Big Day Out founder Ken West dies aged 64

Ken West, the co-founder of trail-blazing Australian music competition Big Day Out, has died aged 64.

Calling him a "father, husband, mentor and most of all a legend", West's household mentioned the music lover handed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday morning.

"Our family would appreciate respect and privacy during this difficult time," the household mentioned in a press release launched on Thursday evening.

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"Ken was big and noisy in life, but passed quietly and peacefully."

From comparatively humble beginnings headlined by just lately world-famous Nirvana and the Violent Femmes in a sweaty Hordern Pavillion, the competition grew into an annual touring behemoth that includes lots of the world's largest artists.

Big Day Out 2012: the line up so far...

West, together with enterprise companion Viv Lees, created and guided the present that will develop to turn into a staple of the Australian and New Zealand summer time from 1992 to its final version in 2014.

The competition hosted a staggering listing of worldwide superstars akin to Rage Against the Machine, Iggy and the Stooges, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Muse and Metallica, in addition to Aussies heroes akin to Powderfinger, Flume and Tame Impala.

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Ken is survived by his spouse, Cathy and son, Oliver.

In excerpts launched earlier this 12 months from an as-yet-unpublished e-book, West mirrored on how what was initially meant to be a Violent Femmes tour blossomed into an enormous day-long competition, at the very least partially off the again of Nirvana's explosion into the mainstream with the discharge of Nevermind.

Incredibly, the pair offered solely 52 tickets on the primary day, however demand ultimately skyrocketed because the invoice swelled to 21 acts throughout three levels.

"Stephen Pav was touring Nirvana at that time and as luck would have it, they were Violent Femmes fans," he wrote, in an excerpt revealed on his KenFest (at one level the title of the competition) web site.

"Nevermind had been out since late September but was still only on the alternative charts. Soon after we went on sale on November 18 Nirvana exploded worldwide and eventually made the first BDO the hottest ticket in the country."

West, who believed the occasion would have offered out even with out Nirvana's breakout success, mentioned he even acquired a name from then prime minister Paul Keating attempting to purchase tickets for his children.

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All the rockin' action from the 2012 Big Day Out!All the rockin' action from the 2012 Big Day Out!

British singer-songwriter Billy Bragg paid tribute to West on Thursday evening.

"Ken made the whole thing like a party for punters and artists alike," he mentioned, on Twitter. 

"UK bands called it the Big Day Off. 

"Lots of enjoyable recollections hanging with Ken and the BDO crew."

Veteran music writer Bernard Zuel described West as an "completely essential a part of the music enterprise".

"(He was) the supply of so many discoveries, an fanatic, an exquisite nutcase," he said, on Twitter. 

"He modified issues."

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Writing in his book excerpts, West described his role running the BDO as the "biggest job on the planet".

"Working and partying with unimaginable artists who motivated me to create lovely complicated occasions," he said.

"Human alchemy was taken to its limits. Continually evolving and rising for over 20 years.

"Five million people attended those shows, that's a lot of joy."

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