Ken West, the founder of the Big Day Out, a famous and groundbreaking music festival, passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning. He was 64 years old at the time. We regret to inform you that Ken West, a parent, husband, mentor, and most importantly, a legend, passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 7, 2022, his family stated in a statement this evening. During this terrible time, the family would prefer respect and privacy. Ken had a life that was huge and loud, but he died calmly and peacefully, the family added.
Ever since the news surfaced on social media, netizens are paying Ken West heartfelt tributes. Apart from tributes and condolence messages, people are also searching for his cause of death and how did West die. However, the family has not revealed if he was suffering from any health complications or not. From 1992 until 2014, Ken and his business partner Viv Lees developed the record-breaking Big Day Out festival, which toured Australia and New Zealand.
It was a music juggernaut through the 1990s and 2000s. Undoubtedly, it brought the world’s biggest rock and electronic acts to showgrounds and parks around New Zealand and Australia for around 22 years. In an interview in 2019, Ken West had said that he thinks there was a period in time there when it was the best festival in the world and every band wanted to do it. The first Big Day Out was organized by West for January 1992 at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion.
It involved almost 21 bands. Within no time, the festival became a roadshow and started getting staged across six cities every summer. The festival’s heyday featured world-famous international acts such as Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Chemical Brothers, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Patti Smith, and PJ Harvey, as well as a slew of Australian acts such as Powderfinger, Hilltop Hoods, and Spiderbait, who became household names thanks to their main stage appearances at the event.
Ken West had success putting on shows for artists like Ramones, Nick cave, The Birthday Party, The Beasts Of Bourbon, Deborah Harry, and The Church. The festival changed the landscape of how artists toured, how performers delivered it, and how punters consumed music. However, music festivals existed in Australia before the Big Day Out, it is just that West had visions of a different approach. May Ken West’s soul rest in peace.