Australia's Big Day Out Festival Canceled
BDO 2014 by Ian Laidlaw
Australia -- The 2015 edition of one of Australia's most beloved traveling music festivals, Big Day Out, has been canceled. C3 Presents, the US-based promoter that acquired a partial stake in the festival in early 2012, plans to bring the festival back after a year off to restructure.
AJ Maddah, festival co-founder, told Australia's Triple J radio that he sold his share of Big Day Out to C3 Presents for $1, with an option to buy himself back in for the same price next year.
In a statement published by Fairfax Media, the festival's new owner stated, "C3 Presents is proud to own Big Day Out, one of the most iconic and established festival brands in the world. While we intend to bring back the festival in future years, we can confirm there will not be a Big Day Out in 2015."
Big Day Out has struggled since C3 Presents began overseeing the event, with BDO 2014 losses reported to be as much as $15 million AUD - no doubt leading to the necessary restructuring.
In response to the cancellation, and the backlash from fans and artists, Sounds Australia viewed the news "from an Australian music exporting perspective." The music development initiative harked upon the many opportunities C3 Presents can bring Australian artists: "We do however see the many exciting possibilities and even more opportunities for Australian artists to reach the international arena with the reincarnation of the festival and we genuinely look forward to what the future for the event holds."
Sounds Australia continued to make mention of C3 Presents' presence in North America (Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits) as well as in South America (Lollapalooza Brazil and Chile), stating, "With a US-based company responsible for multiple international festivals, concert promotion, event production and artist management at the helm of the Big Day Out, this surely bodes well for the Australian artists in North America, not to mention the many new relationships that will be forged directly with the wider Australian music industry."
It remains unclear whether C3 Presents has completely taken over the festival or if AJ Maddah, who also runs Soundwave Festival, will still be involved. Either way, it is clear a restructuring is needed in order for the iconic festival for coming-of-age Australian music fans to continue past 2015.
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