MEMORIES IN THE GRASS: Purple Sneakers’ Best Bits from Splendour In The Grass
If you’ve been on social media this week, you might have stumbled across one or two (or 50) throwback posts to everyone’s favourite time of year, SPLENDOUR IN THE GRASS. Basically Musical Christmas, due to the you-know-what pandemic, the festival (which was meant to be celebrating its 20th birthday this year) has had to cancel its 2020 edition and make optimistic plans for an even bigger blow out in 2021.
Splendour In The Grass has been a rite of passage for music lovers in Australia and beyond, and the festival always brings with it countless memories to be made (and sometimes forgotten) thanks to its jam-packed three-day extravangnza. From Byron Bay doughnuts to long bus lines home; finding love in the toilet line to spending way too much money in the Moroccan Wine Bar; getting a little too lit on the Friday and having to back it up on Saturday with a cooked campsite cocktail bright and early to the dreaded packdown on Monday morning — the festival always delivers some great tales, and that doesn’t even include the exceptional sets performed by hundreds of bands over the years.
If you are missing being in Byron Bay this weekend and want to have a memento for the weekend that should’ve been, you are in luck. Splendour organisers have released a special line of tshirts punters can purchase. “100% of profits from the sale of these T’s will go directly to Splendour’s crew, who are doing it super tough during Covid,” organisers said in a statement. So by copping a shirt, not only are you helping the amazing Splendour crew, you’re also going into the running to win a backstage pass for the 2021 festival. For all info, head HERE.
Here, we look back at some of our very favourite memories over the years from stunning headline performances to special and intimate moments. Join us for a walk down memory lane as we count down the days until we can all be together in the amphitheatre again.
EVEN DADS LOVE COURTNEY BARNETT
My first ever splendour in the grass was in 2016. Still in high school at the time, my parents insisted an adult attend with me. Fortunately for me my Dad volunteered. A Courtney Barnett fan, we moshed together through her high – intensity set. He hasn’t attended subsequent Splendours but he sure made my first festival special. – Lawson Wrigley
PARTYING WITH PURPOSE IN 2019
Splendour In the Grass is always a good time, whether you’re there as a punter, volunteer, working or playing. In 2019 I was part of the media posse of Splendour-goers and it was by far one of my highlights for that year. One thing that shines about being at Splendy for media purposes is the very cool, calm and collected sense of purpose that permeates your days. You’re not just there to party, you’re partying with purpose. For reals. Last year there were a few key highlights for me, one of these being the fact that at one point I found myself a mere TEN FEET from Donald Glover AKA. Childish Gambino. As a long time fan I was 110% starstruck and on top of that his set was phenomenal as usual. A special mention needs to be given for the stage technicians that made each act so magical to behold. Tame Impala’s laser light show and that ad-hoc (albeit legendary) Hilltop Hoods performance soared with help from an amazing stage team that worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Some powerful female energy also graced the stage last year, and I found myself inspired and in awe of acts like SZA, Santigold, Thelma Plum and Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell. Another surprising highlight was the phenomenon of the ~arvo chill~ where one could kick back with bevs on a various grassy patch near a stage. This is where I found myself enjoying some amazing acts like Wolfmother, Moaning Lisa and The Last Dinosaurs. For music lovers, a music festival that spans over days really does feel like an elongated dream and if you know how to do it right, you will return home completely exhausted and revitalised all at once. – Clare Neal
TAME IMPALA AND THEIR LASERS
Seeing Tame Impala in the amphitheatre was stunning. Lasers, blown out bass guitars, Kevin’s whimsy vocals all landed perfectly in the North Byron Parklands amphitheatre. Even though they were off their album cycle, every track was met brilliantly by the fans, and Tame did the unthinkable, in engaging just about the entire festival for an hour. I didn’t know how I felt, the only way to describe it was like i was in some sort of meditative trance. – Parry Tritsiniotis
THE EVOLUTION OF AUSTRALIAN DANCE MUSIC
It’s no secret that Australian dance music has had somewhat of a renaissance over the last few years, but it did seem to take a hot second for that renaissance to finally really make an appearance at Splendour In The Grass. When the festival did, however, it was plain to see just how widely embraced the many different types of dance music that are being made in this country really are. From FLUME going from opening the festival in 2012 to headlining the amphitheatre in 2016, to the always-overflowing Mix Up Tent, to even the entire creation of the Tiny Dancer Stage and its always exceptionally-booked line up, dance music has become more and more prevalent at Splendour In The Grass over the last decade. Nina Las Vegas, Santigold, The xx, LCD Soundsystem, CC:DISCO!, Willaris. K, Ninajirachi, Kllo, Girl Talk, Mallrat, and so many more have played gamechanging sets at the Byron Bay festival, taking them from emerging artists to national superstars. While indie bands will always be the festival’s bread and butter, the force that is the continually evolving dance music landscape in Australia and beyond has been impossible to ignore. – Emma Jones
THE PRESETS MAKING DANCE MUSIC HISTORY
In 2018, CHROMEO cancelled their Splendour appearance, and made way for none other than The Presets to answer the call. Judging from the sheer size of their crowd, you’d be forgiven for thinking they were on the bill the entire time. With a Mix Up Tent absolutely overflowing, The Presets delivered one of the best festival sets I’ve ever seen. Somehow packing in hit after hit after hit, they effortlessly combined their brand new album, HI VIZ (which was just a few weeks old at the time) with their older material to deliver a blistering, high-energy, inspirational hour of dance music greatness. From acid-house reworks of their classics like ‘I Go Hard, I Go Home’ into huge new bangers like ’14U+14ME’, it was heavy from the get go in all the right ways. Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes positively breezed through their set, making it look easy as they tapped into their over-a-decade’s worth of material, smashing through crowd favourites like ‘Are You The One?’, ‘Youth In Trouble’, ‘This Boy’s In Love’ and of course, the enormous ‘My People’. They had the crowd hanging off every single note, and confirmed the fact that many of us have known all along — The Presets are Australian dance music legends, and they made history on that Friday night. – Emma Jones
Words by the Purple Sneakers team
Image by Dan Lynch for Purple Sneakers
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