Splendour In The Grass @ North Byron Parklands, Byron Bay (Fri 26 Jul – Sun 28 July 2013)

went to this 6 years ago

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This was the first Splendour ever that I actually doubted whether I’d go. To say I was disappointed when the lineup was released would be a major understatement. I’d not heard of most of the bands (a condition symptomatic of refusing to listen to Triple J anymore) and of the bands I did know of, only The National and TV On The Radio caused excitement. Luckily they caused enough for me to press the ‘purchase’ button with only around 40 seconds left in the Splendour Member presale.

Ironically enough, this was also the first Splendour in years that after the event, I’ve already decided that I’ll definitely be at next years festival (pending any external circumstances).

So, even though the wife had no interest in attending, a roadtrip was planned, encompassing 16 days of driving from Melbourne to Brisbane and back, seeing as much in-between as we could. We saw family, as well as Parliament House and a space station in Canberra, went to the zoo in Dubbo, hung out with dead relatives in Wellington, hung out with more (live) family and friends in Brisbane, saw the Big Banana in Coffs and a bunch of other things. But you don’t give a shit about that, as the the title of this article isn’t “What did Saminator do for 16 days as he drove up and down the east coast of Australia.”  One thing to note though, is this was the first outing for the new love bus. My first few Splendour’s were in my old sky-blue 1978 Nissan E-20 camper.  In around 2005 I upgraded to a ’91 Hiace Commuter.  That has since been filled with rust and is now in landfill somewhere.  It’s replacement is Danni, my ‘new’ 2003 Vito, and she was fabulous.

I will say now that although a lot of this was written straight after the festival, there are chunks that I’ve been writing over the last few months in fits and bursts. Life got busy and this hasn’t been published until December 2013.

I am now going to briefly vent all of my frustrations of this years events under the title:

An open letter to the organisers of Splendour In The Grass

Dear Jessica, Paul and everyone else in the Splendour In The Grass crew,

I have been loyally attending your festival for the last thirteen years. That means I have missed not one SITG since it started way back in 2001. I have written about every Splendour in this here blog.

One thing that I have noted to be a theme throughout most years, is that every year, there are improvements. If there were issues in a particular year, then more often than not, they have been improved upon the following year. I could go into detail, but I won’t bother- you can read everything I’ve previously said here.

This year, I was disappointed on many levels. Don’t get me wrong, I was mightily impressed on many more too- I just thought it best we get the negative out of the way first and then we can be friends again.

I have no doubt you’ve heard most of these over the weeks following the event and will again, but for the sake of wanting to be heard, I’m going to state my issues:

Moshtix booking fees are a rort

I work in IT and understand the infrastructure needed for the Splendour ticketing system would be extremely expensive to produce. BUT- it was built years ago (albeit with modifications along the way), so the cost still being passed on to the consumer is pretty steep. Add to this that these booking fees no longer include printing and posting of the tickets as this task has been passed to the consumer with e-ticketing.

I don’t recall exact numbers, but from memory there were 25,000 people in the festival per day. The majority of those are 3 day ticket holders with a few being single day ticket holders. For arguments sake, let’s call that 30,000 tickets at $9 booking fee comes to $270,000. The County Club ticket attracted a booking fee of $13. I have no idea how many Country Clubbers there were, but I’m going to make a wild stab at 1000. So that’s another $13k. Then there’s the camping tickets. Again, this is a guess but I’m going to call it 15,000 camping tickets each attracting a $6 booking fee. This comes to $90,000. All up from initial ticket sales alone, Moshtix has raked in between $350 – 400,000 in booking fees. Not a bad business model, and I’m not necessarily knocking it. Business is business, and if I had a business model that could pull that sort of cash I certainly wouldn’t be apologising for it.

The bit I find highly offensive and downright dodgy is the $20 fee per ticket to use the resale facility. For me, this cost $40 to resale my 3 day and camping ticket. I of course was not refunded the $15 in booking fees already paid, and was charged a booking fee of $13 for Country Club (I initially bought 3 days camping and then decided to Country Club).

All up, Moshtix made $68 from me and countless others. Add to this the extorsion of car passes, and you’ve got people shelling out hundreds of dollars for things that really should be included in the ticket price. Splendour is the most expensive festival by a big margin, and being slogged for more cash in every step is infuriating.

