BDO slams Blur: 'We said yes to every demand'

Blur's front man Damon Albarn.
Blur's front man Damon Albarn.

Big Day Out organisers have released more details about their growing spat with Blur, saying they had given in to nearly every demand the Britpop act made - including building them their own stage.

Blur pulled out of their headlining performance at the Australasian festival on Sunday, using Facebook to blame the "constantly shifting goalposts and challenging conditions of the organisers".

BDO's New Zealand promoter Campbell Smith said he was "blindsided" by the band's decision. They had done everything the Song 2 hitmakers had asked - apart from moving them above Arcade Fire on the bill.

Co-promoter AJ Maddah told the Sydney Morning Herald a similar thing had happened to Asian promoters who booked the band.

"We have learned that Blur have done the same thing previously to promoters in Asia where they also cancelled via Facebook without notice and blamed promoters using very similar language," he said.

Fasterlouder.com.au reported the festival, Tokyo Rocks, was cancelled by promoters six weeks out from the event over "management problems," and was due to feature Blur alongside My Bloody Valentine and Primal Scream.

Maddah said BDO bosses were "completely caught with our pants down" and were scrambling to nail down a suitable replacement act.

He told 774 ABC radio: "We've cast a fairly wide net because of the time frame [and] we hope to announce replacements this week ... If anything, it's galvanised us to work even harder and put on a better show."

Maddah told the radio station he still had no idea what was behind Blur's decision to quit the festival.

"We said, 'yes' to every reasonable demand that didn't involve us changing legislation in Western Australia or swapping them with Arcade Fire. We said, 'yes' to them having their own stage. We said 'yes' to every production request. We said 'yes' to every travel request.

"We said 'yes' to everything. We don't know what the issue is."

In a statement released this morning, Campbell Smith wrote: "We apologise for any inconvenience that Blur's withdrawal from the Auckland Big Day Out may have caused. We are going to announce replacement(s) in the coming days. Upon the new announcement, if fans are not satisfied with either Blur's cancellation or the new act(s) we announce, we will be providing refunds. We want to thank BDO fans for their support."

The Big Day Out last week added Brazilian alt-pop act CSS and San Francisco noisemakers Primus to the bill.

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- nzherald.co.nz

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