Big Day Out promoters have pulled the plug on the event next year and called on governments in WA to subsidise music festivals the same way they do sporting events.
Today promoter AJ Maddah revealed that Sunday’s Big Day Out at Arena Joondalup will be our last.
“Definitely … it’s the end of an area,” the outspoken festival organiser said.
Mr Maddah said that poor sales of about 15,000 tickets combined with the high costs of bringing the multi-stage event west made the Big Day Out financially unfeasible in Perth.
He said the former summer institution had not recovered from 2012, when rap superstar Kanye West was dropped from the Perth line-up and a paltry crowd turned up to the Victoria Park foreshore.
“People have lost faith in the event in recent years,” Mr Maddah, who bought into the Big Day Out last year, said.
The festival made its Perth debut in 1993, the year after launching with one concert in Sydney.
Earlier this month, organisers shifted the event from its usual home at Claremont Showground to Arena Joondalup.
While Mr Maddah looked forward to “going out with a bang” at Arena Joondalup, he said steep transportation, accommodation and noise monitoring costs in WA made the festival financially unfeasible.
“We can’t put the price up $10 per ticket in Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne so we can go to Perth and lose a pile of money,” he said.
Mr Maddah said the State Government or a white knight could save the summer institution for WA music fans next year, if they were willing to cover losses.
The Big Day Out will continue next year in other cities, including Adelaide, which is also financially risky but closer to the east coast.