BDO shut down with a bang

SIMON DAY
Last updated 09:09 18/01/2014
SEAN WILLIS/Fairfax NZ

The 2014 Big Day Out made a welcome return to New Zealand, and the day had plenty to offer music lovers.

Big Day Out 2014
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder perform at the Big Day Out,

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Huge queues to buy drinks and use the toilet marred a largely successful relocation of the Big Day Out to Auckland's Western Springs.

Swedish band The Hives sang about how they were going to "drink, (have sex) and fight all night," but the same couldn't be said for festival goers.

Many were left with a dry taste in their mouth after waiting for over an hour to buy alcoholic drinks on a hot, sunny day. This was after long waits to get R18 certification.

Women were waiting up to half an hour to use the toilet, while men used their initiative to avoid the lines.

"It's over an hour, it's savage," said Caitlin MacColl, 28, about the fight to get a drink.

Social media was lit up with complaints about the waits, with suggestions that the event be made R18 to avoid the issues with alcohol.

The delays were an unfortunate teething issue on what proved to be a popular relocation to Western Springs after a one-year hiatus due to low ticket sales.

"Isn't this just a massive improvement, it's a new era," said Phoenix Foundation guitarist Samuel Flynn Scott.

The new venue really did make a difference to the big day.

Fans flowed freely between the five stages, and there was lots of green space to chill and find shade.

Despite spotting one young lad in a neck brace the St John's Ambulance's major role was dispensing sun block.

Earlier in the day on George FM, Big Day Out organiser Campbell Smith rued why he hadn't moved the festival to Western Springs 10 years ago.

And as the venue filled up with people, but left acres of grass to picnic and watch the bands, it was easy to ask the same question.

THE PARTY

Major Lazar shut down Big Day Out with a bang.

Kicking off with Busy Signal's dancehall remake of Lorde's Royals, producer and one third of the group, Diplo, rolled over the crowd in a zorb.

Lorde, who Diplo has expressed interest in working with, came out on stage for a dance.

People wanting to leave had a hard time walking past the big beats and energy of the festival's final act.

Earlier, the Big Day Out's headline acts dropped it like it's hot.

When Snoop Dogg came on stage the morning fog descended on Western Springs again, only this smoke was "sticky icky" as Snoop lit up the Aroha stage with some old school hip hop swagger.

Hits from the 1993 album Doggystyle had the crowd rapping along with the Long Beach legend.

Back at the main stage, despite the first wait of the day, Pearl Jam had a huge crowd worshipping their epic guitar solos and singalongs.

Before paying a tribute to the influence the Finn brothers had on the band, Eddie Vedder invited Liam Finn on stage to sing with the group. He "sang the shit out of" Habit.

Throughout the set Vedder skulled from a magnum of New Zealand red wine.

The Deftones' powerful metal found its way into the corners of every part of the venue.

Candian indie rock band, Arcade Fire, played a relentless set full of African percussion, a huge entourage of musicans and giant stage props. Lorde was spotted dancing on the side of stage. The closed out with Wake Up.

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The new venue proved to be perfect and the weather turned right after some morning rain.

While the sun was still blazing, Swedish monochrome punks, The Hives, were the first group to really set the hordes off as they leapt all over the stage and huge beach balls surfed the crowds.

Hip Hoppers had their first taste of the evening when Ladi 6, P Money, and Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller, got the flat peaks nodding.

In the green banked amphitheatre of the main stage Californians, Primus, laid down its fascinating mix of country, blues, rock and funk.

Earlier Tame Impala had set the sweat slinging.

Half Glass of Wine from their 2008 debut EP, went off. Front man, Kevin Parker, was stoked the crowd knew track.

Dummer Luke Epstein, kept the snare drum hotter than the punters, and the band's long hair kept time with the bouncing crowd.

Welcoming the early crowd, the guitars of Manchester four piece The 1975 floated over West Auckland as the festival started to warm up on a hot (if it wasn't for the breeze, Snoop would drop it) Auckland day.

- Stuff

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