Big Day Out Blues

This Saturday I’ll be attending the Big Day Out in Melbourne and I’m frightened Aunty Em.  The last Big Day Out I attended was in 1999 and things were already beginning to change.  Fifty-two thousand people is a sold-out show now – that is a lot of bodies – and something tells me we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Band t-shirt anyone?

Band t-shirt anyone?

We weren’t particularly jingoist in our Australia Day celebrations that a promoter sought to ban our flag back then.  The advent of digital music and the subsequent arrival of brands at the Big Day Out didn’t happen until after 1999 and that’s very much going against the grain of the music I listened to in the 1990′s.  The only tits I remember were Courtney Love’s.  It’s a whole new world to inhabit.

Watching this video about the attempted ban of the Australian flag in 2007, I think freedom of expression and being proud of our country is a beautiful thing but the “burgeoning yob factor” was definitely a small reason why I stopped going.  Did you know Australia Day is the worst public holiday for violent assaults?  I didn’t bat an eyelid either.

All this reflection is fine but really, it’s only making me guilty of the very thing I’m getting antsy about and that’s forgetting about the music.  I’ve been buoyed by reviews that describe this year’s atmosphere as a cool, music enthusiast crowd.  My sister informs me I’ll be surprised and I’m ready to be surprised.  I’m too old for mosh-pits, experimentation and queues.  I’ve lost much of the cynicism of my youth and I’m looking forward to a child-free day out but please PLEASE don’t wave your flag cape in my face.

Have you been to a Big Day Out recently?