WORDS BY JESS HOLTON OF I COULD NEVER BE DEAF
Splendour In The Grass is like my devoted boyfriend who lets me fly by the seat of my pants all year round, and then for three days in the middle of an Australian winter let’s me run free amongst the birds, beers, and dust. We hold hands together all day while he buys me overpriced drinks and then at night Splendour wraps his big burly arms around me to keep me warm in the poorly built tent. These three days are sincerely the most miraculous of the year, and must be celebrated with an outrageous lineup, sprawling amphitheatre, and oodles of cask wine in splitting cups from the supermarket.
Here lies the Chase The Compass essential guide to surviving the joys of Splendour In The Grass.
1. Make sure you have an epic playlist to accompany you on the 10 hour drive from Sydney to Byron Bay. Mine this year will consist of The Klaxons latest album, an embarrassing amount of Ja Rule, and something to reminisce on like Foals who played Splendour in 2010. Season your playlist with the dirtiest and worst food that you can possibly muster on the drive up there. We are talking litres upon litres of normal Coca Cola, double cheeseburgers from road side cafes, and enough cheesy chips that your steering wheel will eventually form a delicious rind on top of it. This is how you know you have truly made it.
2. If you don’t know how to set up your tent, employ the people surrounding you to help. Who knows? They may indeed have a gram of coke they want to share with you just because you seem so helpless and also because you have Fireball whiskey shots to go around. This may be wishful thinking, but this is my only option…I mean your only option. Also, this will set you up with some epic campsite tunes because the last thing you need is your friendly neighbour to be blasting Skrillex mixes until the early hours of the morning before you know you have to get your beauty sleep in order to perhaps get backstage and dance arm in arm with Motez.
3. Be sure to stop by the Lionel Richie blow up head this year. I will be there scream singing “All Night Long” for the majority of the festival in between buying drink tickets and losing my soul in the Tee Pee Village. What an amazing 80s tribute to the man who can dance on the ceiling, and provide a shining beacon for you to find your gurning mates.
4. The Red Bull Academy is providing some serious talent this year. If you are searching high and low for somewhere to twinkle your toes then this stage is the place for you. Kicking off on Thursday night before the festivities begin on Friday and going all weekend long; you will be able to see the likes of Sampology, Peanut Butter Wolf, Nicolas Jaar, Wordlife, L D R U, Indian Summer and many more. This is the place to discover new music, bask in the mashing of old, and pretty much lose your shit over and over again.
5. The stellar line up of Hip Hop acts could make your eyes water this year. The duo who are known to keep up so fresh and so clean, clean OUTKAST are in tow, while the least lactose intolerant person on the planet KELIS joins them on Friday. I don’t know about you, but every fibre of my being is screaming “YEEEESSSSS!!!”. But then again, once that dirty beat begins, there really is no telling just how down I may get. My apologies if you dear reader feel the soft caress of my buttocks somewhere over the other side of the world as this is taking place.
6. Although the international acts are really really amazing this year, be sure to check out some local talent. You have RUFUS who can wholeheartedly bring an entire crowd to their knees with their uninhibited stage presence and creamy beats. 90s garage rockers Spiderbait are there, and if that isn’t your bag man then The Jezabels will provide that rock feeling with their high pitched operatic vocals. We have some incredible Australian artists on the bill and there is nothing like a bit of national pride without having to wear an Australian flag, punch people, or chug 50 VBs in a row.
7. Enjoy the beautiful surrounds at North Byron Parklands. You will have the fluorescent pink sun setting in the sky as you take in one of your favourite artists. This doesn’t happen very often in day to day gig life. Trust me. The best part is that no doubt you will have some sort of delicious alcoholic beverage in hand and if you are lucky perhaps even a piece of BBQ chicken pizza with that amazing aioli that captured my heart back in 2012.
8. If you can, come find me and lets hang out. I will make sure that you see the best that Splendour has to offer while telling you stupid jokes and trying not to maintain eye contact for too long because there is a 80% chance I will be cross eyed.