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Big Day Out Organisers Address Blur Cancellation

Written by Greg Moskovitch on November 24, 2013

Big Day Out organisers have weighed in on the recent revelation that UK Britpop giants Blur have pulled out of the festival due to what the band say was the “shifting goalposts and challenging conditions” of the organisers themselves, while revealing several behind-the-scenes details.

Following the announcement, which the band made themselves via their official Facebook page, many speculated that the cancellation may pertain to the lack of sideshows from the band, who would have been touring Australia for the first time since 1997.

UPDATE: Blur replacement to be announced this Friday — full details here!

After one fan echoed the sentiments of many by suggesting that the drop-out may have to do with the cancelled second Sydney BDO date and a lack of sideshows, newly minted BDO investor AJ Maddah insisted, “That does not affect their money or conditions.Festival gave them option for headline side show & they declined.”

Responding to one fan who, like many, was trying to coax a readable narrative out of the tales of goalposts and assurances of refunds, Maddah said, “Am trying to find out [what’s happened] myself. Far as I know BDO gave into every demand within the possibility of curfews & public safety.”

He also insisted that he did not know the reasoning behind the band’s cancellation outside of their statement, leaving it up to the band to clear up the situation with fans before adding, “I’ve been around for a month & in that time all I’ve seen is everyone trying to keep them happy.”

Maddah repeatedly stated that Big Day Out officials made every attempt to accommodate for the band, but revealed there was one band request which organisers declined, saying, “The only things that BDO have said ‘no’ to is when they asked to swap positions with [Arcade Fire].”

“Everyone at BDO is absolutely devastated and confused by this turn of events,” said Maddah, adding, “All we can do is to replace them and bring you the best show possible.” Maddah also said that organisers at this point are looking to protect the BDO brand instead of protecting profits.


As for a replacement for what would’ve been one of Big Day Out 2014’s three headliners, Maddah said, “We’re working on that now. We have a list of targets and are making contact with them all,” adding, “everyone at BDO will be working through the night to find replacement.”

“Who gives a hoot about profit at this point. It’s about protecting the show and the fans who put their trust in BDO,” Maddah told one fan. “And that is why we’ll go out there and spend whatever is necessary to get worthy replacement(s),” he added.

When a fan suggested that the British pop legends may be breaking up, Maddah seemed inclined to agree and insisted that organisers had been more than hospitable, saying, “That’s the feeling I get. Not sure why they would blame festival when all everyone here has done is kiss their ass..”

BDO CEO Adam Zammit also said that organisers “will announce replacement very soon” and insisted that the cancellation of Blur would not see the entire event cancelled, saying, “event is charging ahead despite Blurs (sic) action. Announcement and statement soon.”

While Zammit has said that the festival would “do the honourable thing” in relation to refunds, honour likely has little to do with it. The terms and conditions of the tickets clearly explain under which circumstances ticket-holders can obtain refunds, which includes a headliner dropping out.

As stated on the Big Day Out website:

“If you no longer wish to attend the event due to the change in the headline act, and you contact us in a timely manner and provide the original ticket(s) and proof of purchase, We will refund to you the ticket price inclusive of booking fees but exclusive of delivery or mail fees and or any Processing Surcharge.

“If you are entitled to a refund and We have not already mailed your ticket, then We will also refund you any delivery fee associated with the purchase of such Ticket(s).”

Big Day Out’s New Zealand promoter Campbell Smith has also weighed in on the situation via Facebook, telling fans, “The Blur announcement a total surprise to me. I had no idea. As soon as I find out what happened and what will happen, I will advise.”

“I know no more yet about Blur situation,” he added. “All international touring artists are booked by BDO Aus, so this whole thing taken me by surprise,” keeping in-line with sentiments expressed by BDO organisers here in Australia.

A Big Day Out representative has told Music Feeds that an official statement from festival organisers will be released later this evening. Stay tuned to Music Feeds on our special Feed and we’ll keep you up-to-date with this story as it unfolds.

UPDATE: 25/11/13 Big Day Out have issued a brief official statement via their own Facebook page, in regards to Blur’s cancellation:

“We were disappointed to learn of Blur’s cancellation via their Facebook page yesterday morning. We are working on replacements and will bring you new additions to the Big Day Out lineup shortly – Big Day Out”

Gallery: 9 Potential Replacements For Blur’s Big Day Out Spot

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