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New Zealand leg of Big Day Out to be phased out

By | Published on Thursday 19 January 2012

Big Day Out

This Friday the Big Day Out will hit Auckland for the final time. New Zealand was added to the touring festival’s line-up of locations in 1994, two years after the festival franchise first launched in Sydney. Organisers have blamed financial constraints for the decision to scale the event back to just Australian dates from 2013.

The festival’s New Zealand co-promoter Campbell Smith told bFM: “It’s very, very expensive to bring 35 international acts here for one show. Even in the years we were selling out we were barely breaking even. The reason it keeps coming back is that Ken [West, the festival’s founder] loves New Zealand. We owe him a debt for bringing the damn thing here for so long. It’s a very small market, it’s a very small country. We’ve been lucky, to be honest”.

Asked to comment on rumours that the announcement was merely a PR stunt to boost poor sales in the final days before this year’s Auckland show, Smith said: “It’s complete crap, it’s bullshit. We are genuinely sad about having to do this [and] we wanted to let people know. It’s a great show, it’s always been a great show, you don’t get this kind of intensity of international acts alongside local artists at this type of event. People are saying that they aren’t appreciating this [year’s] line-up – that strikes me as strange. I think it’s strong. For whatever reason we’re not selling tickets. We haven’t got a roll on”.

As previously reported, controversy hit the New Zealand leg of the tour in November last year when it was forced to pull Odd Future from the line-up following complaints to Auckland City Council about the group’s homophobic lyrics.