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Inside the Big Day Out
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Inside the Big Day Out

Author: Double J

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Double J presents the rise and fall of the world’s biggest touring music festival.

Host: Gemma Pike

Producer: Gab Burke

Supervising Producer: Mike Williams

Executive Producer: Meagan Loader

Sound Engineers: John Jacobs, Tim Jenkins

Theme music: Lindsay McDougall

Music: Hamish Camilleri

Artwork: Brad Cook

Digital Team: Dan Condon, Luanne Shneier
5 Episodes
EPISODE 5 - Give It Away Now

EPISODE 5 - Give It Away Now


Not able to agree on two headliners for the 2014 show, the duelling owners book three. To break even, the festival will need to break records. The original founder is about to lose everything. Hasty decisions are made to salvage a cultural icon, but the ship is sinking.
EPISODE 4 - Art Vs. Commerce

EPISODE 4 - Art Vs. Commerce


While ticket sales soar to hundreds of thousands in the 2000s, artistic differences see the founder’s relationship reach breaking point. The manager holding everything together ends up in rehab and the festival starts to unravel.
The 2001 Big Day Out ends in tragedy with the death of Jessica Michalik during Limp Bizkit’s Sydney set. Jessica’s best friend Liza Ryan was with her and shares the emotional story of the music fan behind the headline. Phil Jamieson from Grinspoon recalls performing at her memorial.
The Big Day Out expands quickly and becomes a national touring circus. Every music fan wants to go and every artist wants to play, with many bands treating the tour like a holiday.
In 1991 Australian music promoter Ken West had an idea for a one-day music festival. He called it the Big Day Out.
Comments (6)

Melissa Green

Wow. So many memories. Sad BDO is no longer and such a shame it ended the way it did. I met my husband at the BDO in 2002 at Melbourne Showgrounds. Connected during the Jurassic 5 set. Basement Jaxx in the Boiler Room playing ' Where's Your Head At?' was unforgettable. We still go to loads of festivals but BDO will always ha e a special place in our hearts. Nothing else like it.

Nov 1st


As a punter I thought "Why not go to Soundwave?". It was slightly cheaper, and had more bands that I liked. If it weren't for volunteering with groups like Loveworks I never would have seen the BDO in its final years. I also would have missed out on bands like Tool and Violent Femmes.

Oct 22nd


It was around this time that crowds stopped going up and down, and started going side to side. The mosh started getting nasty.

Oct 15th


Had my first eva eccie at my first BDO and went and saw the Chemical Bros in the boiler room, where I watched a group of people snort coke off a credit card whilst moshing!!!!! Will always be cemented in my memories! Great podcast

Oct 11th

carissa small

1st episode is epic. Brings back so many memories of all the Big Days Out I attended many years ago. Keep the goodness coming!

Oct 10th


I managed to get tickets to the 97 big day out. what a show! Patti Smith, Beasts Of Bourbon, Soundgarden, Insurge

Oct 8th
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