Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Big Day Out Kills The Wellington Sevens


Big Day Out 2014: Just seven arrests, kick-outs from the 33,000 strong crowd, five for intoxication.  

Wellington Sevens 2014: 270 removed from the Westpac Stadium for being too pissed or causing trouble, 20 arrests and the emergency department at Wellington Hospital left inundated with scores of injured drunks from the 27,000 attendees.  

Why the difference?

If anything, media bias you’d have thought the younger demographic at BDO should have produced more trouble.

The answer to this quandary is very simple….as an entertainment package 7’s rugby sucks!

It’s fucking boring, a stupid concept having some third tare players from non-rugby playing nations run about a full sized pitch made for twice the number, in a bunch of miss-match games held over a whole day.    

Every time you look at a 7’s crowd on the telly there was gaping holes in the stands, accompanied by the dulcet hums of chattering females most of whom couldn’t even name you a single player, tell you who won the last game.    

The only time the crowd ‘got into it’ was when New Zealand took the field and singing drunken renditions to Counting the Beat played over the stadiums PA in order to keep the crowd conscious, from making another trip to the bar.    

Sevens’s is supposedly a sell-out weekend, yet seemingly no one wants to stay the whole time. 
Forget what the NZRFU spin-doctors have to say - the on-field sport of 7’s fails to excite the crowd enough to keep their attention over a day.

It’s getting pissed first, getting dressed up second and remind me what is third again? 
It's touch rugby, eh? 

It’s a wonder more people at the Cake Tin didn’t get shit faced given the alternative was watching Portugal play USA or Kenya versus Scotland in a minority sport even the IRB has scant interest in.     

Conversely BDO produced a world-class line-up (Pearl Jam, Hives, Mudhoney etc.) One that evidently appealed to virtually every ticket holder, enough to: avoid starting a fight, attempt to get onto the stage and remain lucid enough not to attract attention of security or the coppers.   

Listening to the music is the priority for the BDO crowd, not dressing up like the Flintstones and Teletubbies, waiting to boo the English team as some sort of badge of Kiwi nationhood rather than a cringe-worthy embarrassment.  

Music is #1 to BDO attendees so much so, that at the last concert in 2012 no-one was booted out of the stadium!  

Meanwhile at the 7’s that year you had a fan out on the pitch head-high tackling a player in his undies. 

Probably the highlight of the tournament for most punters.
Rugby officials can only dream of having a crowd at the sevens just interested in rugby.

Still imagine if you banned fancy-dress and booze from the Wellington event.

How many die hearts would turn-up? 

Less than a Phoenix game is my bet!

As an entertainment package clearly the Big Day Out kills The Wellington Sevens.
Up-Date after last weekend (15th and 16th Feb): 34,000 were at Queenstown’s Gibbston Estate for their Summer Tour Concert involving 10cc etc. Zero arrests and zero kick-outs. 55,000 went to Leagues inaugural ‘Nines’ tournament and we saw just four evictions and two arrests. If ever you wanted evidence that the game of sevens fails to keep a Kiwi crowds interest, most people go to Wellington to party and get pissed you have it ‘in spades’.        

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