Ticket sellers can sometimes be worse than airlines with this stuff, especially as one doesn’t have an alternative with ticket sales. I can’t decide that I would prefer to buy my Splendour tickets through Oztix or Ticketmaster for example.

Campsites / Country Club

The downfall here was the campground crew who were utterly useless. No one seemed to know what was going on, and I doubt these people could have organised much at all, except maybe a dutch oven. The campground itself was an utter clusterfuck.

Splendour In The Grass 2013We had bought Country Club tickets, which gave us, among other things, an exclusive camping area that was closest to the entrance, and also had its own showers and toilets. Due to the heavy rain of the past few months, changes were made to the camping area and we were bundled in to an area that had tents as well as campervans (we had both), but also had Country Club and regular campers. This was the beginning of the Country Club debacle which led to hundreds of complaints, and ultimately a $100 refund to all Country Club ticket holders. The upshot was that not all Country Club ticket holders got to camp in the Country Club area, and many normal ticket holders did. The facilities were sub-standard across the whole campground, and any extra ‘exclusive’ facilities were inadequate in number and much of them not put in place until Friday or Saturday. I take no issue with ordinary campers using the Country Club facilities, but the simple fact is that I, and many others, paid around $250 extra for the privilege. It does get a tad annoying when you’re waiting for 2 hours to have a shower and the 10 or so people in front of you shouldn’t actually be there.

Campground staff

The problems were exacerbated by a complete lack of toilets and showers across the whole campground. The facilities were revolting within a few minutes of being cleaned, and the showers were a cold trickle at best. I witnessed some ‘cleaners’ who were using a chux and a small mop to clean out the porta-loos in campsite D. WTF?? The only way those toilets were going to see the light of day was with a high pressure hose (which was right there for them to use). Basically, from what I could tell, all the staff in the campgrounds were complete morons with no clue as to how to make a shitty situation work. The staff directing traffic had no idea where to send campers, the cleaners were useless, the security was non-existent and no-one seemed to give a flying fuck. There were also no bins in the camping area which obviously wasn’t going to improve matters.

Car passes

Splendour In The Grass is obviously a profitable venture, otherwise why would the organisers bother? Sometimes it does strike me that there’s a little too much greed going on though. The car passes ($30 to be able to bring your car into the campground after you’ve already paid $100 for a camping ticket) are a true rort. The guise of being environmental by refunding those with more than 3 occupants in their car is laughable. Fitting three people as well as camping gear, clothing and food for three or four days into a car gets pretty tight and uncomfortable.

Too many people in the camping area

Personally, I think that the biggest concern that Splendour should have after this years event is the number of people who were utterly pissed off by the whole thing. I will say there were a shitload of idiots who seemed to expect red carpet laid out for them and a personal slave to wipe their ass. These same people showed little or no respect for their fellow campers, leaving the facilities in a shocking state. Is it that hard to flush a toilet? Ladies, do you really need to leave your used sanitary items on the floor?

I’m not sure what the difference is, but none of these issues occur at Meredith, which by and large is the best festival on the planet.

Realistically, the only way to cure a lot of these issues is to have less people in the campground. Sure, you won’t make as much money, but the people there are going to be A LOT happier and are more likely to say good things and come back in future years. Camping spots should be allocated upon entry with a general rule of thumb being each person has enough room for a car and a tent. That way, if there’s 4 of you in a group who all decide to bring your car, then you’re not going to have much room to set-up a group shelter, tables and chairs. BUT, if those same 4 people crammed into one or two cars, then they’ll have all this extra room allocated where they can set-up all they want. That is a far bigger incentive than the carpass rort, and you’ll never be in a situation of having too many campers arrive with no room.

Anyway- enough of all that.

Thursday 25 July 2013

So, as any of you know that have read my previous Splendour posts, our crew normally numbers around 10. We got to around twenty in 2011 with our lowest previous count being 7 on 2004.

This year was a new record: 3.

Me, Vix & Coz- and it was fabulous.

