Getting the chance to play the coveted Big Day Out stage is a dream that many young bands have had, but getting the opportunity to do that while helping a good cause? That’s something else.

Following in a similar vein to the organisers of the Australian Vans Warped Tour affording ticket-holders a chance to skip the queue through food and money donations, the team behind the Big Day have announced a new partnership with Australian youth mental health foundation, headspace (small ‘h’) to offer bands the chance to play Big Day Out 2014 alongside Arcade Fire, Blur, Pearl Jam, Snoop Dogg, Major Lazer, and more.

The partnership with headspace – who provide mental health support services tailored to 12-25 year olds – also sees the introduction of a new stage at the annual one-day event, replacing the traditional Red Stage, at each Australian leg of the festival. It is this new headspace Stage where bands have the opportunity to win one of four playing slots on the Big Day Out 2014.

From today (1st October), musical entrants have four weeks to submit their original music online, which will then be submitted to the public. From there a shortlist will be compiled from the winning votes to “an expert panel of Australian music industry movers and shakers appointed by Big Day Out and headspace, who will decide the winners for each state,” note festival organisers.

For full details of the Big Day Out and headspace Stage competition, head to

“When I was 16 playing bad bass in a bad band I could have only dreamt of the opportunity to play alongside the worlds biggest bands at the Big Day Out festival. It is so exciting to be in the position to offer this opportunity to bands around Australia,” remarks Big Day Out CEO Adam Zammit of the new competition. “When I was 16 playing bad bass in a bad band I could have only dreamt of the opportunity to play alongside the worlds biggest bands at the Big Day Out festival.”

“Not only are we giving young musicians a chance to shine nationally and internationally, we are also driving attention to headspace centres and the critical the work they do for the state of youth mental health in this country,” he added.

“We know that music is a really important part of young people’s lives, so extending our involvement with Big Day Out will help us reach thousands of young people and put mental health on the agenda in a way that makes sense for them,” said headspace CEO Chris Tanti of the new partnership.

A press statement from Mr Tanti also indicates that mental health is the single biggest health issue facing young Australians, with research demonstrating that 75% of serious mental health issues develop before the age of 25, thus the partnership with Big Day Out to help break down the stigmas associated with mental health; “We want to improve the lives of young Australians, so we need to make sure they know there’s youth friendly support available for them and their friends.”

The addition of a lucky local act to the Big Day Out 2014 lineup will help bolster the Australian presence – which includes the robot-wrangling Sydney producer Flume, the Flaming Lips-dallying Tame Impala, Aussie hip hop star Pez, punk legends Cosmic Psychos, Sydney heavy heroes Northlane, Melbourne rockers Loon Lake and Kingswood, dynamic garage duo DZ Deathrays, Peking Duk, and Rüfüs.

The continued strong presence of Australian acts on the Big Day Out bill has also been assured by the festival’s new co-promoter, Soundwave/Warped Tour/Harvest boss AJ Maddah, who assured that despite his tendency for few Australian acts on his own flagship festival lineups, that “the percentage of Aussie bands at the Big Day Out will not change.”

In related news, the Big Day Out 2014 recently suffered the cancellation of its second Sydney date, with Maddah’s cohort and fellow Big Day Out promoter Ken West stating that “perhaps we were a bit ambitious expanding to two dates in Sydney for this year’s Big Day Out,” paring back the event to its singular Australian Day outing.

Additionally, Brazilian dance rock group, CSS, may be moved to the Big Day Out 2014 bill as refugees from Maddah’s own cancelled Harvest Festival, while the place of shoegaze rock band DIIV may be in jeopardy after the band’s frontman, Zachary Cole Smith, and his pop singer girlfriend, Sky Ferreira, were caught in an automobile drug bust with a significant amount of heroin.

Big Day Out 2014 Lineup

Pearl Jam * Arcade Fire * Blur
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
and more to be announced…

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 to and choose AUCKLAND

**Subject to council approval

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