Every Big Day Out starts this way for us. At home we print off a copy of the line up from the website and highlight the bands we want to see. We check to see if there are any band overlaps, and we roughly plan our day.
In years past I have had huge internal struggles as I try to sort out which band, on what stage I most want to see. This year I have already seen a lot of the bands on offer, so I feel I am free to kick back, wander around and perhaps even discover some new talent.
The first thing on Mr GG’s agenda is always to purchase a stubby holder from the merchandise stand. He has them dating back into the 1990’s!
If you have ever been to a BDO you will know that unless you are a very special person no DSLR cameras are allowed. Honestly, I don’t know if I would want to bring mine to a festival anyway, so I am making do with my iPhone for images.
The BDO’s have always been an amazing spectacle, not just on the main stages but for the additional entertainment, the side shows, market stalls and most importantly food.
Each year I go to the festival craving my usual Hungarian Langos. This is a snack of deep fried dough with a generous smear of spicy red paprika goulash, cheese and sour cream. My dilemma is that every year there are more and more tasty offerings. I know, I hear you ask, but what could be better than the deep fried bread?
Well this year we are in for a culinary treat, there is a new addition to the festival called Chow Town. Chow Town is a pop up restaurant precinct, which features stalls from five acclaimed Queensland restaurants.
For the Gold Coast Big Day Out we are able to choose from a selection of dishes from;
215 Given Terrace
No 6. The Barracks
61 Petrie Terrace
No 4 The Barracks
61 Petrie Terrace
Brisbane QLD 4000
…so we have food, great bands now all we need is more festival atmosphere. This is delivered via the Lilypad, with events such as the Bogan Karaoke and the Xtreme Food Olympics. We missed these but we did manage to stop by and check out the El Jimador Wrestling Bar.
Four contestants in over the top costumes Mexican wrestled “Hulk Hogan” style. It was a very acrobatic display with some cross dressing which really confused the guys in the crowd. It gave me a laugh though, it was very easy to get a position up the front once the male spectators realised they had been whistling for a beautiful dancing transvestite!
…more entertainment?? What about some carnival rides? Personally I think these are a trap for young players. It is awesome that they still feel invinsible but my feeling is that a hot summers day, no shade in sight, alcohol, carnival food, and a ten hour day partying with your mates. These rides are never going to be a smart choice. You might as well just have your friends take you straight to the St Johns Ambulance stand!
One of my favourite activities at the Big Day Outs is people watching. It is fun to check out the up and coming fashion trends of the teenie set and see what styles are getting a re-run.
Mr GG was the first to point out that the “high pants” are back. By high pants he meant shorts that have a waist line on the girls waist instead of just above the undie line. Funny that he noticed this first, he is not usually a fashion guru, but in his expert opinion, “it never looks good.” Seems that a least half the girl population at the Big Day Out was sporting this look so he may be out voted.
After this revelation I also noticed that there were a lot of girls wearing shorts overalls and all in one short jumpsuits. Mr GG and I wandered over to the market stands to see what fashion choices were available.
…and then I spotted these overalls, I obviously I was the last to be told that overall are “the thing” for summer!
…and this little bag?
Prior to our arrival at the festival I had sorted through the food line up and chosen my dishes… and Mr GG’s dishes too.
I couldn’t go past the Carolina Pulled Pork Roll – $12 from JR’s Smokehouse Barbeque. Described as a 12 hour slow smoked pork shoulder served on a soft roll and topped with coleslaw and Carolina BBQ Sauce it was music to my mouth.
The bun was so soft and the meat smokey sweet deliciousness, there had been a queue but it was well worth the wait. The guys behind the counter were working their butt off preparing all the burgers in a bid to keep up with the crowds.
Next on my list of dishes I just had to try was the Truffled Pumpkin & Goats Cheese Tortilla – $10 from Cabiria.
I don’t usually like to complain, and honestly at a festival I don’t have great food expectations but it was immediately obvious why there were no queues at this stand. I ordered and this slab was dropped on the counter in front of me, no prep, no salad, care factor nil. So what was it like? A very bland slab of egg, no truffle flavour, no pumpkin and one tiny hint of goats cheese. Seriously guys, a little more is required; particularly in the way of effort and ingredients. I know it doesn’t inspire me to visit the restaurant.
