Resource consent pending, the Big Day Out will be back louder than ever in its new home at Western Springs. I say louder, because plonking the one-day music festival slap bang in the middle of urban Auckland means more people - including many residents who would probably rather not hear the constant dirge of rock 'n' roll and banging oonst for 12 hours - will hear it than when it was in its industrial wasteland home of Mt Smart. And all I can say is, yeehah. Bring it on.
Western Springs is just down the road from my house, and as well as looking forward to the line-up (it had better be good), I'm also quite excited about never having to worry about how to get home from a BDO again. Because every year when it was at Mt Smart, like thousands of others, no matter how prepared I was getting home was a long and arduous nightmare. But on January 17, 2014, which is when it is likely to be held, I guess I will be able to wander home with the rock 'n' roll still ringing in my ears.
It's where the festival should have been all along. But there are a few issues to deal with.
The main one will be noise, and a close second, the chaos caused in the area by the day-long event. Though they're not exactly issues unique to the Big Day Out.
I loathe the incessant revving and roaring of the stock cars that waft across our neighbourhood from the speedway. But hey, it's only a handful of nights every summer, so we suck it up. And AC/DC were so loud Angus could have been playing in our lounge. But that's what Western Springs is there for - as an entertainment venue.
As for traffic and commuter chaos, and getting to the gig on time ... catch a train or a bus, park in the surrounding suburbs and walk to the venue, or ride your rickety old Raleigh 20 and lock it up outside (best leave your flash mountain bike at home).
There is no doubt it will be chaos, presuming they get a good crowd that is, but that venue heaved with 50,000 for AC/DC in 2010, 60,000 for U2 in 1989, and a record-setting 75,000 for David Bowie in 1983.
So I'm with Randy, who posted a comment on the Herald website last week. "For those with noise concerns, surely you're aware of Western Springs' noisy legacy as a live music venue and a speedway. For those having a transport whinge, check your facts. According to Google maps, Western Springs is a leisurely 17 mins walk from the Morningside train station."
And it's even closer from Baldwin Ave, my local train station, so please feel free to use it and make the platform a little chaotic, because it is only one day out of the whole year, after all.