Big Day Out huge hit for nearly 40,000 fans

Condom balloons floated through the air, the smell of marijuana wafted here and there, and around the stadium a man walked body-painted as a giraffe.

This year's Big Day Out festival at Mount Smart Stadium - with major international acts Neil Young, The Prodigy and Arctic Monkeys among nearly 90 gigs - was a hit with nearly 40,000 people, aged from under 10 to over 60.

The audience was relatively well-behaved, despite three arrests and three people taken to hospital, spokesman Paul McKessar said.

The arrests were for drug possession, disorderly behaviour and being unlawfully on the premises, while medical conditions rather than injuries caused the hospital visits, Mr McKessar said.

St John paramedics had treated fewer people than in other years, he said.

Electro-rock band Pendulum, catchy pop-rock act The Ting Tings and hip hop artists Lupe Fiasco and Tiki Taane drew the largest crowds, Mr McKessar said.

Pendulum's braver fans had left the mosh pit battered and bleeding.

As the lesser-known acts played throughout the afternoon, the audience worked on their dance moves.

The unofficial unisex dress-code appeared to be "minimalism", with the crowd dressed in everything from body paint to bikinis, regardless of their age. Pink boots with a six-inch platform and a man in a red vinyl swimsuit were also spotted in the arena.

The sweltering temperatures dropped as the day continued, with clouds above the stadium threatening rain towards the evening.


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