The Big Day Out is a sell-out and organisers are promising music fans they will reduce dangerous and annoying crowd bottlenecks and toilet queues.
A capacity crowd of 44,000 will be at Mt Smart Stadium next Friday to see headliners Tool and other top acts including the Killers, My Chemical Romance, the Violent Femmes, Scribe, Shapeshifter and Evermore. This week the day-long concert officially sold out but another 2000 tickets go on sale at 9am on Monday through Ticketek.
The most recent sell-out was the concert headlined by Metallica in 2004 when 42,000 people jammed into the stadium, turning toilet queues into bladder-buster contests and bottlenecks at various points making it difficult to get to see certain acts on time.
This year, says promoter Campbell Smith, the increased numbers will be well catered for by extra space created by the new East Stand and changes to trouble-spot access ways.
"We knew in December we were going to sell out and what's different this year [from the Metallica year] is the East Stand. We didn't have that for Metallica and we talked to the police and the Mt Smart people and came up with that number which we think is the appropriate capacity."
The traditional, and most notorious, bottleneck at the entrance to the top field, where stages three and four are situated, has been widened. Both the main and side entrances will be double the previous width. Plus, says Smith, there will be more toilets. Phew.