Austin-based company C3 Presents, now wholly owns the BDO after Australian director AJ Maddah transferred his shares to the American company only nine months after he took control of long-time co-owner Ken West’s half of the business.
“C3 Presents is proud to own Big Day Out, one of the most iconic and established festival brands in the world. While we intend to bring back the festival in future years, we can confirm there will not be a Big Day Out in 2015,” read a statement from the festival’s new owner, published by Fairfax Media.
“We love working on BDO and are excited about the future,” they added. However, the company would not set a timeline for when the long-running summer festival would return, nor commit to the event’s traditional run of cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Gold Coast, and Auckland.
A source told Fairfax Media that Maddah was unable to meet his obligations to pay half the debts incurred in the disastrous running of the event in 2014. It was marred by record low crowds, alleged unpaid debts to contractors and unhappy punters.
West’s business partner Vivian Lees sold his half to C3 in 2011, marking the end of an era for the Australian music industry’s equivalent of Vegemite.
Maddah is understood to be now focusing on the Soundwave heavy rock festival, one of Australia’s most successful in recent years, although in a further blow to the 41-year-old music promoter, the hard rock Warped tour he brought to Australia will also not go ahead in 2014.