As one half of Purple Sneakers DJs I fortunately had the privilege of playing at BDO yesterday with my main man Randall Stagg (he’s the broad shouldered one in the above photo DJing). We had a pretty cushy set in the Boiler Room between Bluejuice and Odd Future, which meant that we had a very packed room to smash out a set to. And smash it we did!!! [See attached photos for evidence of 'smashingness']
Now I’m not much of a writer, and far be it for me to be a critic of events and festivals either – there’s a saying about casting stones and being the first (I think it came from a pretty old book). And fuck me you could probably pick holes in the Purple Sneakers parties we’ve thrown around the country in the past (sticky carpets, shitty DJs, vomit on your shoes, alcohol poisoning etc). So I’ll save that shit to those who get paid for it. I just thought I’d share with you my Big Day Out 2012 in the simplest words and photos…
It would be pretty easy to get on the bandwagon and diss the Big Day Out for being so… well ‘big’ I guess, and experiencing the well recorded effects of being big and having to face facts that, like super clubs in the 90s, at some point everything that goes up must come down. And let’s be honest, BDO is not ‘the hip person’s festival of choice’ is it? Compared to the other more niche options out there like Laneway Festival, Playground Weekender, Meredith, Golden Plains etc it doesn’t really stack up in terms of punter experience. Particularly if you aren’t either: a) in your teens, or b) a massive fan of Soundgarden and/or My Chemical Romance. For the record I’m neither of those.
But at the same time it is what it is. It’s the fuckin Big Day Out and it’s meant to be big. And if you want to put on a large event then you gotta appeal to a broader audience and you can’t expect to cater to a niche. Or can you?
Aside from the obvious highlight of the day (which just in case you didn’t get it the first time was playing to thousands and thousands of munted kids) there was also some very quality bands to see.
On the drive in to the festival in my head I kinda put the bands playing into 4 categories:
- Acts I had no interest in seeing: Soundgarden; The Living End, My Chemical Romance, Parkway Drive, Hilltop Hoods etc.
- Acts I had seen previously and wasn’t too bothered to see again: Kanye, Foster The People, Cage The Elephant, Odd Future, Mariachi El Bronx, The Vaccines, Girl Talk, Nero etc.
- Acts I had seen before and wanted to see again cos they are rad: Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Architecture in Helsinki, Miss Kittin, Best Coast, Das Racist.
- And most importantly, acts that I had never seen and wanted to see for sure: Battles, Royksopp & Bassnectar.
And that is the amazing thing about Big Day Out, regardless of it being teeming with juveniles and littered with rubbish, I can’t really complain, cos I dodged the bands I would rather avoid and I still got to see 8 acts that I really wanted to see. I spent the day strolling around and listening/watching acts that I was truly interested in seeing, and this niche was well and truly catered for.
So that’s the thing with Big Day Out, cos no matter how up your own ass you wanna get about how it’s no longer cool or is too big or whatever, the fact is that it’s just fuckin big and those issues are unavoidable at an event that large. And if you are complaining about that stuff then you are probably not the target market, so don’t pay the big bucks and get over it.
But if you do end up going, or like me you got a freebie, then suck it in, put yer indie hipster twat ego aside, put a hard hat on, and just enjoy the music. Cos at the end of the day the bottom line is all about the music. And I for one am glad that me and a whole bunch of kids got to see a shitload of good music yesterday.
Out. Martin Novosel [aka PhDJ]
[Apologies photos taken on iPhone]