The co-founder of trail-blazing Ken West, Australian music festival Big Day Out, has died at 64. Calling ken as a “father, husband, mentor and most of all a legend”, West’s family said the music lover passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday morning.
In a statement released on Thursday night, the family said, “Our family would appreciate respect and privacy during this difficult time. “ken was big and noisy in his entire life, but passed quietly and peacefully.”
The festival grew into an annual touring behemoth featuring many of the world’s most prominent artists from comparatively humble beginnings, headlined by recently world-famous Nirvana and the Violent Femmes in a sweaty Hordern Pavillion.
Know about the show-
A staple of the Australian and New Zealand summer from 1992 to its last edition in 2014, West, along with business partner Viv Lees, created and guided the show that would grow as the festival has hosted a staggering list of international superstars such as Rage Against the Machine, Iggy and the Stooges, Beastie Boys.
How many tickets were sold on the first day-
Incredibly, the pair sold only 52 tickets on the first day, but demand eventually skyrocketed as the bill swelled to 21 acts across three stages. Since last September, “Nevermind had been out but was still only on the alternative charts. On 18 November we went on sale Soon after Nirvana exploded worldwide and eventually made the first BDO the hottest ticket in the country.”
Who believed the event would have sold out even without Nirvana’s breakout success was west, who said he even got a call from then Paul Keating, the prime minister trying to buy tickets for his kids.
On Thursday night, British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg paid tribute to West. He said on Twitter “he made the whole thing like a party for punters and m
Veteran music writer Bernard Zuel described West as an “absolutely crucial part of the music business”. Writing in his book excerpts, West described his role running the BDO as the “Five million people attended those shows, that’s a lot of joy.”