Big Day Out 2012: twentieth year of handcrafted festivals

Media release from Big Day Out
Hello all and welcome to the Big Day Out.
Yikes… 20 years of Handcrafted Festivals, no one saw that happening in 1992. A milestone rarely achieved by any festival will become reality for us when we stage our 20th year of BDO festivals.

Big Day Out was created to level the playing field and prove that the title ‘alternative’ didn’t stop music from being popular. It has now changed the local musical landscape forever, growing from its ambitious, chaotic beginnings to evolve into the largest travelling festival in the world complete with all the highs and lows of a roller coaster.

So beyond the statistics and the history it is what the BDO stands for that will enable us to continue to deliver world-class events. Shows that will stand the test of time and continue to reflect both musically and culturally as a backdrop to peoples’ lives.

In short, you’ve got to know where you’re from to know where you’re going…

Our goal is always to deliver the ultimate platform for artists to play to hugecrowds alongside some of the most important acts in the world, to the best audiences in the world.

Looking back to the first BDO in Sydney in 1991 we announced only 2 acts and skating and sold 52 tickets the first day. Last year we announced 41 acts and sold 52,000 tickets in an hour.

So for the 20th year of BDO we thought we should pull things back a bit and meet in the middle by announcing 20 acts plus the return of first-class skating for our first round on offer.

Our second big announcement of over 20 acts will be heading your way in 5 weeks time.

We believe these shows will be wonderful events, uplifting, spectacular and above all, fun. It’s meant to be fun, enjoy.

Ken West & Viv Lees

Who’s rewritten the rulebook of popular music? A controversial, outspoken, acclaimed hip-hop visionary: the man is KANYE WEST, and the only place to see him in Australia and New Zealand in 2012 is at BIG DAY OUT. Stronger, Jesus Walks, Touch the Sky, Gold Digger, Heartless… WEST drops immortal singles like clocks drop minutes. But his 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was also his coming-of-age as a live performer: “WEST delivered a grandiose, theatrical performance destined to be remembered as one of the great hip-hop sets of all time” (Hollywood Reporter). After reuniting with his old mate and collaborator Jay-Z for 2011’s Watch the Throne, an album partly recorded in Australia, WEST will again begin a new phase down under this summer. Can he get much higher? Keep an eye on the sky as KANYE WEST soars into BIG DAY OUT 2012.

When BIG DAY OUT was born 20 years ago, a new wave of music was emerging from the American northwest. At the crest ofthat wave was one of the most incendiary heavy rock bands of our time: SOUNDGARDEN.
It’s been fifteen years since they last graced our shores and the first time since 1997 SOUNDGARDEN will again playoutside of the USA! Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd – the Seattle foursome known as SOUNDGARDEN have chosen the BIG DAY OUT to mark their triumphant return to the international stage and we are thrilled to welcome them back. “This is one reunited band that can pick up right where it left off” (New York Times). SOUNDGARDEN played their first BIG DAY OUT in 1994 – the year the seminal Superunknown was unleashed. In 1997, they returned for seconds, only to split up in February of that year. Now, 2012 will bring a brand new album and the group’s long-awaited return down under. Those who were there the first time, and for those who only know the legend, BIG DAY OUT presents the one, the only: SOUNDGARDEN.

KASABIAN aren’t the type of band to make promises they can’t keep. So, when they sing, “Hit me, harder! I’m getting rewired. I flick the switch that makes you feel electric, even faster than before…” you know they’re heading back to make BIG DAY OUT electric. The Leicester lads have swaggered into BIG DAY OUT twice before, but never this well armed. Their setlist is now wall-to-wall killers – Club Foot, Empire, Shoot the Runner, Fire, LSF … and the power-pop-stormin’-electro-psychedelic-rock’n’roll of their brand new album, Velociraptor! As Pizzorno says: “Any other band, anyone else in the world, has got to move out the way.” Heck, only one band inspires headlines like this anymore: “New York Police Department tell KASABIAN to ‘turn the volume down’” (NME, September 2011). Alert the authorities. KASABIAN are flicking the switch: BIG DAY OUT is about to get loud.

