He cited the need to spend more time with his family, and interests outside the festival.
His former partner, Ken West, will continue alone. West told Pollstar he might take on a minor partner.
Big Day Out started in 1992 as a Sydney-only show with Violent Femmes headlining. By a stroke of good luck, Nirvana, which was down on the bill, had a smash hit with “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” ensuring the show’s sellout.
Within two years, BDO extended to include Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Auckland.
It enjoyed the reputation of being a trendsetter, with labels and managers trying to get their acts on as a way to break them.
West agrees that organizing the festival is a full-time occupation and stressful – made worse by the bidding wars for headliners that have followed the emergence of many rivals.
“Everyone wants us to deliver everything, and it’s not sustainable at that level,” West said.
First round of artists announced for 2012 included Kanye West, Soundgarden, Kasabian, My Chemical Romance, Odd Future and Foster The People.