Video: Blur The Universal Live @ Hyde Park, 2012
Blur and the Big Day Out are no longer friends. Blur announced today that they have cancelled their appearance at the 2014 Big Day Out. Speculation on the street seems to point towards the lack of Blur sideshows announced last week. The lack of sideshows is probably due to low Big Day Out ticket sales despite the major headliners thrown at the 2014 line-up (Pearl Jam, Blur & Arcade Fire).
Blur posted up the news on their Facebook earlier today:
Devastated to report that Blur won’t be performing at BDO in 2014. It’s a shock that it has come to this.
Only 8 weeks to go, the band feels that with the constantly shifting goalposts and challenging conditions of the organisers, they can’t let it drag on any longer and want to make this announcement, to be clear to Blur fans that they won’t be there. We’ve done our very best to work with the organisers and considered every option to make it happen, but they’ve let us down and let everyone else down too.
It’s no secret that a lot of Blur fans weren’t too keen to go to the Big Day Out just to see one act. It’s 17 years too late. Blur should have played a Big Day Out back in their heyday. From Parklife era onwards, Blur could have piled in the Aussie fans into a Big Day Out arena. I’m not suggesting that Blur can’t sell out arenas in Australia today. They probably will.
I managed to fight tooth and nail for a Blur ticket in 1997 as they were playing in reasonable small venues. I saw Blur play at the Caulfield campus of Monash University, up-close-and-personal with the boys from Blur. It never made sense to me that they didn’t play a larger venue at the time. Song 2 was pretty much the song of 1997*.
Did I buy a Big Day Out ticket just to see Blur? No. Will I go to see them in their own show, most likely (if the ticket price is reasonable). Am I old and afraid of festivals? No, but I don’t see the value in spending $185+ for a 45-80 minute set on a potentially shitty day for weather… unless there are 5-7 other bands I’m keen on. Simple equation, right?
Big Day Out need to reinvent themselves to ever pique my interest again. You can’t throw 40 bands together and presume punters will come for just one act. You still need to create some synergies in the line-up and the stages.
Furthermore, we all know someone who had to go to the BDO as a rite of passage. That’s how teens across the land seemed to stamp their indie authority. Why is a 15-year-old going to go mad for Pearl Jam, Blur or Arcade Fire?
When I was stuck in high school pining to go to the Big Day Out, it was only on in Sydney and fucking Nirvana were on the bill! Thankfully, SBS recorded some of the festivities and I got to at least hear Nirvana and Henry Rollins (with the Hard-Ons) at the first BDO in the comfort of my living room.
If you did buy a ticket to see Blur at the Big Day Out you should be entitled to a refund. BDO organisers are scrambling as we speak to fill the void vacated by Blur.
I’d suggest they find something to appease the 15 year olds this time around.
* Granted, a lot of great songs were released in 1997, a 2.02 minute belter with an easy chant of Woo hoo is always going to rate highly!
Previously on Sampling Station:
- Del Tha Funkee Homosapien in Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz
- Nirvana: In Utero 20th Anniversary Box Set
- Beck is Too Sexy for My Blog