Fans looking forward to the second lineup announcement yesterday for the Big Day Out were blindsided with the announcement that headliners Kanye West and Mariachi El Bronx would no longer be performing with Adelaide and Perth events. Hill Top Hoods were also pulled from Perth and the Living End won’t be playing Adelaide.
So what happened? According to Big Day Out promoter Ken West who did a radio interview with Triple J’s hack program last night there were a number of factors involved in the decision making but the catalyst was what he called a necessary venue change in Perth due to new onerous conditions placed on the event regarding sound restrictions. West decided that the new conditions were unworkable forcing the event to find a new home at Brownes Stadium.
At the same time West needed to make a decision on whether to import a third stage from the UK, something that was made difficult due to the uncertain nature of air freight at the time due to the rolling Qantas airline strikes. Confused yet? So are we, but West alleges this triggered a domino effect that coupled with the smaller venue in Perth meant that it was no longer viable to run the same number of stages in Adelaide too.
West says he tried to shuffle the timetable to allow both Kanye West and Soundgarden to perform but this proved impossible due to length of both acts sets and the estimated hour long changeover that would be required between acts. This meant that Soundgarden would have to perform at 6pm in Perth and Adelaide, something the band said would not be possible.
So West did the last thing he wanted to do, he pulled Kanye and Mariachi El Bronx off both Perth and Adelaide to free up time on the stages so that the rest of the lineup would fit. Triple J’s hack reporter repeatedly quizzed West on his claims, pointing out that ticket sales must have been a factor. West denied they were a major factor but eventually conceded that the sales did contribute to his ultimate decision.
Problems for the beleaguered Big Day Out won’t stop there though with a report this morning in The West Australian that local mayor Trevor Vaughan had doubts that Big Day Out’s proposed new venue in Perth will get approval from his council.
“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” he said to the paper. “It’s not the right spot for it. I would find it difficult having it there considering it’s so close to the residents. Basically Brownes Stadium is surrounded by residential homes. If it’s low scale and low noise and not going to disrupt our residents then we may look at it, but if it’s going to be at night like the Big Day Out usually is then it would be difficult.”
Western Australia Premier Colin Barret also weighed in on the issue saying “There have been problems from time to time about excessive noise – at one stage there were problems about the language used in some of the songs. I think the event over recent years, however, has been managed a lot better and I think it could be done at Lathlain quite well.”
“But it will certainly have an impact on those residents close by, and I hope the organisers of the event take into account their potential disruption and their consideration. I like to see entertainment for young people to go out and enjoy themselves, hopefully behave well and enjoy the music.”
We’ll continue to follow the story and bring you any news about Big Day Out Perth. In the meantime you can listen to Ken West’s interview on Triple J in full below.
We take a look at the most memorable, both great and sad, moments in the 20 year history of Big Day Out. Check it out here.