18 Jan 2012

Council keen to replace Big Day Out festival

8:09 pm on 18 January 2012

The Auckland Council says it will step in and look for another event to take over from one the country's largest festivals, the Big Day Out.

The New Zealand organisers of the festival announced on Tuesday it would be pulling the pin due to low ticket sales and the high cost of securing international artists.

The trans-Tasman event started in 1994 and has run all but one year since. Friday will be the last time the event is held at the Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

However, a spokesperson for the council-run organisation which controls Mt Smart says he is confident the Big Day Out will be replaced by something bigger and better.

Paul Brewer says the council is in a good position to make sure there will be exciting festivals held in January next year.

The council was only told on Tuesday that the festival was being axed, he says.

Festival demise 'inevitable'

This year's Big Day Out has been plagued with bad publicity after headline act Kanye West was dropped and organisers admitted they could no longer afford high-profile international acts.

Representatives from local groups Opshop and Supergroove, which have both played at the event, say the demise was an inevitable after a number of other equally good festivals were launched in New Zealand.

They say the loss of the Big Day Out will have no major impact on the music scene as the festival is no longer a status symbol for local artists.

Big Day Out's New Zealand promoter Campbell Smith says it is very expensive bringing artists to New Zealand for just one show.

He says the financial loss from this year's event is significant.

Mr Smith says the festival barely breaks when it sells out and it was financially impossible to continue.