Big Day Out’s Year Off Due To “Shortage Of Headliners”

NEWS: Big Day Out co-founder calls AJ Maddah “a mega-dickhead” — full details here!

Now ex-director and co-owner of Big Day Out AJ Maddah says the festival’s scrapped 2015 instalment is due to a “shortage of headliners on cycle this year.” Earlier today, it was confirmed by the new owners of the event, C3 Presents, that there would not be a Big Day Out next year.

Asked by a Twitter follower if there is a dearth of headline-level acts that are currently in the middle of album or tour cycles and thus available for festival bookings, the Soundwave promoter replied, “Yes. There’s a shortage of headliners on cycle this year. Hence BDO taking year off.”

Maddah said the Foo Fighters have a headline tour which would prohibit them from headlining BDO 2015 and insisted that “there was fuck all out there.” He replied to the suggestion of newly reformed, Splendour-bound Southern hip-hop veterans Outkast by saying that they “have been awful live.”

Today, the Austin-based C3 Presents released a statement confirming BDO 2015’s cancellation. “C3 Presents is proud to own Big Day Out, one of the most iconic and established festival brands in the world,” it began. “While we intend to bring back the festival in future years, we can confirm there will not be a Big Day Out in 2015. We love working on BDO and are excited about the future.”

The statement came after a report by Fairfax alleged that insufficient venue bookings had been made in time to reasonably hold the festival during its typical dates. That report came shortly after Music Feeds broke the news that AJ Maddah had sold his 50 percent stake in the BDO.

However, once again taking to Twitter, the promoter has cryptically suggested that he has not walked away from the company entirely. In reply to Tom Tilley — the host of Triple J‘s Hack programme, on which Maddah it set to appear later today — who referred to Maddah as the “former” promoter of the Big Day Out, Maddah wrote, “Don’t jump the gun with the ‘former’ :)”


Big Day Out Auckland promoter Campbell Smith has told The New Zealand Herald he is confident that the event will return in 2016 after it’s 2015 absence. Campbell insisted that the event’s 2015 hiatus is to do with the transition phase the festival’s Australian division is currently experiencing.

Meanwhile, Maddah has stated that in the absence of BDO, it is “possible” that a Soundwave showcase could come to New Zealand. Maddah has stated that if a New Zealand incarnation of Soundwave does indeed go ahead, Olly Martin, the promoter of Westfest — an Auckland based event with a hard rock-centred lineup similar to Soundwave — would be involved somehow.

The typically outspoken Maddah’s forthcoming appearance on Hack will be the first official statement from the mogul on the situation surrounding the sale of his BDO stock. Maddah’s only comment so far has been a reply post on Twitter that read, “No stress. It’s a positive move.”

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