This year's sell out Big Day Out looks likely to be the best ever. Veteran Chris Schulz has some tips for surviving New Zealand's biggest music festival.
What do you think of this year's Big Day Out line-up? Got any tips for those heading to this year's sold out event? Send us your feedback and we'll publish your comments.
The Big Day Out
January 19, 2007
Mt Smart Supertop, Auckland
Are you ready to sweat? You should be - this year's Big Day Out is a sell out, and if you want to catch headline acts like Tool, Muse and The Killers you'll need to get down and dirty with 44,000 other rabid fans.
Tickets sold out last week, and a last run of 2000 were snapped up in 15 minutes on Monday. If you're desperate, head to Trade Me but be prepared to open your wallet. Some are going for more than $250 - up from a retail price of $110.
Festival promoter Campbell Smith says the huge demand is because the line-up is "as strong as we've ever had".
Strong doesn't even begin to cover it. Art-metal rockers Tool headline with a must-see hour-and-a-half-long show, while cooler-than-cool alternative American act The Killers are also a major drawcard.
And expect to see plenty of angled haircuts and black eye-liner when it-band My Chemical Romance bring their brand of Queen-style pomp and chorus-laden emo rock to the main stage at 3.20pm.
Our picks, thanks for asking, are bedroom electro-boffins Hot Chip (Boiler Room, 2.45pm), stadium-bound English rock act Kasabian (Green Stage, 4.30pm) and geek-hop rapper Lupe Fiasco (Boiler Room, 7pm).
The only acts we suggest you avoid are Lily Allen, who's summery ska-pop is more suited to a pop festival like Edgefest, and the Crystal Method DJs. Big beat was so, like, 1995. Just ask Fatboy Slim.
We're also wondering why Scribe has a 6pm main stage slot when we haven't heard anything new from him in more than two years. Still, the Kiwi rapper has reinvented himself before, and bringing Blindspott out on stage at his last main stage slot was nothing short of a revelation.
But there's plenty of must-see stuff on offer, including controversial Aussie rockers The Vines (Green stage, 3pm), space-rockers Muse (Orange stage, 8pm), and local drum 'n' bass outfit Shapeshifter (Boiler Room, 10.45pm). And Violent Femmes' Blister in the Sun could be the sing-along anthem of the day, even if it was written 25 years ago.
Thankfully, organisers promise easier access to stages and more toilets this year, something which became an extremely risky business at the festival's last sell-out - Metallica in 2004.
Our advice is to head to the new East stand, where there's a handy bar, seats with good views of the main stage and toilets that remain remarkably clean throughout the day. You won't be handed soap and a towel, but you won't be standing in three inches of urine either.
Here are some other handy tips for enjoying your day:
What to wear: If you're a My Chemical Romance fan, black fringes and eyeliner are compulsory. If you're a fan of The Killers, a flannel shirt and a seedy moustache will do the trick. Anything black for Tool will do. And if you're a Muse fan, a space suit is recommended.
Buses leave from Real Groovy on Queen Street from 9.15am until 2.00pm, and frequent train services operate throughout the day to Penrose Station, which is a short 10-minute walk from Mt Smart Stadium.
If you're venturing into the moshpit, leave your shirt on and tie those grotty dreadlocks up. Make sure you're not wearing pointy piercings sharp enough to maim fellow moshers. And if someone falls down, try not to stomp on their head. It really hurts.
Food and drink:
At a day-long festival you'll no doubt want nourishment at some stage. There's usually a range of foods including kebabs, pizza and soggy chips, although the popular Hare Krishna food tent was sorely missed last year. Let's hope they're back.
Bus services will leave from Gate B from 9.30pm to Wellesley Street outside the Civic Theatre. Return train services will depart at regular intervals from Penrose station at the conclusion of the event.
If you don't know a masseuse, drinking heavily usually helps ease those bruises.
# Can't make the Big Day Out? Didn't get a ticket in time? Don't worry - Stuff.co.nz has all the coverage you need. We'll have three experienced bloggers filing live from the event, along with photo galleries updated throughout the day.
Don't forget to check back the following day for a full review, a behind the scenes look and to send us your feedback about how your Big Day Out went, and who your favourite - or least favourite - bands were.