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Obituary

Big Day Out Founder Ken West Dead At 64

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(CelebrityAccess) — Ken West, founder of the popular Australian festival brand Big Day Out has died. He was 64.

In a statement provided to the Sydney Morning Herald, West’s family said he died peacefully in his sleep on Thursday morning.

“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.”

Inspired by the rise of festivals such as Lollapalooza in Chicago in 1991, West and his business partner Vivian Lees launched the Big Day Out festival with headliners such as the Violent Femmes and Nirvana in Sydney in 1992.

Like its inspiration, West and Lees later expanded the Big Day Out concept to a touring festival, with additional events taking place in Melbourne, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Perth.

The festival was sold to American promoter C3 Presents in 2014 and the festival was canceled the following year amid reports of financial losses.

When he died, West was in the process of writing a book detailing his experiences with the festival. He published several chapters of the book which are available on the website kenfest.org.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, West is survived by his wife Cathy and son Oliver.

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