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EXCLUSIVE: Ken West Reveals Who Won’t Be Playing Big Day Out

The 2014 logo revealed
Jul 12th 2013 | 4:30pm | Scott Fitzsimons
Neither Kanye West, Jay-Z or Neil Young will be on this year's Big Day Out line-up next year according to festival promoter Ken West.

Speaking to this afternoon about the future of the festival and the recently-released artwork, West said that he and designer James Bellesini went with the DNA-styled logo for the 2014 touring festival because it represented a “deeper layer” of the festival.

Developed over some late night research with Bellesini, “with some vodka a lot of the time”, West told today, “Another way of saying that every year we do this we try and re-invent the wheel.”

He said, “I really like the idea of fiddling around with [the festival's] DNA… I don't like doing it the same each year, as much as [co-promoters] C3 would love me to use the same branded logo every year.”

The festival, whose dates were leaked earlier today  - prompting the artwork discussion, has placed a lot of time and resources into exploring new technologies for their next event, which has been evident since their $20,000 Big Day Out Evolution Grant was launched at SXSW. Last year the festival funded the completion of the Compressorhead robot band (they played live instruments at the event) and West said he enjoyed providing the robotic technicians with a wider audience for their project.

The long-time promoter said that he was going so far as to explore smell and temperature changes for the event, but all ideas are in an early stage. “We had 20 or 30 ideas all at the same time and five or six made it through that. But it won't be an idea until it's actually happening, so we probably won't be able to announce until September.”

As a result of today's leak, it has emerged that there will be two Sydney events back-to-back, which West told he feels the festival has the market for.

“We didn't feel the need to fool anybody… [US-based co-promoters] C3 felt, and I felt the same way, that if you've got it – flaunt it.”

He added that given both dates are on the weekend, “We want people to be able to choose which day they want to go, and if they want to go to two they can make that commitment at the time… It's an experiment, it's the same show twice apart from local bands, and a few bands have indicated that they'll play different sets… it might be a total fuck-up, but it feels right.”

In 2004 the festival held two Sydney shows to cater for the mass of Metallica fans, with West telling the band at the time, “If you can deal with the concept of not having a sell-out, we have a better answer for our audience.”

As part of the Big Day Out 're-invention' West didn't want to deceive fans by having a second show planned, but hidden away, and intended to be giving punters as much information as possible. “I've been through enough Facebook hate,” he said.

Keeping line-up hints close to his chest he said that there was likely to be three main headliners, while noting that neither Kanye West, Jay-Z or Neil Young would be any one of them.

“I was hoping for one 'White Whale', managed to get two and ended up with three,” he said.


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