Vix and I arrived around 4pm on Thursday, and I must say our first impressions of the new site were positive. The organisers had obviously planned very well to get as much traffic off local roads and the highway as quickly as possible. A massive carpark was formed with cars lining up in queues, and then let into the site as congestion allowed.

Splendour In The Grass 2013

Obviously it wasn’t faultless, but considering the rain, I thought our 40 minute crawl from exiting the Pacific Highway to getting into the camping area was pretty good going. I know that many waited a lot longer than that later in the evening. To those people who complained ad nauseam on social media about it, I ask you this- how exactly would you get thousands of cars through a muddy bog and keep everyone happy? Yes, it became a major clusterfuck, but under the circumstances, I don’t think much else could have been done to get people in quicker.  The simple fact is that most campers arrive on Thursday after work, so predictably, things are going to get crowded.

Wine Bar at Splendour In The Grass 2013Coz arrived later that night and after all the tents were setup, it was time to go in. The Country Club ticket advantages soon became more apparent as we skipped the queue to get wristbanded, which I conservatively estimate saved us about an hour.

After a quick circuit of the new site to suss out where the stages were, we made our way to fulfill what has now become tradition- the Splendour Wine Bar.

Empty Mix Up tent by night

This years merch

Friday 26 July 2013

Splendour 2013 timetable Friday

This year was Splendour’s first foray into RFID wristbands. Not altogether a bad idea (great for data gathering), but as I was to find out the next night- if you’re going to bring in something new, make sure you’re prepared for it. What I mean is : Splendour, please have a shitload more of these things at the entrances and exits for next years festival. They were the biggest holdup for getting in and out of the place.

It was reasonably apparent on entry that the mud situation was not really going to let up. The sun was out and our weather apps were reporting that it should be good weather for the rest of the weekend. The damage, however, had already been done, and was only going to get much worse.

The Hated

I’d not planned on seeing The Hated, but due to the front entrance’s proximity to the Mix Up tent, I thought I’d have a look on my way to see Baptism Of Uzi.

Well, this wasn’t the best way for me to start Splendour 2013. These guys truly sucked and came across as a bunch of spoiled 18 year old brats who’ve just discovered beer and pot.

Truly an embarrassment to see. Oh, the fucking humanity.

Baptism Of Uzi

Now THIS is how I should have started Splendour. These guys were unreal. A perfect blend of rock, psychedelia as well as some subtle traces of post-rock. I’m glad I saw these guys and will definitely be seeing them again.

Dune Rats

These guys sounded like a happy melding of The Hard-Ons and The Ramones. They had great between-song banter. Not overly my cup of tea but I’d recommend them to anyone who’d into a bit of shouty rock ‘n roll.

Barnraiser (not a band)

Now, on the sitemap, this was called Barnraiser, but it was a half built building with Amish people performing various acts such as preparing meals and jumping on hay bales. It made no sense at all, and am guessing it was meant to be an art installation in place of a building unfinished due to the weather. I guess we’ll just have to wait until next year to see if the Amish have finally cooked their meal, or if there’s a new bar in town.

Cub Scouts

Some good sensible pop here that reminded me a little of Fanfarlo (who you may remember me raving about at Splendour 2010).
They had a big crowd for such an early timeslot, and didn’t disappoint.

Mitzi

Mitzi - Splendour In The Grass 2013 Happy electro-pop from memory. One note I wrote to myself at the time is that they reminded me a little of Yeasayer. This is a good thing.

Woe is me, it’s RFID

I decided to head back to camp after Mitzi. As I mentioned earlier, RFID wristbands were to go this year- this was the queue to leave the festival at around 3pm on Friday. This was entirely due to the fact that we had to ‘buzz out’. Surely anyone in the organisation crew who was from Melbourne would have realised through Myki that touching off just doesn’t work, and never will. If people want out, let them out.

While I’d been inside, crews had obviously been doing their best to unbog cars, with varying degrees of success…

Splendour In The Grass 2013

Robert DeLong

Robert DeLong- Splendour In The Grass 2013Robert DeLong was one of the artists who I’d not heard of until the lineup announcement. He was also one that once I listened to, I knew I’d be seeing him play.

The show was exceptional- amazing energy and such an awesome stage presence. Musically Robert DeLong isn’t unlike Miike Snow – a genre of music that can be hard for me to really appreciate unless it’s done particularly well, which both DeLong and Miike Snow do.

