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Blur Cancel Big Day Out Despite What Promoter Calls Much ‘Ass’-Kissing

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Blur and Big Day Out organizers have clashed following the iconic Britpop band’s announcement they will no longer be headlining the Australian festival. “We were disappointed to learn of Blur’s cancellation via their Facebook page yesterday morning,” wrote BDO on their own Facebook wall with passive-aggressive aplomb. The multi-day traveling music event was set to kick off on January 17 in Auckland, New Zealand, and would’ve marked Blur’s first Down Under dates in 17 years.

What happened is still unclear, but Damon Albarn and co. clearly point the finger at the promoters. 

“Devastated to report that Blur won’t be performing at BDO in 2014,” the band writes. “It’s a shock that it has come to this. Only 8 weeks to go, the band feels that with the constantly shifting goalposts and challenging conditions of the organisers, they can’t let it drag on any longer and want to make this announcement, to be clear to Blur fans that they won’t be there. We’ve done our very best to work with the organisers and considered every option to make it happen, but they’ve let us down and let everyone else down too.”

Of course, Blur’s fans seem more let down by the band, and they aren’t alone. Big Day Out executive AJ Maddah voiced his discontent online, eschewing the requisite subtweet for a more direct statement:

The festival’s Auckland organizer Campbell Smith additionally wrote that the news came as “a total surprise.” Last week Brooklyn’s DIIV pulled out of the event as well, though citing neither leader Zachary Cole Smith’s recent legal woes nor a lack of organizational coherence. Instead, the band has canceled all future dates outside of the U.S. citing a need to focus on recording a new album, via Faster Louder.

Last year, Big Day Out hit a road bump when Kanye West canceled dates ahead of his headlining appearance. The Black Keys backed out in 2011. Beenie Man was banned ahead of his 2010 appearance due to his homophobic lyrics. Björk has nixed past BDO dates due to vocal cord injury, the Vines once pulled out due to Craig Nicholls’ mental health, and A Perfect Circle skipped a year as well. The fest began in 1992 with a lineup that included Nirvana and Violent Femmes.

BDO organizers promise to replace Blur with a new headlining act. Their ticket policy, cited by Guardian, includes language that allows for a full refund option if a “headline act of an event is changed.” They have apparently already ruled out Daft Punk as an option. Other confirmed 2014 bill-toppers include Arcade Fire, Pearl Jam, Major Lazer, and Snoop Lion. For more information on the fest itself, visit Big Day Out online.