Aussies prepping own Lollapalooza-style tour

Australia’s own version of the U.S. Lollapalooza concert roadshow, The Big Day Out, begins rolling across the country from Jan. 24. Headlining Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, Helmet and more than a dozen other international and local bands, it’s the largest tour of its type yet assembled in Oz.

BDO is playing outdoor venues in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth over nine days; it grew from the success of an all-day concert held this time last year in Sydney, where attendance this time around is expected to double to more than 22,000.

Promoter Ken West estimates total cost at “several” millions of dollars and says the tour has a potential gross of $ A3 million ($ 2.1 million).

“If it breaks even, that’s good and next year we’ll be careful,” says West. “If it makes money and some profit we can widen the concept and be more ambitious.” That could mean including Brisbane, New Zealand, and perhaps Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore.

West, who travelled with Lollapalooza II for a while, says BDO is similar in two ways: its emphasis on emerging, left-of-center bands, and the travelling aspect.

But he stresses that unlike the U.S. concept, each concert will reflect local talent and crew from that city.

West is the contracting agent for all the international bands, who are taking “more realistic” fees for BDO given they’re performing separately outside the tour; a profit-share scheme is also believed to be in place.

Other international acts include U.K. band Carter USM, Mudhoney, and the Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy. Oz acts include Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, The Clouds, and Not Drowning Waving. National youth radio network Triple Jay is officially tub-thumping the tour.

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