Welcome To Country

Welcome To Country is something Splendour has been doing since its inception.

Basically, it’s acknowledging that the festival is being held in traditional land and that that should be respected.

Hello Country Club bar, it’s a pleasure to be in you

Splendour In The Grass country club barI watched Welcome To Country from the Country Club bar. This was the point where I realised the extra dough was worth it. Forget the camping fuckups and the shower queues- this bar made it all ok. The sound could have been (a lot) better when inside, but the view was great and just having somewhere to sit after trudging through the mud was a God-send.

There was an outdoor area where you could just sit and listen to the bands, as well as toilets that were clean with little or no queues. The fact that the bar had minimal queues as well and accepted cash made a few of the band-clash decisions for me quite easy over the coming days.

The only thing I’d suggest to make next years bar even better is screens so you see better from inside, as well as maybe some speakers so you could hear better. Having said that, it was nice to be able to have a conversation in there without having to yell.

Haim

haim - Splendour In The Grass 2013Next up at main stage were Haim.

Hot chicks playing drums. What more could you ask for?

I could look at that photo for days.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra are one of those bands that play around a fair bit, but I’ve never really taken that much notice. At Meredith a few years ago I heard their set from the campground and was disappointed that I didn’t get to see them. This time round I wasn’t going to miss them so made my muddy way back to the McLennan stage for a fabulous set of music that had just the right amount of rock, pop and punk to make me wish they were playing for a lot longer than they did.

Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes

I knew nothing of Clairy Browne before this show. Awesome. Amazing band. Incredible voice. There’s not much more I can say- if you’re into fantastic soul music with a sprinkling of good humour and a solid dollop of sexy- go and see Clairy Browne.

Portugal, The Man

Portugal, The ManI had some time to kill in before meeting the girls back at the CC bar, so thought I’d take the long way back via the McLennan stage to see Portugal, The Man.

I’m very glad I did. Great rock tunes and the more I’ve listened to them since Splendour, the more I like them. I love ‘discovering’ bands I’ve not heard before – and one thing that’s better than that is discovering new bands that have a no-less than 8 album back catalogue to sink your teeth into.

Boy & Bear

Boy and BearI’ve never been a Boy & Bear fan. There’s nothing I dislike about them at all- it’s just that I find them a tad boring.

I caught the end of their set and they were tight and sounded fantastic, but they still didn’t light my fire.

You Am I (Sound As Ever)

A massively solid performance, but what do you expect from one of Australia’s greatest bands?

Babyshambles

Babyshambles- Splendour 2013By the time Babyshambles hit main stage, the crowd had thinned quite a bit from Boy & Bear, and was probably around half full. I’d just left You Am I before they finished, and that was packed, so I’m guessing Darwin Deez over at the Mix Up tent must have been packed as well.

Babyshambles play good loose pop- tonight they were indeed loose- Pete Doherty was almost positively off his tits and prancing about like a drunk epileptic. That said, from what I saw it was a good pop show. Can’t say I’d ever see them again, but glad I made the effort tonight.

Flight Facilities

Flight Facilities- Splendour 2013Had me a dance here.

You would have too if you’d been there.

Matt Corby

By now, the McLennan tent was resembling more of a mud wrestlers orgy than a music festival. Getting to it was simple enough, but to actually get as far as the tent without getting knee deep in mud was close to impossible. Pot-holes were forming and people were falling over everywhere.

With that in mind, I watched from a distance, and so didn’t quite get the show I was hoping for. I was on my way to TV On The Radio anyway so stood pretty far back and watched a few of Corby’s songs. I think I must have hit the ‘mellow’ part of the set.

TV On The Radio

TV on the Radio- Splendour in the grass 2013Jesus wept, what a gig. When I decided to come to Splendour this year, it was pretty much entirely to see The National. TV On The Radio were an added bonus, but I’d seen them a few times before, and although good live, were never spectacular.

Tonight, they were spectacular to the power of awesome (sA).

