BDO pre-shows on the light side this year

We'll be covering the Big Day Out with regular updates, blogs and photos throughout the day at

It could have been the ultimate pre-festival indulgence. Just imagine Arcade Fire playing the fire-damaged St James a few nights before the Big Day Out. Alas, it's not to be, in what is shaping up to be the quietest lead-in period to the music festival in some years.

Whereas LCD Soundsystem, Dizzee Rascal and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello - aka the Nightwatchman - are all playing side shows in Sydney and Melbourne, none of the bigger acts have announced stand-alone shows in New Zealand.

Of the locals though, the Clean play at the Kings Arms the night before with fellow BDO-ers SJD and the Shocking Pinks, while Shihad warm up at Valve Bar in Wellington on Tuesday and then Auckland's Rising Sun on Wednesday. However, punters will get a chance to see Billy Bragg and Lady Saw before the big event. Bragg, aka the Bard of Barking, is doing two extra shows, at the Leigh Sawmill Cafe on Tuesday and Wellington's San Francisco Bath House on Wednesday.

Lady Saw, who performs at the Big Day Out's wacky Lilyworld area has a show at Galatos on Thursday.

Organisers say most bands will arrive in the country the day before the Big Day Out but are spending up to two weeks in Australia. They expect tickets to have sold out by tomorrow.

The summer's next big rock festival, the Coromandel Blues and Roots Music Festival at Easter, has a spin-off show - American alt-country giants Wilco are also playing Takapuna's Bruce Mason Centre on Easter Sunday (March 23) before heading to Wellington's Opera House the following night.

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