Australia’s most iconic music festival is turning 21 and with its coming of age, the Big Day Out has undergone some exciting and radical new changes.
One of Australia’s most esteemed annual music events already underwent some big changes at the start of the year, when festival promoter Ken West – following the dissolution of his business partnership with Vivian Lees – announced a new creative partnership with C3 Presents, the promotional brains responsible for Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits Music Festival.
An industry move that helped establish greater artist buying power and expansion of both the Big Day Out and Lollapalooza brands. The new partnership also helped create many opportunities for Australian and international artists to play across the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and promised a fresh, bold reinvention of the music festival.
“We felt the result of last year was that the brand was damaged, but not unrepairable. Otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here doing it and C3 wouldn’t have foolishly gotten involved,” said West in a recent interview.
First there was the lineup, featuring headliners Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Killers, along with a strong indie bill that includes Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Animal Collective, Vampire Weekend, plus the likes of Bloody Beetroots, Death Grips, Alabama Shakes, Gary Clark Jr, Band of Horses and many more.
Now, as part of the reinvention from the bottom up, West and the whole team at Big Day Out have announced they are embracing the art of creating great festival food as part of the expanding BDO experiential lifestyle experience.
Proving that really good food should be egalitarian and everywhere, the concept is called ‘Chow Town’ and is named after the tasty town from its sister festival, Lollapalooza in Chicago.
The Australian version of Chow Town will provide music lovers another dimension to their Big Day Out experience, a taste experience. Think a Rock’n’Roll version of the Good Food and Wine Festival; a grazing ground paradise for foodies, vegetarians and those who cannot stomach another greasy chicken nugget.
With renegade Porteno/Bodega boys Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz as the ‘Culinary Outlaw’ ambassadors for Chow Town, you can expect food that is music to your mouth. Milgate and Abrahanowicz are shouting out to the food fraternity across the country to ensure that Chow Town will showcase some of Australia’s headlining and award winning chefs with their signature, hand held dishes.
Some dishes under consideration are American Barbeque style Brisket and Pulled Pork, Lobster Corn Dogs, hand held Tostadas de Atun Fresco, Chinese duck Bao’s and more… As any dedicated foodie will testify, truly great food can make, or break a day, and the Big Day Out seem to have put their money where their mouth is.
Setting up mini-versions of Australia’s finest and most acclaimed restaurants as pop up style eateries in a ‘Hawkers Market’ oasis location, Chow Town will offer punters a chance to sample cuisine from the best of every city, in one place.
Milgate and Abrahanowicz’s curated ‘city by city’ list of chefs, restaurateurs and foodies have been assembled to provide a unique, localvore, sustainable, delicious and culturally empathetic food experience for each Big Day Out location. Expect some big local foodie names in Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth.
“As live music fans the opportunity to revolutionize the way our other passion, Food is experienced within the walls of the festival world is the ultimate recipe for our idea of a Big Day Out.” Ben Milgate, Porteno/ Bodega and Big Day Out Culinary Outlaw
“Musicians are often passionate foodies, many chefs imbibe Rock’n’Roll and restaurateurs create playlists that are lovingly selected for their venues. The love of music and food is universal and we are bringing it to Big Day Out, it will be a win win for everyone,” says Ken West, Big Day Out Creator / Director
According to West the response towards Chow Town from Australia’s leading chefs, restaurateurs, and hospitality industry so far, has been phenomenal. Chow Town at Big Day Out will launch the names of their confirmed culinary line up of Australian foodie legends in November 2012.
The move comes as West also revealed that the festival has refocused their attention on the not just the quality of the acts but the quality of their performances on the day.
“I think the freshness with it is there,” West says of the lineup. “I know the dynamics of the day and the flow from the time sheets I’ve done…we want to make sure bands get to play their full sets this year. Animal Collective will play for an hour and a half. Chili Peppers will play for an hour and a half.”
Tickets are still available for each date of Big Day Out 2013, although West warns that Sydney could sell out in a matter of weeks. Full dates, lineup, and details below.
BIG DAY OUT 2013 // FULL LINEUP & TICKET DETAILS
Tickets are one sale now at www.bigdayout.com for the all-inclusive price of $165 or $265 for the Like A Boss ticket. Until September 23 Big Day Out is offering Pay Over Time Ticketing where you can pay for your ticket (GA & Like A Boss) in 4 instalments, with the final instalment happening just in time for the Christmas stocking. Visit www.bigdayout.com and follow the ticket links for your city. Then choose the Pay Over Time option.
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS (Exclusive Australian Shows) / THE KILLERS / YEAH YEAH YEAHS / VAMPIRE WEEKEND / BAND OF HORSES / THE BLOODY BEETROOTS (LIVE) / KASKADE / ANIMAL COLLECTIVE / B.o.B / SLEIGH BELLS / FOALS / ALABAMA SHAKES / 360 / CRYSTAL CASTLES / PRETTY LIGHTS / OFF! / GRINSPOON / AGAINST ME! / GARY CLARK JR / NICKY ROMERO / MORGAN PAGE / LOGO EVERY TIME I DIE / DELTA SPIRIT / CHILDISH GAMBINO / ME / HUNTING GROUNDS / JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD / DEATH GRIPS / ADVENTURE CLUB / JAGWAR MA / HOUSE VS HURRICANE / AVALANCHE CITY TOUCAN / HELENA / NINA LAS VEGAS / SAMPOLOGY (AV / DJ SHOW)
Friday 18 January – SYDNEY – Showground
Sunday 20 January – GOLD COAST – Parklands
Friday 25 January – ADELAIDE – Showground
Saturday 26 January – MELBOURNE – Flemington Racecourse
Monday 28 January – PERTH – Claremont Showgrounds
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