TV on the Radio Setlist Splendour In The Grass 2013 2013

Like I said, I’ve seen TV On The Radio a few times, at a couple of Splendours as well as Harvest 2011. For all of those shows I’ve just stood at the back and watched- for this one I managed to get right up front and fucking loved it. Next time they tour I’ll definitely be going to a show.

Klaxons

Sensational- I’ve been a Klaxons fan for some time so was pretty chuffed to get the opportunity to see them. Loved it. I only saw about 20 minutes of it though- having them sandwiched in between TV On The Radio and Architecture in Helsinki meant that Klaxons never stood a chance for me to see the whole set.

Architecture In Helsinki

Architecture In Helsinki are another one of those bands that I’ve seen in passing on festival bills over the years. It wasn’t until Splendour 2011 that I really started to get into them, and am now a huge fan.

The show was awesome, and I can’t say how much I love their B52’s meets electronica style. There were some excellent examples of how one should do synchronised dancing as well.

Mumford & Sons

When Architecture were done, I figured I’d head back up to main stage to catch the end of Mumford & Sons. I’ve only seen them once before at Splendour 2010 and I remember being impressed even though I’m not a fan.

Tonight I stayed for a few songs but was just too tired to stay to the very end so went back to camp. I could hear them clearly from the back of the van as I drifted off to sleep, which I must say was a pretty nice way to finish day 1.

On my way back to the van it was obvious that the campers weren’t the only ones getting a bit tired of all the mud…

Saturday 27 July 2013

I was up early again today and ready to be in the gates by midday for the first lot of bands. I must say, there’s a lot to be said for not writing yourself off every night!

The sun was out and there were more showers in place. It was a good way to start the day. I had The National to look forward to tonight, and with any luck, a lot of the mud issues would have been sorted by the time I made it through the gates.

Splendour 2013 timetable Saturday

Art of Sleeping

Art of Sleeping- Splendour In The Grass 2013Art of Sleeping were the first on my list for today, so I went straight to the McLennan stage. I didn’t know that much about them but Vix and I listened to a few of their songs on Rdio as we were queuing to get in yesterday.

Stylistically I’d sit them somewhere between Boy & Bear and Mumford, but infinitely more interesting. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see them again. They had an impressive crowd for such an early start.

The McLennan stage was still a boggy mess. I’d hoped there’d be have been some bark laid overnight, or something similar but no such luck.

For some reason this stage was the red headed step child of the festival and seemed to escape anyone’s notice how fucked it actually was. I’m not sure why this stage was neglected, and as it turned out, it was to get no treatment for the rest of the weekend. Maybe the risk of getting tractors bogged was too great? I don’t know- but it was starting to turn into a nightmare, and there were more than a few bands over the coming days that I missed simply due to the fact that it was just an unpleasant place to be.

This picture doesn’t really do it justice, as it was a lot worse right where I was standing to take that pic.

Postblue

Postblue - Splendour In The Grass 2013It’s a tough gig to open main stage of a festival where the vast majority of punters are still fast asleep (or only just making it to bed) from the night before. As you can see, there wasn’t a big crowd at all for these guys, which was a shame.

I really liked their sound- they were a young band but played like they’d been doing it a while. I had a look on the Splendour site to find out more, and it turns out they’re some local lads from Byron Bay who’ve only been together a short time. I thought they were fucking great.

I had planned to make it to Mix Up in time to see Twinsy, but they must have finished early as there was only a lone DJ playing to no-one by the time I got there. I went back to camp in the hope of making it back in time for Jagwar Ma and Jake Bugg, but it wasn’t to be. Once I got there, it was just nice to sit in the sun and relax, so that’s what I did for an hour or so.

I also wandered up the hill and took this photo, which shows just how big the campground is. Camping’s on the left, festival’s on the right.
Splendour In The Grass 2013

Chet Faker

Chet Faker - Splendour In The Grass 2013Chet Faker has gone a long way since I first saw him at Splendour 2012. It’s only been a year, but his popularity has gone through the roof. His set at Meredith last year was awesome, but for this gig, I just couldn’t get anywhere near close enough to hear much.

