Splendour In The Mud

August 16, 2012

Guest Post
After a 2 year gap year of soul searching in Woodfordia, Splendour in the Grass has finally come home to the real world in Byron Bay refreshed and ready to rock. For those who don't know, Splendour in the Grass is pretty much Australia's biggest music festival. Our answer to Glastonbury even (but not as big). Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it but my best friend did so she's going to write a guest post about her Splendour experience. Enjoy. 
The first day of Splendour In The Grass started late, and although barely any Splendour goers had graced the Belongil Fields, they were already showing signs of gumboot necessary attire. Lucky for me, I came well prepared, however my partner’s Vans have never quite recovered after that weekend’s muddy experience. 

The clouds came and bucketed with rain, and if that wasn’t enough, icy chunks of hail belted from the skies. I was thankful to be under the safe cover of the massive tent whilst DZ Deathrays made the crowd forget how drenched they were.

The rest of the day consisted of listening to the musical styling’s of bands such as Big Scary, Howler, Spiderbait, The Shins, Gypsy & The Cat, At the Drive and my personal favourite Kimbra. Even though I have seen her three times before, she never ceases to impress with her powerful jazzy voice and vibrant attire. This night’s particular dress was designed by Paula Selby Avellaneda from Argentina.

After being pumped with Kimbralicous beats in the front row, standing at the back of the tent for Jack White was more than welcome. Surprisingly the view from the back wasn’t so bad, the big screens on either side of the stage enabled a perfect view of both his back up bands.

Day two started with the Last Dinosaurs at 2:20pm. On the way to the GW McLennan Tent we found ourselves in the Tipi Forest with interpretive dancers moving emotively ankle deep in mud. After awkwardly robot dancing past them we made it to Jinja Safari, the notable tune of a bamboo flute welcoming us to the tent.

Out of all of Splendour’s acts, Band Of Skulls surprised me the most with their quality of live performance. I didn’t realise how many of their songs I knew until I saw them live! 

After lunch we joined a relaxed crowed for Tame Impala. Their music is what I imagine the Beatles meets psychedelic rock. We then rushed over to Lana Del Rey for her rather stripped back set, with mostly stringed instruments accompanying her, but it only added to the mood of her music. Brilliant voice though, did not regret giving up my close to the stage spot in the Supertop for a bit of Lana time. The night closed with British band Bloc Party back at the main stage.

Sunday, the last day of Splendour. My partner and I made an effort to get to The Rubens early as we are the biggest Husky fans and they were playing right after. Our plan worked, as people left after the Ruben’s set, we made it to the very front of the mosh and feel like Husky was serenading us.

Unfortunately we ended up missing out on Angus Stone because my camera was too professional looking to be at the festival, so we headed over to Wolfmother to avoid the security guards. Plus side, Wolfmother were remarkable! Double plus side, I was able to get a good position for The Kooks straight after them. Whilst people complained about the short set of Azealia Banks, I enjoyed a full-length set of The Kooks. Naïve made my night.

Last acts for ALL of Splendour were Smashing Pumpkins and Gossip. I decided to alternate between the two, which gave me a good mixture of indie pop and alternative rock to finish the festival off with. 

Regardless of the music, Splendour as a festival is something definitely worth experiencing once during a life-time. Not only is the music worth every cent, but the overall atmosphere. Many people went all out and made the effort to dress up with multiple Native Amerindian hatted people, people in onsies, and the occasional bride/grooms and Jesus’. 

On the drive home I couldn’t wait to go back even though it had only been a mere couple of hours since I had left, so if you are a music goer or simply enjoy festivals, this is unquestionably a festival not to be missed.

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