Perth Big Day Out 2013 forced to end early

Big Day Out 2013 will be forced to finish early in Perth due to noise complaints from residents in the Claremont area.

While the timetables released earlier this month have Sleigh Bells ending their set at 10.30pm and Crystal Castles closing the festival at 11pm, the entire schedule will have to be dragged back an hour earlier. To compensate for the earlier closing time, the festival will now be allowed to start an hour earlier at 10am.

West Australian Environment Minister, Bill Marmion says that he made the decision to force the early ending to the festival after considering the council’s views and advice from the Department of Environment and Conservation about ways to mitigate noise concerns. In addition to being forced to close the show at 10pm, the festival will also have to comply with DEC noise level monitoring throughout the event. According to Marmion the conditions enable “some exceedences of noise levels” to take into account factors such as changing winds or unusual weather conditions over which the organisers have no control. Marmion says that while he acknowledges that it is challenging to manage the festival’s noise issues he believes that the conditions of approval are reasonable and the organisers should be able to comply with them.

The Town of Claremont had wanted to go further, denying the festival’s application to use the Claremont showgrounds. Mayor Jock Barker didn’t want the event to return, announcing earlier this year that “the Big Day Out is not welcome and I don’t want to see it back in Claremont. I was happy to see the back of it. It does nothing useful for the town.” Claremont councillor Peter Browne also vehemently opposed the festival’s return and wants to ensure that BDO and similar concerts are banned at the showgrounds. Browne complained in March that the benefits of concerts such as the Big Day Out are “hopelessly outweighed by the intolerable noise, the late finish, the high level of criminal activity and general social misbehaviour in and outside of the grounds.”