Crowd for Chet Faker

A lovely day at Splendour In The Grass

Whitley

Whitley - Splendour In The Grass 2013Whitley’s another one of those artists who I quite like, but have never made the effort to see live. Vix and Coz are big fans, so I went with them to the gig. He was excellent, and another to add to the list of artists I’m keen to see again. He had a very classy drummer and sensational between-song banter. I love artists that actually converse with the crowd rather than just come out, do their thing and then go home. The set was more downbeat than I expected, but that’s not a bad thing- just an observation.

Something For Kate

Something For kate- Splendour In The Grass 2013Something For Kate were the first band of the day that I was really looking forward to. I’ve seen them too many times to count, and they’re one of those bands that I think are pretty inconsistent – sometimes they really can be shit.

Today they were nothing short of mind blowing. The bands energy was palpable and it was by far the best Something For Kate show I’ve ever seen.

After Something For Kate I went to the Country Club bar again to meet up with the girls. I have no idea why, but I didn’t go an see Ms Mr. I think I just forgot that they were playing. Kicking myself for that little oversight as I had been looking forward to seeing them. Oh well.

Cold War Kids

Cold war Kids - Splendour In The Grass 2013The last time I saw Cold War Kids was at Splendour 2008 and they were woeful. Loose, out of time and pretty boring. I like their albums, but on that one occasion they were a real disappointment. Unfortunately they didn’t do much more for me today either.

Ben Lee

Ben Lee - Splendour In The Grass 2013This was an odd one- I didn’t even know Ben Lee was playing until I got a text from a friend back in Melbourne telling me as such. One of my friends Sophie was playing in his band, so I thought I’d go and check it out. It was far from what I expected. It seems he’d discovered Ayahuasca, which was the basis of the show. You can read more about it on Wikipedia, but suffice it to say, none of his previous hits were played and it felt more like a hippy meeting than a gig.

Drapht

Drapht - Splendour In The Grass 2013Drapht is always a hoot to see live, and this set had all the energy of Hilltops at Splendour last year and then some.

It would have been great if he’d been on later.

Sarah Blasko

Sarah Blasko - Splendour In The Grass 2013I love all of Sarah Blasko’s albums except her most recent, which I just can’t listen to. I only caught about 20 minutes of the set which was predominantly tunes from the lastest record. It was also at the afore-mentioned stage of doom- the McLennan tent, so there wasn’t much enjoyment for me. I’d also only stopped in briefly in my way to the Supertop for Bird Of Tokyo anyway.

I did chat to a few people over the remainder of the weekend who did say Sarah Blasko’s show was incredible, so take their word for it, not mine.

Birds of Tokyo

Birds of Tokyo - Splendour In The Grass 2013It still amazes me that Ian Kenny plays in two successful bands that are so different (Birds Of Tokyo and Karnivool).

Tonight Birds Of Tokyo were on top of their game, sounding tight and just damned good. The sound in the Supertop was superb. I watched the first half from under the tent and then wandered up to the Country Club bar and watched the rest from there. Fabulous.

Empire Of The Sun

Empire of The Sun - Splendour In The Grass 2013After making the wrong decision of seeing The Pixies instead of Empire Of The Sun at Splendour 2010, I was adamant I would see them this weekend.

Everything about this set was exceptional- the sound, the costumes, the crowd- everything.

One thing that I love about festivals (whether it be Splendour, Meredith or most other ones), is that although the punters are generally pretty young, there’s still a good number of oldies. I appreciate that more and more as I get older myself. Being 38 for this years festival, I felt old walking in but that didn’t last long. The reason I say this is that next to us at Empire Of The Sun were a couple who would have been nudging 60, who were dancing and cuddling like they were half their age- that happened during Alive, the set closer.

A really good gig- and a great way to vibe into what I hoped was to be my highlight of the weekend, The National.

The National

The National - Splendour In The Grass 2013This was to be fourth time I’d seen The National. The first in Sydney in 2008 was just after Boxer had started to make it’s mark- that show was excellent.

It was to be three years before I saw them again in Melbourne in 2011, and that for me has gone down as one of the best gigs I’ve ever witnessed. They came back later that year for the Harvest Festival, where I unfortunately had to watch them from a long way back.

Tonight I made my way as close to the front as I could without pissing anyone off (essentially just walking in there after Empire of The Sun and waiting for half an hour). They opened with Fake Empire, which is one of my favourites and continued on with hit after hit.

