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Pearl Jam, Blur, Arcade Fire Line Up for Australia’s Big Day Out Fest

Other key names confirmed to the bill include EDM acts Major Lazer, Steve Angello (formerly of Swedish House Mafia) and Australia's young gun Flume, plus veteran rock acts Mudhoney and Cosmic…

Pearl Jam, Blur, Arcade Fire and Snoop Lion (aka Snoop Dogg) will headline the 2014 Australasian Big Day Out tour.

Other key names confirmed to the bill include EDM acts Major Lazer, Steve Angello (formerly of Swedish House Mafia) and Australia’s young gun Flume, plus veteran rock acts Mudhoney and Cosmic Psychos, and home-grown talents Tame Impala and The Naked And Famous.

Each of the big four headliners have a strong connection with Australian audiences.

Pearl Jam will use the BDO to air works from their anticipated 10th studio album, “Lightning Bolt,” which arrives Oct. 14 and is led by the track “Mind Your Manners.”

Arcade Fire will play their first dates Down Under since their well-received shows on the 2008 BDO tour. And like Pearl Jam, they’ll have new material to test. Arcade Fire’s new album is due Oct. 29.

Blur haven’t played Down Under since 1997. In honor of the Britpop four — comprising Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree — BDO organizers have created a new “Love” stage. As Pearl Jam close the “Blue Stage,” Blur will begin on the “Love Stage.” Blur’s bass player James has appeared on Australian televisions recently as co-host of a cooking series.

Snoop makes his first visit to the BDO stage, though he’s got a name Down Under – particularly with the authorities. In 2007, the rapper was banned from entering Australia because of convictions for drugs and firearms offences. Australia’s then immigration minister blocked Snoop’s entry on “character grounds.” Clearly, the government now sees the artist in a better light.

Pre-sales start from Aug. 1 at General Pants Co and the following day for Big Day Out members. The official on-sale is staggered, starting Aug. 7 at the Big Day Out Website.

General Admission tickets to the six-city, seven-date Big Day Out 2014 tour cost A$185 ($165) each, while VIP “Like A Boss” tickets are A$285 ($255).

Expectations on a killer set of headliners were lifted when BDO CEO Adam Zammit hinted on Twitter in recent weeks that the line-up would “challenge” the rock and metal fest Soundwave.

AJ Maddah, the promoter behind Soundwave, Harvest and co-organizer of the Vans Warped Australia tour, responded by tweeting that the BDO headliners were “truly epic.” Many agree with Maddah’s summation. 

The BDO is the biggest touring fest of its kind in the world. At its peak, in 2009, the event shifted 330,000 tickets. Though it hasn’t all been smooth-sailing.

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 altogether.

Ahead of the make-or-break 2013 shows, West appointed media entrepreneur Adam Zammit as BDO CEO, and formed a partnership with U.S.-based event organizers C3 Presents.

The strong line-up and the healthy social media response for the upcoming 2014 tour would suggest West and his team have put the disastrous 2012 BDO well behind them.

The 2014 Big Day Out Australasian tour dates:

Jan. 17 – Western Springs, Auckland, New Zealand
Jan. 19 – Metricon Stadium & Carrara Parklands, Gold Coast, Australia
Jan. 24 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia
Jan. 26 – Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney Day One, Australia
Jan. 27 – Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney Day Two, Australia
Jan. 31 – Bonython Park, Adelaide, Australia
Feb. 2 – Claremont Showgrounds, Perth, Australia