I was at last year's Sydney BDO, and while I had a fantastic time (thanks Sleater Kinney!), there were certainly moments of distinct unease and a very palpable tension due to the presence of sunburned, flag-bearing, wife-beater-wearing Aussie boofheads. However, I got through the day without incident and was never once asked to kiss a flag (my white skin, indeed, probably saving me the grief - or at least saving me a polite and risky refusal). This unwelcome distraction didn't quite manage to 'kill my BDO buzz', but neither was it my favourite memory of the day, that’s for sure.
Perhaps a contributing factor to Sydney’s problems is the alcohol policy. I’m used to the Auckland thing, where you’re only allowed to drink in the special area, which is usually away from the music. I like that idea, because it forces you to choose between the music and drinking, and those who choose the latter at the expense of the former deserve to be kept away from the rest of us. If I want to drink all day I’ll just go down the pub and save myself the $110 bucks that the ticket cost. Well, this ain’t how they do it in Sydney, where there‘s no such restriction (apart from in the mosh area at the main stages), with the result that by the end of the day there were empty cans of VB strewn everywhere, and groups of pissed morons roaming about, with flags.