Once a mere Byron day party, where Bernard Fanning led Powderfinger crooned the day away; 2001 was a simpler time. But even in it’s infancy Splendour in The Grass had a cult following. Set in the lush Belongil Fields, revellers camped and danced to the tunes of PNAU, Powderfinger, John Butler Trio, Something For Kate and Frenzal Rhomb among others on that first venture. What grew from that iconic Aussie lineup is a celebration of talent unrivalled in this country.
If you managed to get your hot little hands on tickets to this July’s debauchery, or if you’re planning to work your way around sideshows in your hometown – take a look back at the best curated lineups in Splendour’s history. It’s no doubt Australia’s best festival and if you want to bicker about it, take your issue to the comments.
A great festival lineup stands the test of time, offering new acts and classic favourites in equal measure, for an experience each and every attendee holds dear. Well, instead of withering away the day at high school circa 2007, I certainly would’ve rather been here. Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen, Bloc Party, Hot Chip, The Cat Empire, Hilltop Hoods, Josh Pyke, Klaxons, Sarah Blasko and The Kaiser Chiefs all took to the stage. Like my iPod mini exploded into live form, oh what a wonderful two days it would have been. Tickets were only $185 too, because you know *inflation*.
Outkast alone took this lineup to a special place in any Hey Ya shaking fan of the noughties’ heart. This lineup was iconic in it’s ability to offer newbies a leg up and internationals a chance to play to their most devoted (and faraway) fans. Kelis, Foster The People, London Grammar, Rufus, Sky Ferraria, Grouplove, The Preatures, each at the top of their game made 2014 a true milestone in the festival’s history. Not to mention heralding talents Kilter, Cosmo’s Midnight, Touch Sensitive, Tkay Maidza and Paces as ones to watch.
The Strokes, Pixies, Florence and the Machine, Foals, Two Door Cinema Club, The Temper Trap, Violent Soho, Flight Facilities, Mumford and Sons, The Ting Tings and Scissor Sisters; and that was just the top half of the bill. Have a squint at Saturday’s early starters, Jonathan Boulet, Oh Mercy, The Drums, Band of Skulls – Splendour’s early acts are all but destined for greatness. 2010 you feel so close yet so far.
Coldplay, Kanye, The Hives, James Blake, The Jezebels, Gotye, Boy and Bear and oh so much more. One glance at this three day breakdown and even the most music averse individual will have their heart set a flutter. Where other festivals fail to balance big names and charming up comers, Spendour excels. Never too many a clash and always a well tapered day to get you on the ground -gumboots and all – for the full day. Alpine, Grouplove and Jinja Safari, Cloud Control and Foster The People all opened things up, little did we know we’d be seeing their names in bigger font in years to come.
The goddess that is Florence and her all too wonderful machine returned. With a 2014 that set the bar almost unmatchably high, 2015 did well to keep fans ravenous for the July revelry. Blur, Mark Ronson, The Wombats, Of Monsters and Men, Earl Sweatshirt, The Dandy Warhols, MS MR, The Reubens, Ryan Adams, Peking Duk, Death Cab For Cutie and a whole lot more got served on up. Things got extra muddy this year, but with a lineup that stacked no one seemed to mind.
Image source: Happy Mag, The Maddest, The Dwarf, AAA Backstage, Life Without Andy.