The Big Day Out, one of Australia’s top summer music attractions, is facing huge financial losses and a hefty lawsuit in what is likely to become the festival’s darkest hour.
According to a report by Fairfax Media, the Big Day Out has not only lied about this year’s attendance figures but also failed to meet financial obligations to outside contractors who provide staging and fencing.
The festival is allegedly facing a loss of between $8 and $15 million in 2014 with one source claiming the operation, run in part by Texas-based company C3 Presenters and the outspoken promoter AJ Maddah- has turned into “a f—ing mess”.
Attendance figures released by the festival are also reportedly false. Big Day Out claimed some 35,000 fans were at the Gold Coast leg of the tour, however that number is said to be closer to 23,000 according to Fairfax.
“Sydney is believed to have drawn 27,000, Melbourne 26,000 and the Gold Coast 23,000… and [Big Day Out] have reportedly faced questions from the management of headliners such as Pearl Jam over their estimates,” the Sydney Morning Herald wrote.
While Maddah recently announced the end of the Big Day Out in Perth (yet to be confirmed) after the city ran into venue trouble courtesy of ongoing disputes with a local government and sold just 15,000 tickets.
To add to the disaster that has been Big Day Out 2014, sources claim festival CEO Adam Zammit was recently fired and later re-hired, although both Maddah and Zammit deny the report.
The festival’s 2014 lineup was hyped as a blockbuster, but was ultimately deemed by many as letdown upon its announcement. Headliners Pearl Jam and Arcade Fire were left at the alter when Blur withdrew from the bill, and make what you will about second-tier acts Snoop Dogg, Major Lazer, Steve Angello, Flume, The Lumineers and The Hives.
Big Day Out wrapped up in Perth on Sunday with the festival handing out reduced tickets to Pearl Jam fans looking to enter the gates after 6pm.