First Big Day Out in New Zealand

5 February 1994

The Big Day Out, Auckland, 2007 (Ari Bakker, Flickr)

The Big Day Out, an Australian franchise based on the successful Lollapalooza model, brought alternative, hard rock, hip hop and, more recently, dance acts together in a one-day festival in Auckland.

Around 8000 punters turned up to the first ‘BDO’ at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium to watch headliners Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, and The Breeders, who arrived to play on a massive pageant float. Sharing the stage with these international acts were local favourites, including Shihad and Straitjacket Fits.

From there it only got bigger. Utilising the bulk of the Australian festivals’ overseas line-up, backed by a strong local bill, it proved a popular formula, regularly attracting crowds of between 30,000 and 40,000 during the 2000s. These proved to be the festival’s peak years.

Declining ticket sales saw the New Zealand leg of the Big Day Out tour end in 2012. The festival returned to Auckland in 2014, but this turned out to be a false dawn, as the promoters soon announced that the 2015 event was off. There have been no subsequent BDOs.

How to cite this page

'First Big Day Out in New Zealand ', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/page/first-big-day-out-new-zealand, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 6-Oct-2020

Community contributions

No comments have been posted about First Big Day Out in New Zealand

What do you know?