLES / PRETTY LIGHTS / OFF! / GRINSPOON / AGAINST ME! / GARY CLARK JR / NICKY ROMERO / MORGAN PAGE / LOGO / EVERY TIME I DIE / DELTA SPIRIT / CHILDISH GAMBINO / ME / HUNTING GROUNDS / JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD / DEATH GRIPS / ADVENTURE CLUB / JAGWAR MA / HOUSE VS HURRICANE / AVALANCHE CITY / TOUCAN / HELENA / NINA LAS VEGAS / SAMPOLOGY (AV / DJ SHOW)
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