Venues vie to be new home of Big Day Out

Airbourne lead vocalist Joel O'Keeffe performs at Big Day Out 2011.
Airbourne lead vocalist Joel O'Keeffe performs at Big Day Out 2011. Marc Stapelberg

WITH Big Day Out organisers looking for a new home for the Gold Coast leg of the festival, venues across Queensland and northern NSW are courting the long-running event.

Big Day Out CEO Adam Zammit announced over the weekend that the festival was looking for a new home after it was announced the Gold Coast Parklands would be redeveloped as an athlete's village for the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Large crowds at the 2011 Big Day Out at Gold Coast Parklands.
Large crowds at the 2011 Big Day Out at Gold Coast Parklands. Marc Stapelberg

Negotiations with the state government have reportedly broken down, leaving the future location of the festival, which has been held on the Gold Coast since 1994, up in the air.

So where could the festival go?

There's a range of festival site options from Byron Bay through Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

 Here's our list of the top spots and why they may, or may not, be suited to handle the Big Day Out:

RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane: The Showgrounds are regularly used for large events, including the Soundwave music festival, and would be central for Brisbane residents and those travelling from the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. There's plenty of public transport options and most of the infrastructure is already there. But Mr Zammit has said the BDO is not "metro focused" and that he has no plans to move it to Brisbane.

Woodfordia, Sunshine Coast: The home of the Woodford Folk Festival has already proven it can handle larger crowds after hosting Splendour in the Grass for two years. There were issues with crowd flow and bottlenecking as thousands of punters poured out of the Amphitheatre each night, but by and large Woodfordia could handle close to the 38,000 punters that attended Gold Coast Big Day Out last year. Woodfordia is also an easy drive from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Toowoomba. The one major drama with Woodfordia is the timing. With the Woodford Folk Festival wrapping up on New Year's Day, it would be a tight squeeze to turn the site around in time for the traditional Gold Coast date of January 20.

Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay: While organiser Peter Noble has showed no interest in hosting any other events at Tyagarah, the new home of Bluesfest is perfectly suited to Big Day Out. The layout of parking, roads and the festival site itself would easily accommodate for the Big Day Out's crowds and five stages. It's a short drive south from the Gold Coast and Brisbane, and there are no other major music festivals held in Byron in January. But without Noble's support Tyagarah is not an option for BDO organisers.

Yelgun, Byron Bay: If Splendour in the Grass organisers manage to get their new Yelgun site set up for this year's festival, it could be used for Big Day Out in 2014. But with that still up in the air it might not be a reliable option for BDO organisers. Mr Zammit has also been quoted as saying Byron doesn't need "another music festival".

Avica Resort, Gold Coast: The former home of the V Festival is one of the few viable alternatives on the Gold Coast. While the position of the Resort's owners is not known, the site was a successful home to the V Festival. Aside from agreement from the resort's owners, the other main issue with Avica Resort is that it has not hosted an event as large as the BDO.

Botanical Gardens and Brisbane Riverstage: The home of Parklife, Future Music and many concerts, the Riverstage and surrounding gardens could possible accommodate the size of the BDO. But again, festival organisers don't seem keen to hold the festival in Brisbane despite the central location and public transport.

Far North Queensland: Both Cairns and Townsville has expressed interest in hosting the festival. While Mr Zammit acknowledged the groundwork laid by the Groovin the Moo festival held each year in Townsville, he has not expressed a keen interest in moving the festival so far north.  Hosting the BDO in Cairns or Townsville would mean many punters who have traditionally attending the Gold Coast event might be deterred by the additional costs of booking flights and accommodation.

Where would you like to see Big Day Out? Leave a comment below.

Are you sad Big Day Out is leaving the Gold Coast Parklands?

This poll ended on 31 May 2013.

Yes - 41%

No - 58%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



Topics:  big day out editors picks music festival

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