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Big Day Out Lineup Dissected

By now you’ve probably heard the first announcement of the Big Day Out 2012 lineup. It’s not to my personal taste, and that’s fine, it was probably never really going to be. What is of more concern however it just how much of the lineup thus far consists of regurgitated acts who tour Australia every other year. Just how boring, safe, and predictable is this lineup? Let’s take a look.

[Last Australian Tour]

Kanye West
Splendour In The Grass 2011

Soundgarden
Haven’t Been To Australia In Forever

Kasabian
Mastercard Gigs 2011

Big Day Out 2010 

My Chemical Romance
Soundwave 2010 

The Living End
Every Fucking Festival Ever (EFFE)

Röyksopp
Fresh Act 

Hilltop Hoods
EFFE 

Boy and Bear
EFFE 

Parkway Drive
Aussie Act, Toured 2011

Mariachi El Bronx
Headline Tour 2009 

Architecture in Helsinki
EFFE 

Battles
Luminous Festival 2009 

The Jezabels
EFFE 

Odd Future
Vivid Live 2011 

Frenzal Rhomb
Aussie Act, Toured 2011 

Girl Talk
Big Day Out 2010 

The Getaway Plan
Aussie Act, Toured 2011 

Cage The Elephant
Fresh Act 

Foster The People
Splendour In The Grass 2011

Headline Tour 2011

Best Coast
Golden Plains 2011

Okay then, so firstly let’s look at the Australian acts. The festival has gone for the most generic batch of names you could possibly see, and any Australian music fan will have seen pretty much all the bands multiple times, at both festivals and gigs. That’s not so say I don’t like some of the bands, but come one, take a punt on some lesser-known Australian talent, Big Day Out. There are so many incredible Australian indie bands going around, would it kill you to just get a couple that don’t play every single festival every single year? Who knows, punters might actually discover a new band that they like. I know it’s the first announcement, but it still would have been nice to see just a tiny bit of diversity or daring in the selection of local bands.

More importantly, let’s look at the international acts. By my count, there are twelve. Of those twelve, nine have been to Australia in the last three years, including five in just this year. For those playing along at home, that means that 75% of Big Day Out’s international bands have been to Australian in the last three years, and roughly 42% have been to Australia this year. Personal taste in music aside, that is just absurd. I know a music festival has to make a profit, but Big Day Out could put out a far more adventurous lineup than this and still sell out easily. Hell, Kanye, Soundgarden, and Kasabian will probably ensure that the festival sells out by themselves. Why not at least bring a few interesting bands into the fold to rope in people who won’t be attracted by the headliners? It makes sense as a business strategy, and it gives artists that might otherwise never get a chance the opportunity to tour Australia.

Big Day Out: would it kill you to try something a tiny bit different once? Just once. See how it goes. Who knows, you might like it.

Instead, you’ve stuck with bands with proven track records of selling out venues and festivals in Australia, even when you don’t need huge amounts of artist pulling power to shift tickets. Do you have so little faith in your own taste in music so as to pick a few bands who have never toured Australia before? Of course maybe I should never have expected anything different, but it really does seem like the 2012 lineup is the most risk-adverse Big Day Out has ever been. I’ve always had a soft spot for the festival, after thoroughly enjoyable days the last two years. But there comes a point when you simply cannot justify paying $150 for a regurgitated lineup, even if it consists of some good acts.

Oh, and Tony Hawk.

Last Australian tour information was obtained solely by Googling and may not be factual. I am also not good at maths. Everything here is just my opinion, you really shouldn’t listen to it.

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5 Responses to “Big Day Out Lineup Dissected”

  1. I totally agree with you. I for one won’t be going this year. Uninspired about sums it up.

  2. Kanye West, Odd Future, Royksopp and Foster The People are the only acts I’d see. But not worth the fuckin’ nightmare of overcrowdedness and the price. Can probably see them all individually in their own dedicated solo shows for twice the length of time (except Kanye) for the price of going to BDO…

  3. Where the fuck is Jamiroquai, by the way? They’re touring the whole fucking world but not Australia??

  4. They obviously watched how well Kanye sold out Splendour this year.. oh wait, that’s right..

    • Big difference selling out a $450 festival to a $150 festival. I don’t think there are many bands in the world who could have sold out Splendour at that price point.

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