How to plan a big day out

For those back at work after the New Year break and wondering whether it's worth going to the Big Day Out at the end of the day here's how the headlining acts stack up.

Neil Young plays a 90-minute set starting at 9.10pm which will be one to see before you die. Depending on what sort of mood the grizzly and grand old timer is in we could get, oh, about six or seven songs - since he has been known to stretch out songs like Down By the River, Cowgirl In the Sand and Like A Hurricane to 10 or 15 minutes-plus, and then there's the 35 minutes of noise and feedback he came up with on his 1991 live album Arc.

But seriously, while you will definitely get to see uncle Neil, the Arctic Monkeys (who play before him at 8pm), and acts like the Prodigy (who headline the Boiler Room), and Fantomas and the Headless Chickens (both on the top field), by not taking at least some of the day off you're going to miss out.

For instance, New York's favourite musical weirdos, TV On the Radio - whose album Dear Science made most top 10 album of the year lists, including TimeOut's - are on the main stage at 4.10pm, and chart-topping duo the Ting Tings play the green stage even earlier in the afternoon, at 2.30pm.

If you're a strict nine to fiver you might get through the gate just in time to see the Datsuns (5pm, blue stage), or even psychedelic rockers My Morning Jacket (5.30pm, green stage) followed by rowdy local loons the Mint Chicks.

For those planning a whole day's worth of ear-bashing, get there early for what should be some of the best local acts of the day, including metal titans Subract opening the main stage at 11.30am, bands like Clap Clap Riot, the Naked and Famous, Luger Boa and the Tutts on the top field from late morning into the early afternoon. And in the Boiler Room be sure to wear your long flowing scarf and get your eastern freak on for An Emerald City at 11.45am

and hang around to get the blood boiling with drum'n'bass act State Of Mind at 1.15pm.

As well as buying tickets on the internet, you can also purchase them from a caravan on Stadium Rd, Western Springs, from this Friday until Jan 1 or buy them on the day from Mt Smart. For full timetable details go to

- NZ Herald

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