Pull the pin – MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE’s return to BIG DAY OUT is going to be explosive! After 2006’s game-changing rock opera The Black Parade, MCR went into hyperdrive, creating a dystopian, disco-punk future with 2010’s image-shattering Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. “MCR proved there’s hope for rock’n’roll with Danger Days,” said Artist Direct, “and with more live shows like this they could save the world.” As much theatre as live rock show, the MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE experience is summed up best in their song Planetary (Go!): “If my velocity starts to make you sweat, then just don’t let go!” Hold on tight: MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE are coming to wield their sonic superpowers at BIG DAY OUT 2012 .

GIN WIGMORE is about to release the follow-up to her award winning debut album Holy Smoke and for her legions of NZ fans the new album cannot come out soon enough. Holy Smoke propelled Gin to the top of the charts, selling four times platinum and making a star of the young Auckland singer – although the sheer force of her incredible voice and songwriting ability had always made success something of an inevitability. Songs that are this intelligent and soulful, a voice that is this raw and emotional, can’t stay hidden. We’re just glad to say that she is already back and we’re excited to have GIN WIGMORE on the BIG DAY OUT stage in 2012

First BATTLES re-imagined rock, creating innovative, ear-warping soundscapes with body-jerking beats. Now, “this phenomenal live band” (NME) have re-imagined themselves – and BATTLES Version 2.0 will put the Oh.My.God into BIG DAY OUT 2012. The New York trio – guitar and keys men Ian Williams and Dave Konopka, with anchoring force John Stanier on drums – dropped highly anticipated second album Gloss Drop in 2011, their instrumental math-rock complexity matching wits with sublimeguest vocalists (Gary Numan, anyone?). While much has changed, one thing remains the same: BATTLES are “a thrilling live proposition” (The Fly). See them capture chaos in a bottle at BIG DAY OUT 2012.

WOLF GANG! WOLF GANG! WOLF GANG! When we saw this LA hip hop collective tear up the stages at the 2011 SXSW Festival earlier this year, we knew they had to be a part of the 2012 BIG DAY OUT.

One-time Mint Chick Ruban Neilson’s late night home recording therapy project turned blogsensation, UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA has been one of the buzz bands of 2011. Ruban and his Portland OR cohorts Jake Portrait and Julien Ehrlich have spent the year touring UMO’s intoxicating blend of junkshop record collector pop, a sharp blend of Wu Tanged Beefheart blues that has had critics unanimous in their praise for what Pitchfork called “deliciously quirky pop” and NME called simply “genius” on the self-titled album released mid-2011. With Ruban’s guitar lines twisting around his troublegum vocals like vipers in a pool of purple smoke and Jake and Julianpowering sinuous breakbeat grooves along below, UMO’s live shows are proving a revelation too .

Hola! Bienvenidos a BIG DAY OUT 2012! Slap on a sombrero and take a ride to the magical place where Mexican mariachi music meets punk rock – the place known as MARIACHI EL BRONX. In their hardcore guise they go by the name The Bronx, and for this LA six-piece, “going acoustic and dressing in black charro outfits is probably the punkest move they could have taken” (NME). Heading our way armed with 2011’s Mariachi El Bronx II, their mix of traditional mariachi arrangements and instrumentation with conscious punk lyricism and energy “might well be the best of all of these things rolled into one bizarre and beautiful ball of effortless jolliness” (clashmusic). MARIACHI EL BRONX at BIG DAY OUT this summer? We’ve got a word for it: Ole!

One man. One laptop. Hundreds of samples. The ultimate party. When GIRL TALK powers up, BIG DAY OUT will party down. Mash-up king Greg Gillis has spent the last decadeputting the fun back on the dance floor, melding the unexpected – The Ramones bumping up against Missy Elliot, Lady Gaga getting it on with Soulja Boy – with one righteous aim: to make you dance. GIRL TALK’s “trademark on-the-fly additions make each show unique… By the end of the night, Gillis is ahead-banging shirtless sweat machine grinning from ear to ear” (SF Critic). In 2010 he melted the internet when his album All Day was unleashed as a free download, while in 2012 it’s the Boiler Room he’ll be melting. GIRL TALK makes his welcome return this summer to BIG DAY OUT 2012 .

