Scott Kara: Let's give the Big Day Out a good send-off

There are no other music events that attract as many big name artists as the BDO did. Photo / Herald on Sunday
There are no other music events that attract as many big name artists as the BDO did. Photo / Herald on Sunday

I was a staunch Big Day Out supporter to the bitter end. Despite the bottlenecks, and toilet and beer queues, it was my favourite New Zealand music festival by far. So I'm a bit sad. And I'll be sad - and perhaps even a little bit pissed off - tomorrow too.

And though the final BDO line-up is not the greatest in its 18-year local history, if you ask me it remains this country's premier festival in terms of international acts. And the locals included on this year's bill are tops too.

Shame then that this is the last one. The BDO is no more.

On Tuesday morning (TimeOut's deadline day), before the dreaded announcement, I sat down to plot out a possible dream line-up for the January 17, 2013, event. My aim was to inspire those who were not going this year to perhaps reconsider and buy a ticket.

It seems a bit pointless to run through it now, but hey, for old time's sake, indulge me. I figured the Black Keys would co-headline with their idols Led Zeppelin reforming especially for it. British music institutions the Stone Roses, Radiohead, and the newly reformed Smiths (in my dreams, that is) were also on the list. Even Beyonce was back touring after having her baby and was on the bill (once again, in my dreams).

Oh well, that's never going to happen.

On the positive there is now a whopping big gap for Australia's Soundwave Festival - a behemoth metal, heavy rock and punk extravaganza - to possibly make its way across the Tasman. I'd welcome it.

But let's forget about that for the moment. It's tomorrow at Mt Smart Stadium that I'm thinking about. Like I said, it's going to be a sad day for me - and thousands of other music fans. Some of my most poignant and badass rock 'n' roll moments happened thanks to the Big Day Out.

Like hanging off the balcony at The Powerstation the night before the BDO giving Al Jourgensen from industrial metallers Ministry the birdy in 1995. Copping more than an eyeful of Courtney Love's nether regions as she slung her leg up on the foldback speaker while singing Teenage Whore. Oh so charming. And getting grubby and sweaty as Soulfly whipped up a sonic racket mid-afternoon in 1999. And there were many, many more. I tell you, there are no other festivals like it in New Zealand - and now it's gone. There are no other music events that attract as many big-name international artists as the BDO did.

It has stiff competition these days - both here and in Australia. But though Laneway is a great festival, the nature of the acts playing means it has limited appeal. And then there are other festivals like Splore and Rhythm and Vines which are also great, but only have a sprinkling of big-name internationals.

Many people have slagged the BDO line-ups as repetitive, especially in recent years. And I have to say, if there is one band I am sick of seeing it's the bloody Living End. So at least I won't have to put up with them any more, I guess.

And as for who will play the last note at the death tomorrow? Going by the timetable it might be left to His Royal Britpop Majesty Noel Gallagher. As well as playing his own songs, he also plays Oasis material and generally finishes his set with Don't Look Back in Anger, which would be fitting.

But since I've been practising my Jesus Christ Pose in preparation for Soundgarden, I want to hear that.


- NZ Herald

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