Big Day Out

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  • Sydney
    (1992–97, 1999–present)
  • Melbourne
    (1993–97, 1999–present)
  • Perth
    (1993–97, 1999–present)
  • Adelaide
    (1993–97, 1999–present)
  • Gold Coast
    (1994–97, 1999 – present)

New Zealand

The Big Day Out (BDO) is an annual music festival held in several cities in Australia and New Zealand in late January. It started in Sydney in 1992, spread to Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth by 1993, with the Gold Coast and Auckland joining in 1994. As of 2003, it has featured seven or eight stages (depending on the venue) accommodating popular contemporary rock music, electronic music, mainstream international acts and local acts.



The festival began in 1992 as a Sydney-only show with Violent Femmes as the headline act, along with Nirvana and a range of other foreign and local alternative music acts playing at the Hordern Pavilion. In the months preceding the event, Nirvana's Nevermind was released and became an international smash hit, therefore guaranteeing the success of the festival. Kurt Cobain was ill at the time of the show.[citation needed] In 1993, the festival was extended to include Melbourne, Perth, and Adelaide.

Since 1994, the Big Day Out has travelled annually to Auckland, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth during a three-week period. The tour through the southern-hemisphere summer has become "the festival overseas acts want to be on". In 1997, organisers Ken West and Vivian Lees announced they were taking a year off, causing concern that the festival was coming to an end.[1]

American band Pearl Jam were booked to headline the 2001 tour almost 12 months in advance, as they had just started to do festivals for the first time since problems at festivals in the early 90s. On 30 June 2000 at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, they ended their set prematurely after the crowd surged forward, crushing and fatally injuring nine people. They pulled out of the BDO, claiming that they would never play at festivals again. They did play Leeds & Reading Festivals, UK, in 2006.

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