Perth Big Day Out was bad for school kids, says local council

Promoter AJ Maddah says that Perth will never host another Big Day Out due to poor sales, the high cost of touring the multi-stage event, and government interference. However, according to Claremont council, there’s another reason: The festival was keeping school kids awake at night.

“I’m not happy to see the festival go, but I’m happy to see the bad behaviour go,” Claremont Council CEO Steven Goode told triple j’s Hack last night. “The total disregard for the community the event was held in just got to the stage to where people were quite impatient about it. It is true though that the council didn’t like the events going until late into the evening before the kids go back to school.” Claremont mayor Jock Barker has also been a vocal opponent of the festival, linking the event with “appalling antisocial and criminal behaviour”, and suggesting that festival punters are known for using “language [that] is suitable for the gutter”.

The Big Day Out had been involved in a long-running battle with Claremont Council and the West Australian Government over start and finish times. The Perth festival was moved from the 40,000-capacity Claremont Showground to Arena Joondalup – about 25 kilometres north of Perth – just weeks before the event.

Maddah also said he’s pessimistic about the future of music festivals in Perth altogether. “In [the] case of Soundwave it is not ticket sales which I am very happy with,” Maddah noted. “It’s state and Local Govs making it impossible … I reckon there will be zero festivals going to WA in 2015.”

The final Perth Big Day Out ended at 10.30pm on Sunday night with sets from Pearl Jam and Major Lazer. The event was attended by 19,000 fans despite a last-minute decision to offer heavily discounted late entry tickets.