The concert [BDO] has already been brought forward 24 hours, to take place on Thursday, the eve of Australia's national day, to avoid any nationalistic overtones.
Event producer Ken West said he was concerned by the use of the flag by white mobs during race riots on Sydney's Cronulla Beach in December 2005, and by some fans at the Big Day Out concert a month later.
"The Australian flag was being used as gang colours," he was quoted by The Daily Telegraph newspaper as saying. "It was racism disguised as patriotism and I'm not going to tolerate it."
--But i'm not so sure about this one.
There were, yes, people wearing the Australian flag at the Big Day Out. They wore them as capes. They looked stupid in it. Really, really stupid. I think most of them took them off by midday, due to the heat, but maybe I just blocked it out because of the fashion pain. A lot of people had Australia flags painted on their faces. They too looked stupid if they were over the age of ten. But face painting can be found every-fucking-where in Australia on the 26th.
I didn't see one bit of real violence in the Big Day Out last year, and that took place a whole lot closer to the Cronulla Riots (which, lets be honest, aren't nearly as riot like as the media would like us to believe). Was there violence last year? Yeah, probably. I mean, it's a big event. There are thousands upon thousands of people there. Thousands of people who can buy beer, stand in the sun all day, and dance round like all fuck for twelve hours. The only thing that came close to violence were two guys wanting to get it on over a girl--and the Australian flag was curiously absent during this. It was also at eleven in the evening, at the end of the whole day, and the girl just chose her man and that was that. There was probably more violence, cause, hey, lots of people, but this whole gang colour thing? Not that I saw.
The Cronulla thing happened over a year ago, and as was revealed later, a lot of the people involved in it weren't from the area, and it was suggested that the organisers were not even from the country. As a whole, Sydney does well with racism. It isn't perfect, it isn't without incident, and a whole lot work still needs to be done, but it's not so fucked up that the organisers of an entirely unrelated event should change the day and ban flags.
I mean, I don't even support Australia Day. I fall into the Invasion Day camp group through for this. The British came in and took the country away from those who had, for thousands of years, lived here, and then proceeded to fuck them over. I don't want to be celebrating that. That needs to be properly addressed. But, fuck, even I think this whole moving the Big Day Out forward a day to avoid nationalistic overtones is just a little fucking ridiculous.
Even the BBC can't provide you with an image of violence at the Big Day Out.