Leading the Aussie charge onto the battlefields of BIG DAY OUT2012 are THE LIVING END and our troops couldn’t be in more capable hands. This will mark the band’s fifth appearance on the national tour and it’s safe to say Chris Cheney, Scott Owen and Andy Strachan have well and truly solidified their place in the annals of the BDO since their first showing in 1999. Evidently the trio have also made a huge impact on a national scale having landed the No. 4 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time with their self titled debut album . With their sixth album, The End is Just the Beginning Repeating, in tow the boys are set to write another, darker chapter, to their legacy withwhat they state is their most honest album to date. It’s no holds barred this time around, with THE LIVING END set to lay it bare. Make sure you pack your social conscience and your mosh pit stamina in to your survival packs, as we welcome back these BIG DAY OUT favourites .

Enter into the unknown with RÖYKSOPP at BIG DAY OUT 2012. Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland “are architects of an all-encompassing audiovisual experience … a balanced sonic constellation of bliss” (Urb). The Norwegian duo behind songs as infectious as Eple, What Else is There?, Only This Moment and The Girl and the Robot have spentmore than a dozen years exploring “places of strange beauty and disturbing darkness,” Berge says. From body armor to space helmets, chill-out to floor-fillers, theirs is a state where anything is possible. “Dance, electro-funk, pop, chillwave or some kind of techno-classical orchestra” – wherever RÖYKSOPP lie – “you probably danced your ass off” (1001 Nights in the City). The unexpected is expected when RÖYKSOPP take the stage at BIG DAY OUT.

“You better run, better run…” It’s not just an insanely catchy chorus, it’s a call to arms: you better run all the way to BIG DAY OUT to bask in the glow of California’s FOSTER THE PEOPLE. When this LA synth-pop trio let loose Pumped Up Kicks on the net, they couldn’t predict it would infect radio airwaves the world over (Aussies voted it into #32 in triple j’s Hottest 100 of 2010). The trio backed it up with their debut album, Torches – full of “insanely catchy pop” said The Observer – and slots on prestigious festivals from Coachella to Reading. Now it’s our turn to witness FOSTER THE PEOPLE “send hordes of indie kids into dancing frenzies” (KROQ). ’Tis the season for FOSTER THE PEOPLE at BIG DAY OUT 2012 – the sound of summer .

As one half of Frontline on the Dirty Records label, 18 year-old DAVID DALLAS was Con Psy, killing us with his rapidfire verse on Scribe’s timeless “Not Many”. Fast forward to today and Dallas has amassed an impressive history of ticked boxes. Critically lauded debut solo album? Check. Best Hip-hop Album NZ Music Award? Check. Prestigious American record label deal? Check. Surgically precise wordplay few can approach? Check that shit. DAVID DALLAS’ 2011 sophomore The Rose Tint scored 20k downloads inits first 3 weeks of release from his website in mid-2011. Props from Kanye, MTV, The Source, 50 Cent and more now point to his being on the verge of something big. Stay tuned, this NZ rapper is officially the one to watch.

CUT OFF YOUR HANDS launched spectacularly on the indie scene in 2007, signing in quick succession with SpeaknSpell, US label Frenchkiss andthen 679 in the UK. Their frenetic lives shows became a talking point all over, CUT OFF YOUR HANDS toured relentlessly and they are now back with a brilliant second album. Hollow, that recently released album from these well-travelled Aucklanders, has been getting five star raves locally as well as already hitting the radar of Pitchfork, who called it an album for “anyone who pines for the days of classic college rock”.

Wellington’s BEASTWARS have become the essential metal act of the year, armed with a ferocious debut that a five star NZ Herald review gushed was “a mongrel mix of Kyuss, Neurosis, and the mighty Godflesh, BEASTWARS bring together pummelling intensity, beautiful brutality, and sonic paranoia to create a sound all oftheir own.” Over the past four years, the quartet has – hardly quietly mind you – been building a reputation as the fiercest band in the land. Most recently they opened for Kyuss – much to Nick Olivier’s delight as he watched side of stage – and headlined a national tour. BEASTWARS live by these 3 simple words, “Obey the Riff” .

