Big Day Out a fizzer

ONE thing was cemented in my mind last Thursday, and that is that The Big Day Out is not for music fans, it is for people who think they are.

I was one of those people who watched my Twitter and Facebook feeds from 8pm last Thursday as the sometimes grand people at The Big Day Out headquarters did their staggered line-up release.

That was my first issue with the 2012 run of festivals. It, in all honesty, took too long.

The first announcement, which included one band, was made at 8pm. Single band announcements then followed at 20-minute intervals until about 11pm.

Then people were told to tune into Tom and Alex from 6am on Friday to find out who the three head-liners were.

And in case you missed them, they were Kanye West, Soundgarden and Kasabian.

While I think Soundgarden being back in the country is kind of awesome, Kanye was in the Land of Oz a matter of months ago, and performed a pretty average set at Splendour in the Grass.

The only thing about his set that I will be interested in is to see if he brings back his 20 g-string clad dancers for round two of Kanye worship.

The rest of the line-up is token Aussie bands who have been on every line up in the past 12 months.

I would also like to point out that this is the Big Day Out's 20th Anniversary tour, so I feel that a lot of fans thought they would bring out the big guns, and considering there were heavy rumours of the likes of Blink 182, Pearl Jam and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the guns were not fired.

There was also a significant hype surrounding the first release of the line-up. Every hour before they began to let the names drop, a Big Day Out Vault was opened, which gave fans access to interviews, footage and memorabilia from every Big Day Out tour since its inception in 1992 when Nirvana headlined.

Back then it offered something real, and kind of pure to the Australian music scene, but now they are too big, too mainstream, and too repetitive.

These vaults cast light on pretty awesome festivals of days gone by when seeing a band like The Smashing Pumpkins or The Breeders or Hole or Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, on these shores especially, really meant something. The Big Day Out was the place you went for this sort of musical experience. There were subversive elements; this was the alternative and not the mainstream - still, if only just. This was, actually, a big day out. But it was not over stacked. It was do-able.

Now, increasingly, The Big Day Out is about anything but the music - a see and be seen scene for teens, tweens, in-betweens - kids with the power to convince mum and dad that they must go because, well, like, everyone is going.

So we must.

For me, it's not worth the $160+ asking price to deal with the heat, the crowds and the people who act like idiots and ruin the once awesome vibe.

What do you think of the line-up? Leave a comment below.

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