Big Day Out venue takes shape

KIRSTY JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 15/01/2014
Fairfax NZ

The 2014 Big Day Out set up is nearing completion, with Western Springs hosting the event for the first time.

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Big Day Out 2014

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Big Day Out organisers are billing a sell-out festival, talking down schedule clashes and talking up their new venue ahead of Friday's revival event.

The country's biggest concert will be held at Western Springs Stadium in Auckland after a one-year hiatus due to poor ticket sales in 2012.  It was previously held at the smaller Mt Smart Stadium.

Organiser Campbell Smith said while the bigger arena meant more tickets - up to 50,000 went on sale - numbers were edging towards capacity. There would be a lot more space, and a lot more grass, which should make it more enjoyable for punters.

"There's some things in there I think are pretty cool additions and make this a really New Zealand BDO, rather than just a sixth Australian version," Smith said.

"It's been both rewarding and terrifying organising it."

Five stages have been set up at Western Springs - the two main stages were the largest the festival has had - with a gourmet food area, art trail and a Metro pop-up cube new additions this year.

Event co-ordinator Etienne Marais - who has helped with 18 previous Big Day Outs - said he was looking forward to the change.

"I'm excited for people to walk in here and see what we've transformed the space into. That's going to be the big surprise for people, seeing the Big Day Out in this environment."

Despite some complaints about clashes among the main acts - rockers Pearl Jam will play at the same time as fellow 90s band Deftones and rapper Snoop Dogg, for example - Smith said they'd done their best to make it a good experience for fans.

"I think it's fairly obvious to most people when you're scheduling a multi-stage event there are going to be conflict," he said

A lot of hard work went into scheduling.

"But you also have to take into account that bands also have requests and requirements themselves as to where they play ... most bands want to play in the dark, and if Pearl Jam are playing from 8pm until 10pm then people are going to have to play across them if they want to play in the dark, that's just the way it is."

Free public transport will take fans to the venue to avoid traffic issues.

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