Open the gates and stand clear – BIG DAY OUT 2012 is about to unleash CAGE THE ELEPHANT. This Kentucky five-piece stomped all the way to No.2 on the US charts with their second album, 2011’s Thank You, Happy Birthday. Onstage, their super-catchy anthems, trippy jams and ferocious odes to staying true to yourself are “twice as scorching” (Baltimore Sun), while frontman Matt Shultz is more often than not found surfing the hands of the audience or singing from the pit … all while wearing a frock. “An extreme live experience,” said Indie Shuffle. “Get there early, get close, and be prepared for an in-your-face show.” BIG DAY OUT is prepared. Are you?

GHOST WAVE ambled onto the scene in 2011 as yet another of those perfectlyformed Kiwi garage bands armed with a debut EP – all echoes of The Clean and 3Ds and other Flying Nun greats. Its mix of snotty pop songs and gentle psychedelia retained that ‘close to the practice room’ feel that’s worked since the Velvet Underground’s time and their first single “Sunsetter” hit the top of the NZ alternative chart for three weeks. When they get onstage GHOST WAVE show they can already work the swell of a scruffy two chord anthem into something truly magical. Certainly the pick of the new bunch when it comes to the latest instalment in New Zealand’s enduring affair with indie guitar rock.

A sister duo originally from Croatia, MAYAVANYA’s eclectic, fun-filled DJ sets have got had Auckland dancefloors pumping hard for the past couple of years and they now find their “work” has them travelling all over the globe – spinning records from Ibiza to the Miami Winter Music Conference and everywhere in between, and winning Beatport’s Ultimate Next Generation DJs award amongst accolades along the way. From upfront House, Tech-house, Oldschool to Tropical and Tribal House mixed Dub and Big Basslines, MAYAVANYA’s sets are upfront brilliant fun.

Summer down under – sun, surf, BIG DAY OUT… and BEST COAST. Born of California’s endless sunshine and a healthy dose of heartbreak, BEST COAST are “a noise-pop match made in heaven” (The Guardian). Flanked by multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno and drummer Ali Koehler, singer/songwriterBethany Cosentino’s bittersweet beach tunes blend “the vulnerability of Girly Sound-era Liz Phair with a budget version of Phil Spector’s wall-of-sound splendour,” says Spin. Their debut album, Crazy For You, is “carefree and instantly likeable” (Pitchfork), while onstage they’re endearing, funny and fast. And Cosentino’s voice – “that’s the killer blow,” reckons The Fly. Sunshine is guaranteed when BEST COAST play BIG DAY OUT 2012.

Nobody rides a skateboard like TONY HAWK. The San Diego native turned pro at 14 and was a world champ two years later – a record-breaking 73 wins to his name. Skip forward to 2011, and there’s not much TONY HAWK hasn’t done: launching major skateboard and clothing companies (Birdhouse Skateboards, Hawk Clothing), taking over the gaming world (Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Tony Hawk: RIDE), penning a New York Times bestseller, building giant roller coasters, creating epic extreme sports exhibitions, and overseeing the TonyHawk Foundation, who’ve built 463 skate parks throughout the USA so far. After landing the first ever ‘900’ – two and a half mid-air spins, a trick he’d dreamt of a decade earlier – the most famous skateboarder on the planet retired from competitive skating at 31. His first appearance at BIG DAY OUT was way back in 1996 when he caused a frenzy pulling off 9 x McTwist’s in a row while Rage Against The Machine played “Killing In The Name Of”. It has become one of those special moments in BIG DAY OUT history; now, TONY HAWK is back, this time with his Vert Jam Team – stay tuned as we unveil more on skateboardings rightful return to the BIG DAY OUT stage. In the meantime take comfort in knowing you’ll see TONY HAWK fly at BIG DAY OUT 2012.

So in summary, the stellar first inductees of the BIG DAY OUT 2012 are:



Maurice Road, Penrose. Gates open 11am

Tickets $160 (incl GST) + bf*. Strict limit of 4 tickets per customer. Available from our website , Ticketmaster , phone bookings (09) 970 9700 plus all Ticketmaster outlets and Real Groovy (Auckland).



You will be asked to read and agree to our Conditions of Sale and Admission before you can purchase tickets. Conditions of Sale and Admission can be viewed at

BDO 2012 is MA15. People under 15 should NOT purchase a ticket as they are not allowed into the event.
For full show information and internet ticket bookings check out the website

*booking fees may vary pending on outlet & mode of purchase

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