Ahead of its appearance at the Gold Coast Parklands earlier this year, organisers of the Big Day Out were 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 showground into an athletes’ village for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Following a week of intensive lobbying and bidding by cities as diverse as Tweed Heads, Cairns, Mackay, and Townsville; Big Day Out CEO Adam Zammit managed to 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.
Seeing the risks in losing the iconic festival, which brought more than 40,000 people to the 2013 edition on January 20th, Queensland’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Jann Stuckey managed to broker the deal between Zammit and the Government after learning that one of Australia’s longest-running music festivals was considering looking outside of the Gold Coast in other cities and regions.
As part of the five-year deal, the State Government will front the bill for Big Day Out’s relocation costs, and Adam Zammit and the Big Day Out team have begun finalising the potential sites for next year’s one-day event.
As Gold Coast News reports, a site at Carrara – southwest of the river to the original Parklands location – is the front-runner as the future host of the festival, worth $40 million annually to the Gold Coast economy, and is expecting a visit from the Big Day Out Boss.“We need to start organising for next year’s event because we are planning it to be bigger.” Adam Zammit, Big Day Out
Mr Zammit and his team would be scouring Carrara and two other prospective sites located on the Gold Coast to find the best suitable home for the future of Big Day Out, which the CEO says is looking to expand on the successes of this year’s edition.
“We need to start organising for next year’s event because we are planning it to be bigger,” said Mr Zammit. “The show will really dictate where we choose to have the event.”
“A decision will be made in a week or two,” said Mr Zammit.
The other two locations being scouted and still in the running include a privately owned property in Helensvale, a parkland region northwest of the central Gold Coast with nearby access to a major highway and train station, and Metricon Stadium, also located in Carara – though given it’s capacity of 25,000 it may not be large enough to accomodate the event.
January’s Big Day Out 2013 was also one of the more controversial legs of the one-day festival, in which Vampire Weekend’s set was marred by, “the whole… er… flashing incident,” as our reviewer put it, referring to the ‘Get Em Out’ messages displayed on the main screen of the event that led to Big Day Out organisers firing a rogue contractor. As well as being the same set where Cub Scouts frontman Tim Nelson was the victim of a random attack.
But on the whole, the entire event was deemed a successful reinvention of what Big Day Put promoter Ken West called the 2013 “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: