Blur’s withdrawal from the Big Day Out left such a void in the line-up, they’ve been replaced by three bands.
Organizers of the annual Australasian touring festival today announced Liam Gallagher's Beady Eye, alternative rock veterans Deftones and the Swedish rockers Hives would replace Blur.
The Britpop legends had pulled-out of their headlining slot with a post on their Facebook page blaming “constantly shifting goalposts,” with many Down Under connecting Blur’s decision to their not landing any lucrative sideshows.
Beady Eye, Deftones and the Hives take their place on a BDO bill that includes headliners Pearl Jam and Arcade Fire. Co-promoter AJ Maddah has vowed to refund ticket-holders who weren’t happy with the changed line-up. He’s admitted his fellow organizers were “completely caught with our pants down” and that the late change to book talent wouldn’t “be cheap.”
The Big Day Out had the Australian festivals marketplace sewn-up for a long time. Though in time, each of the elements that had made the fest such a cornerstone of the country’s summer live scene have been picked off and developed by rivals. The electronic music fest Stereosonic and the hard-rock event Soundwave are two that have managed to beat the BDO at its own game.
At its peak, in 2009, the event shifted 330,000 tickets. Its 20th anniversary show in 2012 was, in BDO founder Ken West’s words, “a total fiasco.” Behind the scenes, co-founder Viv Lees split six months before the 2012 trek, the New Zealand leg was dropped (it’s since been reinstated) and the Perth and Adelaide shows were downsized - and very nearly cut.
The six-city BDO trek begins Jan. 17 in Auckland, New Zealand.