Britpop legends Blur have pulled out of the Big Day Out.
The band, fronted by Damon Albarn, were set to be one of the headline acts at this year's festival along with Snoop Lion (formerly known as Snoop Dogg), Pearl Jam and Arcade Fire.
Blur, who battled Oasis for pop supremacy in the mid-1990s, today posted on their Facebook page that they were "devastated to report" that they had pulled out.
"It's a shock that it has come to this," the band wrote.
The Big Day Out, which has recently been be-devilled by organisational problems and last year cancelled its Auckland leg due to poor ticket sales, came in for criticism from the band.
"Only 8 weeks to go, the band feels that with the constantly shifting goalposts and challenging conditions of the organisers, they can't let it drag on any longer and want to make this announcement, to be clear to Blur fans that they won't be there."
"We've done our very best to work with the organisers and considered every option to make it happen, but they've let us down and let everyone else down too."
The announcement appears to have taken Big Day Out Auckland organiser Campbell Smith by surprise who tweeted this afternoon: "The Blur announcement a total surprise to me. I had no idea. As soon as I find out what happened and what will happen, I will advise."
Last year's troubles began when headliner Kanye West pulled out.
The Big Day Out is planned for Friday, January 17, at the new venue of Western Springs.
- © Fairfax NZ News