The Big Bang Music Festival occured in Santa Cruz from 2000 to 2003, and then in 2005. The idea blossomed out of conversations held during meetings of the short-lived Thirty-three and a third music collective. In contrast to festivals that showcase a great number of bands over only a few days and/or in multiple venues on the same night, Oliver Brown had an format idea for a festival that would span over a series of ten nights.

In the Big Bang model, each of the ten nights night features only three, one local band and two out-of-town bands. The local band is assigned the task of choosing the out-of-town bands, securing a venue (preferably all-ages) and a PA, and making the flyers. The Big Bang pays for the venue and copying costs, and pays the local bands $35 each and the out-of-town bands $50 each. The cover charge for each show is set at $3. A bracelet can be bought for $20 to get into all the shows. Souvenir programs, tickets and buttons can also be made to increase revenue.

In practice, adjustments need to be made. A fourth band might be added (but it is highly advised not to have anymore than that). A show might feature two or three local acts. Depending on funds, local bands might have to play for less or no money. Venues might have to be secured by the Big Bang coordinator.