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Ken West, Founder Of The Big Day Out Festival, Dies Aged 64

Ken West, the founder of one of Australia's biggest music festivals, Big Day Out, has died aged 64.

His family announced his death in a statement on Thursday evening.

"We bring unfortunate news that Ken West; a father, husband, mentor and most of all a legend, has passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of the 7th April 2022," the statement said.

"Our family would appreciate respect and privacy during this difficult time.

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

Big Day Out was an annual music festival that was held in five Australian cities - Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast- and in Auckland over January and February.

West and his then-business partner Vivian Lees conceptualised the event when Violent Femmes announced a tour of Australia for the start of 1992.

Seeking a support band for the tour, West and Lees secured Nirvana to play in Sydney in the event that would become the first Big Day Out.

By 2003, the festival had eight stages showcasing local and international acts from across the music spectrum.

West stepped away from the festival in 2013 after C3 bought it.

The event was cancelled in 2015, with the option for the festival to return in the future.