Maddah: Big Day Out’s Blur replacement could be announced this week
This according to new investor AJ Maddah in an interview with Raf Epstein on 774 ABC radio yesterday afternoon (listen in full below). “We’ve cast a fairly wide net because of the time frame [and] we hope to announce replacements this week,” Maddah said. He also rejected the idea that Blur’s cancellation had put the future of the Big Day Out in danger. “If anything, it’s galvanised us to work even harder and put on a better show,” he explained. “We’re already planning 2015. We’re going to have a great show this year; it’s looking good.”
Blur blindsided fans and promoters with a statement issued via social media on Sunday, claiming they had cancelled their BDO appearances in January due to “constantly shifting goalposts and challenging conditions of the organisers”. “We’re massively disappointed obviously,” Maddah told Epstein. “We’re also, obviously, massively disappointed by their conduct.”
The band had been scheduled to close the festival by headlining a specially built “Love Stage”, but had apparently asked to swap places with Arcade Fire and play before Pearl Jam on the main stage. According to a tweet from Maddah, the band had also been offered the option to play a sideshow for an increased fee – at Sydney’s Hordern Pavillion – but had knocked back that offer. “We said ‘yes’ to every reasonable demand that didn’t involve us changing legislation in Western Australia [where a 10pm curfew is imposed] or swapping them with Arcade Fire,” Maddah explained. “We said ‘yes’ to them having their own stage. We said ‘yes’ to every production request. We said ‘yes’ to every travel request. We said ‘yes’ to everything. We don’t know what the issue is.”
Maddah claimed that Blur’s decision to cancel their Big Day Out tour wasn’t an isolated incident. “We actually found out today that they did the same thing when they cancelled their Asian tour,” Maddah said. “Pretty much the same language and those promoters also found out via Facebook. They were a bit bewildered by what the band was going on about.”
While Maddah chose not to reveal specifics of that tour, Blur had been booked to headline this year’s Tokyo Rocks festival, alongside the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, Carl Barat and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. However, just six weeks before the festival was due to take place, the promoters cancelled the event citing vague “management problems” as the reason. A sideshow in Taipei was also dropped from Blur’s schedule following the cancellation of the festival. See the full statement below.