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Coffs has eye on Big Day Out as festival seeks new home

Chris Cheney of the Living End plays live at the Big Day Out music festival on the Gold Coast. The Big Day Out is looking for a new home.
Chris Cheney of the Living End plays live at the Big Day Out music festival on the Gold Coast. The Big Day Out is looking for a new home. Bradley Kanaris

A MISSTEP by the Queensland Government could open doors to a cave of riches for Coffs Coast music fans.

Big Day Out CEO Adam Zammit said "punishing commercial terms" and a "lack of confirmed support from local and state government" - due to a focus on the upcoming Commonwealth Games and the subsequent transformation of the Parklands festival venue into an athletes village - meant the Gold Coast leg of the Big Day Out Festival is less than secure. 

"What is secure is our commitment to five events and doing a Big Day Out somewhere significantly north of Sydney," Mr Zammit said.

"We're looking at all options."

Those options include regional and rural areas in northern NSW, with Mr Zammit describing the Big Day Out as "not metro focused".

"You're from the Coffs Coast - put your tourism hat on," he said with a laugh.

Coffs Harbour City Council quickly responded to our story with action of their own.  

"I actually read the story in Saturday's paper and have gotten in contact with Destinations NSW," Coffs Harbour City Council Economic Development Officer - and music fan - Courtney Tune said this afternoon.  

"Obviously state support is crucial to getting a big event like this one so we'll see what they say. I know the Gold Coast one was attracting about 40,000 people, so logistically it's pretty big. But we'll definitely throw our hats in the ring."  

According to Mr Zammit, we're not the only town who are interested in snaffling up the presitigious event.  

"What's great has been the raft of interest from rural and regional areas all putting their hands up - it opens up new conversations and new dialogue," he said.

The massive annual music festival currently holds shows in Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Gold Coast, and have no intention of taking a show to Brisbane.

"There is plenty of stuff in Brisbane already and our info tells us Brisbane is happy to travel," Mr Zammit said.

Despite there being two current locations nominally able to handle BDO's capacity at Byron Bay, Mr Zammit pretty much ruled out the popular festival destination.

"We haven't had a serious conversation about Byron Bay; I don't think they need another music festival," he said.

"But I'm passionate about engaging all communities."

Topics:  big day out gold coast music festival



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