The energy was great, but I will say the communication with the crowd was lacking somewhat. To be fair, not including Harvest, this was the first time I’d not seen them in a small room, and they were headlining one of the countries biggest festivals, so the feel on stage is obviously going to be quite different than playing the Palais in Melbourne or the Recital Hall in Sydney.

I loved the show, but upon reflection, I’d actually say my highlights of the weekend thus far were TV On The Radio and Architecture in Helsinki.

Tonight’s show was by no means a disappointment, it just wasn’t as intimate as I’d hoped. As I write this, The National have just announced an Australian tour for February 2014 of which I’ve managed to get front row tickets at one of my favourite venues, The Music Bowl in Melbourne. Here’s to hoping they rekindle some of the magic that just wasn’t there tonight.

The National at Splendour In The Grass 2013
The National at Splendour In The Grass 2013
The National at Splendour In The Grass 2013
The National at Splendour In The Grass 2013

It was now time for bed. I’d been going pretty hard all day and my feet were aching to the point that I couldn’t actually get to sleep because they were hurting so much (yeah yeah- woe is me).

Sunday 28 July 2013

Splendour 2013 timetable Sunday

I will say that the most part of Sunday’s review has been written months after the event. Scribbled notes on paper as well as the occasional email sent to myself have been found to cobble this one together.

We also sat around camp for quite a few hours in the morning so missed a few bands. It was great to catch up though- I don’t see Vix & Coz nearly enough, and I’m glad that we just sat around shooting the breeze for a while.

Little Green Cars

 Little Green CarsAnother band I new nothing about. Great harmonies- great pop.

The Bamboos

If you see The Bamboos and don’t dance, you’re obviously in a wheelchair.

Sensational stuff.

Snakadaktal

I’d heard the name Snakadaktal bandied around on radio for a while, but never seen them. I think they played a Meredith that I was at. Anyway- a friend at work recommended I go and see them, so I did. And I liked it.

Everything Everything

A happy cross between White Lies, TV On The Radio and Yeasayer. Really liked their set a lot, and very much looking forward to when they tour again.

Lorde

Now this was a surprise. Frank Ocean had pulled out the last minute from headlining tonight. I didn’t care, as I fucking hate Frank Ocean.

All the afternoon lineup got pushed back by an hour, and Lorde was brought in to fill the gap. This was a pleasant surprise. I knew absolutely nothing about her, had not heard her name and had no idea what to expect. What I did hear was excellent. For someone who hadn’t been on the scene for too long, she did a stellar job and came across very much as a professional.

The Rubens

Yep- JJJ rock. Not there’s anything wrong with that. Just not really my thing.

Alt J

I was really looking forward to Alt-J, but unfortunately they were ever more dull than Sarah Blasko.

They played the hits, which was nice.

Passion Pit

Holy shit Passion Pit are good. Out of every band on the bill- these peeps know how to work a crowd.

Closing with Sleepyhead was just pure genius.

The Presets

I went through a period of seriously disliking The Presets. They were on every festival bill, every radio station and every music TV show for a while there, and I just got sick of them.

I figured I’d go and see them as goddammit, I wanted to keep dancing. They were brilliant, and exactly what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately with the main stage timetable shift, it meant that they clashed with Of Monsters And Men, which we wanted to see. It was decided to see the first part of The Presets and then run back up to the Supertop to see OFAM. Wasn’t gonna happen. Pissed rain just as The Presets started. And when I say pissed rain, I mean fucking monsoonal shit.

After the Presets we made the dash to the win bar and saw out the bad weather there before heading back to camp with another Splendour under our belts.

Monday 29 July 2013

Oh, the humanity. Bogged cars and rubbish. Everywhere.

It took a while to get out, but we eventually did and I had a nice drive back to Brisbane to reunite with the wife and tell her all of the tales I just told you.

All in all it was a great weekend- it definitely had it’s downsides, but the positives outweighed the negative, and that’s always the goal.

Until next year, Splendour.

xx

Did you see Splendour In The Grass @ North Byron Parklands, Byron Bay (Fri 26 Jul – Sun 28 July 2013)? Tell us about it

went to this 6 years ago

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