Chris Schulz 's Opinion

Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Big Day Out line-up confirmed: Pearl Jam, Blur, Snoop Dogg

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Pull out your plaid shirt and get ready to rock out like it's the '90's - veteran acts Pearl Jam, Blur and Snoop Dogg are set to headline the revived Auckland leg of the Big Day Out.

Arcade Fire, Major Lazer, Tame Impala, Steve Angello, Mac Miller, Diiv and Kiwi acts The Naked and Famous, The Phoenix Foundation, P-Money and Beastwars were also included in today's full line-up announcement.

As was heavily rumoured, grunge titans Pearl Jam, Damon Albarn's reformed Britpop act Blur, and controversial Long Beach rapper Snoop Dogg were all named as the "three white whales" on the Big Day Out bill.

None of the three main headliners have performed at the Big Day Out before.

Send your Big Day Out questions to festival promoter Campbell Smith.

The New Zealand line-up, announced at 6am this morning, is virtually identical to the last night's Australian announcement for the six shows that follow Auckland's festival date.

Australian promoter Ken West told fasterlouder.com.au that he would be happy with any of the three closing the festival.

"We haven't had that before. So it's the most impossible lineup we've had because if you think about it logically there's no other place in the world where you'd get these three acts on the same bill unless it was Live Aid," he said.

"That's the only other time you can get the egos pushed out of the way."

Pearl Jam are guaranteed crowdpleasers, with the grunge survivalists selling out Mt Smart stadium in 2009 and leading fans on singalongs through their canon of hits like Alive, Jeremy and Black that date back to the early '90s.

West said Pearl Jam were naturally "very cautious" about headlining festivals, following the deaths of nine people and 30 other injuries during the Roskilde Festival in Denmark in 2000.

Blur have visited only once, in November, 1997, on the back of their self-titled fifth album and their well-known anthem Song 2. They split in 2003, reformed in 2008 and have performed sporadically since then.

But the big question hanging over the headliners is which Snoop will turn up: Snoop Dogg, the iconic gangsta rapper with hits like Gin and Juice and What's My Name? from the early '90s, or Snoop Lion, the recently reformed reggae singer who released an album that included a duet with Miley Cyrus.

He is billed on the line-up as "Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion," suggesting fans might hear both sides of Calvin Broadus' career. He last played in New Zealand in 2006.

Arcade Fire are also likely to be a major drawcard, with their rousing singalongs and carnival-style intensity proving to be one of the highlights of the 2008 event. They have a new album due out by the end of the year.

West called it "the best lineup we've ever put together" and told fasterlouder: "You have no idea how hard this process has been."

"It's been a very, very long road to get to this point and not in our wildest imagination did we think that they'd all hit at the same time."

Earlier this year it was announced the Big Day Out was returning to New Zealand after poor ticket sales marred the 2012 event - headlined by Soundgarden - and saw the New Zealand leg of the festival canned this year.

In 2014 it is shifting from Mt Smart Stadium to the higher capacity of 50,000 at Western Springs Stadium and tickets cost $185, with the first 10,000 going on sale at $165.

Tickets go on sale on August 12 at 9am.

FULL LINE-UP

Pearl Jam
Arcade Fire
Blur
Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion
Major Lazer
Steve Angello
Flosstradamus
The Lumineers
Tame Impala
Mac Miller
The Naked and Famous
Ghost
Grouplove
Dillon Francis
The Phoenix Foundation
Portugal. The Man
Toro Y Moi
DIIV
SJD
LADI6
The 1975
P-MONEY
Mudhoney
Beastwars
Concord Dawn
Clap Clap Riot
PLEASEPLEASE
KODY NIELSON
Randa

* See today's TimeOut for extended coverage on headliners Blur, Pearl Jam and Snoop Dogg. And Big Day Out promoter Campbell Smith will be joining us for a live chat at 12.30pm.

Big Day Out
Where: Western Springs Stadium and Park, Auckland
When: Friday, January 17
Website: www.bigdayout.com

- nzherald.co.nz

Chris Schulz

Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

A subscription to RTR Countdown magazine as a teenager kick started Chris’ inspiration to become an entertainment reporter. After finishing a grad-dip at journalism school, he discovered the magazine no longer existed. So he instead begged for a reviewing job at Rip It Up, then took over a local news website’s entertainment section in 2004 when no one else wanted to do it. It’s as much a surprise to him as it is to those around him that he’s been doing entertainment reporting ever since, utilising his diehard love of popular culture (specifically music, TV, movies and games). His career highlights including interviewing heroes like Billy Corgan and Trent Reznor, discussing the best sheep-docking techniques with Courtney Love, and breaking his nose during a Shihad concert. The last thing left on his entertainment reporting bucket list is to ride a rollercoaster with Dave Grohl, something he’s hoping to achieve in the next 12 months.

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