FeaturesWritten by James Arnold-Garvey on November 24, 2013
UPDATE: Blur replacements have finally been announced – full details here!
So Blur have pulled out of Big Day Out 2014. Waddya gonna do, cry about it? No, you’re gonna roll up your sleeves and get to work. BDO organisers apparently have “a list of targets” in their sights to replace Damon Albarn‘s crew, so now all they’ve gotta do is lock one of them in. Right?
Weeeeeell, not really. We’re only 8 weeks out from showtime, and finding an appropriate replacement for one of the biggest bands in the world in a lineup that features a lot of other big names ain’t so easy.
UPDATE: Blur replacement to be announced this Friday — full details here!
Even if you’re spending “whatever is necessary to get [a] worthy replacement”, clashing tour dates and events like the Grammys are gonna throw a spanner in your plans, and with candidates like Kanye, Kendrick, Neil Young and Jay-Z already ruled out, options are slim.
We’re no experts, but we’ve got a few suggestions of our own for the team at BDO (you’re taking requests, right, guys?). Some are good, some not so good – but at this point, we think you could probably do worse. The best part? They’re all available!
Whichever replacement organisers end up choosing, and even if they don’t choose one at all, the powers that be are in for one hell of a long night. Chin up, Big Day Out, we still love you.
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Gallery: 9 Potential Replacements For Blur’s Big Day Out Spot
Foo Fighters: Number one on our own list of targets. Fooies just announced their live comeback with some dates in Mexico City -- does that mean they're out of the studio already? They might not satisfy every Blur fan, but you know they're gonna sell tickets. Time for Dave Grohl to live up to that nice guy reputation once again.
David Bowie: He's definitely free, and even though that Primavera appearance chat turned out to be a hoax, he's gotta hit the stage at some point this album cycle, right? Arcade Fire could put a good word in, and if Pearl Jam are OK with sharing the limelight, BDO could pull off the greatest recovery in festival history. Fingers crossed.
Pulp: Here's one for the Britpop fans. They may never have scaled the mountains of success like Blur did, but they certainly share an audience. Cocker and co. haven't been here since 2011 either. Even AJ Maddah thinks it's a good idea!
Silverchair: They're BDO heroes, they'll cater to the Australia Day crowd in Sydney, and a reformation might even sell a few more tickets too. Sure, Johnsy might be working on his solo album, but he may just be willing to take one for the team, suck it up and blow us all away one more time.
Wolfmother: One from the "we've just reformed, we're available, hire me" files. Eh, it's an idea. And if Big Day Out can replace the Black Keys with Paul Dempsey, who's to say they won't have to settle for a less popular replacement for Blur? Speaking of…
The Black Keys: Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney pulled out of BDO 2011 due to "exhaustion," so we think it's high time they paid their respects. They may have been here late 2012, but early this year they said "we hope to be back touring our new album by the end of the year." Make it happen. And release the album while you're at it already!
Bjork: Another BDO drop out, with Bjork cancelling her Sydney set in 2008. Could she swoop in, swan-like, and save the day? We reckon the 90s crowd will dig her.
Tupac's Hologram: Hey, we said we're not experts. Pac made an appearance at BDO's sister festival Lollapalooza last year. Could Australian audiences handle 80 minutes of the same? There's always the potential for a Snoop cameo too...
ABBA: Yes, we realise this is getting ridiculous, but levity is important in times of crisis. There HAS been talk of an ABBA reunion of late, and given the band's everlasting popularity in Australia they could just be the brightest dark horse Big Day Out have. Given Arcade Fire's recently acquired tastes for disco, they'd have a few fans in the wings as well.