Not because I was still hungry but just because I simply had to try it we also ordered a Pil Pil Prawns with Papas a lo pobre (poor mans potatoes) – $12 from Kettle & Tin.
This dish was another winner! Smokey prawns, blacked from the grill on the outside but soft delicate sweet meat cooked to perfection on the inside. These were a true testament to just how good street food and festival food can be. I really felt for the staff sweating it out over the hotplates in the tent, but the food they delivered was amazing! The potato melted in my mouth, true comfort food teamed with a fresh tabbouli styled salad.
After all that food we are off to the main stage to see Grinspoon. I like to claim them as a local band (Coffs Harbour) because Phil is local at times and they play regularly at the local pubs. It is always an awesome show but the festival atmosphere always elevates the music and performance to another level.
As always the heat of the day, the masses of people, the music, the energy from the stage created an absolutely electric buzz, and the crowds went off accordingly!
Hot and sweaty after the Grinners set it was time to head to the Misting Station. Various forms of water dispensers are situated all over the event to keep the temperatures down, and revelers cool.
Another great idea for freshening up at the Gold Coast Big Day Out was the free Lush Bar. Festival goers were pampered with a massage using lush products to make them look and feel better.
We had a little time to check out more of the food options before we made our way to the main stage for Yeah Yeah Yeah. I spotted a guy with potato on a stick and was told it was called a potato slinky. Intrigued we followed his directions to the stand.
There is always heaps to look at…
…it is a friendly day and everyone is happy to pose!
Lots of people shopping for a new look…
Others are at the Big Day Out to do a job…
Nearly time for the killers we head over to the main stage again to take up our position in the first barricade. The Compressor Robot Band was bopping along between the stages to entertain the crowd.
This mechanical band pops up between the sets and plays music for the crowd to sing a long too. The songs played are classics and in case you don’t know the words they are displayed on the big screen karaoke style.
The atmosphere for the killers was awesome, the sun was going doing on a hot Queensland day, the stage was set and the masses were vying for position and the band exploded with mr bright eyes! It was electric! The crowd roared and jumped in unison, there was a sea of arms in the air and heads bobbing.
The momentum was relentless, punctuated with pyrotechnics and an awesome light and laser show. The band delivered on every entertainment front possible. The finale being Soul which climaxed in a well timed display of fireworks.
The Killers rocked the Big Day Out!
Seeing huge name bands at festivals usually elevated the music experience to a whole new level. Mr GG and I had seen Chili Peppers previously. they toured in 2001 and we were in the chilli bowl for their Sydney concert; it was an awesome night.
Chilli Peppers were headlining the BDO on the main stage. We were right up the front and when I looked back there were just heads for as far as I could see.
The the stage was set.
The first song was, Monarchy of Roses and typically the crowd responded! There was a roar and everyone was up dancing or jumping to the music.
During a lull between songs I asked Mr GG what had happened to the lead guitarist John, he told me that there had been a parting. This left the Chilli Peppers with a new lead guitarist for their latest album and the tour. The kid looked very young when compared to the rest of the band but he went hard. He rocked like one of the band, it was only his youthfulness which caused him to be an obvious stand out.
The onstage antics were high energy, blood pump… An awesome feat when you consider the age of the band.
For me the Chiili Peppers were a little disappointing, Kedis voice was noticeably high and thin for every track. At times it didn’t sound like he was holding a tune at all. Husband wasn’t a fan if the guitarist as he felt he was deviating too much from the original music.
About half way through the set I made my way to the back of the first barrier so I had a clear view of the band but could just chill and listen
The Big Day Out ended with an encore of from RHCP and then we made our way like a herd of tired animals to the gates. There were more than a few festival goers in less than pristine condition.
I suspected there will be a fair percentage of revelers nursing hangovers or a severe sunburn. It is a trap for young players; a 10+ hour day, sun booze and friends. We saw one person that may now have their very own BDO plaster cast to remember the day by.
We walked to where we parked the car to the enticing beat of the final Dj for the boiler room. Little by little the music faded, and that was our BDO experience for another year.