I attended my twelfth Big Day Out in Sydney on Thursday (technically my eleventh Sydney BDO, as I attended the 2008 one on the Gold Coast). That’s a lot of Big Day Out isn’t it?
Inevitably, once you have attended more than three or four, you start to make comparisons with past BDO’s. Who was the greatest performer? (Iggy Pop and Peaches no doubt); Who was the worst? (The Vines and Kings of Leon hands down); Who was the most unduly affected by substances while performing and could barely make it through their set? (lead singer of The Vines and Fatboy Slim unfortunately).
This year, the most noticeable aspect of the event, was how below capacity the crowd was. This is the first year that I can remember that the BDO has not sold out and going by the size of the crowd it was clear that the numbers were very shy of past years. Above is a picture that I took in the main arena at around 6pm while The Living End was finishing their set and My Chemical Romance was about to take to the stage. Normally, the crowd is at this size in the middle of the day and we were surprised to see that the crowd was nowhere near capacity when Kanye West took to the stage later on in the evening.
Regardless of the size of the crowd, we had a great time. This is the second BDO I’ve attended while pregnant (I was 4 months pregnant with twins when I attended the 2005 BDO) and attending a festival of this size while heavily pregnant does mean that you wind up having a vastly different experience to most of the other punters. Standing up the front is out of the question, as is racing between stages or having a drink. But having said that, because I’m so much more aware of taking care of myself, I’ve noticed that I’m in much better shape than most of the crowd by the time evening rolls around.
The standout of the day was Battles by far. Incredibly, the band has lost one member but you could barely even tell by the incredible performance and sound. The guitarist was actually playing keyboard and guitar (upside down) while also triggering the vocals. It was a spectacular performance and I can’t recommend seeing Battles highly enough. The stand out track was obviously going to be Atlas but, Ice Cream and Machines also received a huge response from the crowd.
Kasabian was another band that blew me away. The sound quality was questionable for quite a few of the performers (we actually walked out of OFWGKTA because the sound quality was so terrible; Tyler’s microphone was switched off and there was no top or bottom level to the sound, which meant that it kind of sounded like listening to a crappy transistor radio really loud, where you couldn’t differentiate between any of the sounds). The sound at Kasabian however was pristine and these guys were meant to perform in a big arena. They were just perfect.
The two big acts I was most looking forward to were Soundgarden and Kanye West and I wasn’t disappointed. Chris Cornell is such an incredible talent and his voice is almost out of this world. While Kanye… well what can you really say about Kanye? He is an incredible performer (and doesn’t he know it) and the production was as expected, over the top and flawless.
So what does one wear to a BDO while 37 weeks pregnant?
Well I don’t know about anyone else, but I was aiming for EXTREME comfort. Therefore behold:
My hair is a bit of a mess and I have mud all over myself but I felt so incredibly comfortable (well as comfortable as you can feel while 9 months pregnant). I picked this jumpsuit up from ASOS maternity while I’m not sure how long I’ve owned the green Chuck Taylors for; I suspect I’ve had them for around seven years and they’ve taken me through quite a few festivals (and Australian fashion weeks incidentally).
Making it through the BDO without support while in my condition wasn’t going to be easy and although it was very ‘nanna’ of me I made the decision to bring a pillow to rest my weary and considerably large bottom on. I picked up this incredibly ghastly (but excellent) cushion from The Reject Store and it didn’t leave my side all day long:
Isn’t it hideous/ beautiful?