Pro­mot­ers pull plug af­ter poor Aussie per­for­mance

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By JESS ETHERIDGE and MICHELLE DUFF

IT MAY re­turn to Auck­land in 2016 but the fact that next year’s Big Day Out has been canned could cost the city more than $2 mil­lion.

Re­gional Fa­cil­i­ties Auck­land says this year’s event con­trib­uted $2.7m to the city’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct.

About 41,000 fans at­tended the Jan­uary 17 event, in­clud­ing more than 14,000 from out­side Auck­land, RFA’s sta­dium man­age­ment arm di­rec­tor Paul Nis­bet says.

Or­gan­is­ers hold the re­source con­sent to host the fes­ti­val at Western Springs for another four years de­spite the 2015 hia­tus. Nis­bet says there has been no breach of the five-year agree­ment be­tween Big Day Out and RFA.

Big Day Out’s New Zealand pro­moter Camp­bell Smith says the de­ci­sion came af­ter the Aus­tralian tour per­formed poorly.

Smith says he is gut­ted the mu­sic fes­ti­val will not re­turn to Auck­land next year.

‘‘We had a great show in New Zealand this year. I think we had the ben­e­fit of hav­ing a year off in 2013 and mov­ing to a new venue [Western Springs].’’

The Big Day Out first came to New Zealand in 1994 and ran for 18 years at Mt Smart Sta­dium. But it has been plagued by fi­nan­cial woes in re­cent years.

The event found a new home at Western Springs Sta­dium this year af­ter the 2013 event was can­celled.

Waitem­ata Lo­cal Board spokesman for arts and cul- ture Greg Moyle says this year’s Big Day Out was fan­tas­tic and im­por­tant for peo­ple of all ages.

The board is ‘‘deeply dis­ap­pointed’’ the 2015 fes­ti­val has been canned but is ‘‘re­lieved’’ it ap­pears it is on for 2016, he says.

Big Day Out does not cost the ratepayer much and or­gan­is­ers han­dle the event well, he says.

‘‘The pro­mot­ers are tak­ing the fi­nan­cial risk. We should work hard to help them.’’

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour and click Lat­est Edi­tion to see high­lights from Big Day Out 2014.

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