Since 2001, Splendour in the Grass (SITG) has been held near Byron Bay, NSW, with the exception of two years – 2010 and 2011 – when SITG was held in Woodford, Queensland before returning to NSW. This Australian music festival, originally a one-day gathering, caters for all music lovers during the winter season, with the first festival featuring performances from Powderfinger, Michael Franti and Spearhead.
Created and promoted by Village Sounds and Secret Service music companies, by 2002, this festival quickly evolved into a two-day festival. Growing in popularity over the years, the tickets began to sell out within the first 48 hours of going on sale – and even quicker today. As a result, in 2014, this (now) three-day festival hit capacity of 30,000 festival-goers and was officially considered to be Australia’s largest winter music festival.
This festival was without a doubt a big hit from the beginning. Over the years, SITG has seen many international and local artists grace the stages, including John Butler Trio (2002), Jet (2003), Hilltop Hoods (2004), Sarah Blasko (2005), Scissor Sisters (2006), Arctic Monkeys (2007), The Wombats (2008), Birds of Tokyo (2009), Florence and the Machine (2010), Gotye (2011), Lana Del Ray (2012), Matt Corby (2013), Foster the People (2014) and Alison Wonderland (2015).
Returning with a massive lineup, 2016 is set to see the biggest names travel to the outskirts of Byron Bay, where Australia’s very own winter music festival occurs. With many large names taking to the stages, this year is set to see an array of performances catering to all music lovers. The Strokes, The Avalanches, Sigur Ros and James Vincent McMorrow will perform their only Australian shows at SITG 2016.
Other major artists performing include The Cure, Flume, James Blake, Hermitude, Band of Horses, Matt Corby, Boy & Bear, The 1975, Leon Bridges, Years and Years, Illy, Band of Horses, Crystal Fighters and Tegan & Sara.
The Foodies Festival
What would a non-stop, three-day music festival be without an opportunity for foodies to unite and keep their energy levels in check? From gourmet burgers to Asian delights (what more do Aussies want?), this year will see an international culinary affair, catering ‘for vego’s, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, hard-core raw or the extremely carnivorous’.
Returning with the best of the east coast’s premier food vans, the Truck Stop will serve up mouthwatering mac cheese for those seeking comfort food, alongside salads and smoothies for the yoga-goers. The three deluxe and comfortable Splendour Food Halls will serve up the best of the best – featuring pizza, Byron Bay Pies, German sausages, hot chips, churros, coffee, and many more options to keep your stomach lined, and appetites satisfied.
But what would an Aussie festival be without Grill’d? Splendour’s burger buddies are back, serving up even more fresh burgers for all party goers at the Grill’d Burger Park. Grilling locally sourced ingredients for a delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner, you cannot enjoy Splendour without these guys.
Now we all know Aussies love to enjoy a drink or two as they party the day and night away – no matter the weather! This year, with three massive destination bars coming to Splendour, you will have the choice of a typical Aussie beer right through to a classy glass of champagne.
Fat Yak returns with their Yaks Watering Hole and the Laziest Bucking Yak, making you feel like you are a champion, as you, of course, sip on some cold yaks! Or if you’re more of a Carlton Dry kinda guy, head to the backyard party where the fridges are stocked for you to ‘kick back on the deck with a cold Dry’.
However, we all know there are some who like to stay classy – even when they are walking through the mud of a wintery festival – so why not discover #LiveLifeUnplanned with the Mo’Rockin Wine Bar and Moët and Chandon Champagne Bar. Not only will they be serving up glasses of Chandon and Moët, but they will also be serving a decadent cheese board, carefully selected by Will Studd, world-renowned cheese connoisseur. If you’d rather get a taste of the Chandon Masterclasses, they are held twice a day for the duration of the festival.
Beyond The Main Stage: Global Village
Returning to SITG with a brand new stage, the Global Village appears to be more inspiring than ever before. The new World Stage showcases a world fusion of acts, as traditional dancers transform you into a new world of music and dance, featuring performances by Bustamento, The Cambodian Space Project, Dubarray, Declan Kelly, Future Edlers and many others.
If you’re waiting for that double bass to drop, why not take some time to re-align your chakras at the Healing Sanctuary. Not only will you enter this area of zen, but you will also be brought to a place of serenity as a professional masseuse works out those knots from dancing too much – or not dancing enough? Don’t forget to hear your tarot reading before jumping across to the Bohemian Lounge for a taste of Byron’s premier chai tea by Hari Hari Chai. If you’d rather hula hoop your way through the day, the Village Green is the ultimate hang out, with a circus school teaching a variety of classes during the day – who knows what you will learn!
For crystals, circus supplies, body and face painting, feather adornments, and everything festival you can think of, the Village Markets will provide you with a bargain or two.
Once you have found a new you in the Village Market, lose yourself in the rhythms and installations of the Electric Garden Silent Disco, featuring only Byron Bay’s best DJs. Discover traditional sand mandala ceremonies, and be a part of a daily chanting session with the Gyuto Monks of Tibet at Gyuto Gompa, or explore the art of tradition Aboriginal custodians held and celebrated across the local Minjungbal region at Minjungbal Gunyah.
Beyond The Main Stage: Tipi Forest
What is Splendour without Tipis? Escape reality, and get lost in the nature of the Tipi Forest. Featuring underground sounds, interpretive dances and alternative beats since the very beginning, in 2001, festival-goers will find a bit of everything here – from the best of techno, trance and house to glitch hop, drum ‘n bass, reggae, booty, funk, nu disco, dance hall, jungle, and progressive.
Producers Andy Dub, Hypnotech, Nick Taylor, and Strange Planet will take the stages, alongside performance artists such as Strange Dreams, Elvis Schmoulianoff and Tuntable Falls Circus And Twisted Inferno. However, it isn’t just playful performances that will have you dancing under the stars until the stars go to sleep, but the atmosphere amongst the tipis will bring you to an immersive outdoor space with visual artists – Carpet Snake Dreaming, Clint Hurrell, Maggie Schreiber, and Mystical Forest Suspension and Spinner Sisters – transcending the show.
Beyond The Main Stage: Smirnoff House
If you’d rather make yourself at home, then head upstairs to the Smirnoff House, with both your old friends and new, to rejuvenate. When you’re ready, head downstairs with a drink or two and light up the dance floor with your epic dance moves and Splendour feels. After the main stages have finished for the day, this house will keep the party going with sets by Joshua Gilliland, Bosco, Delta Riggs DJs, Elk Road and many others until the sun returns.
More Than A Music Festival
Splendour in the Grass isn’t just about music, food, drinks and vibes; it provides a space to celebrate the arts, from performance, painting and installations to video art and even sculptures. With a new video art space, throughout the course of the three nights, a collection of works will be on display for you to admire and be inspired by.
Performance and installation artist Andy Forbes will bring Un-Intelligent Designs (2016) to SITG, featuring improvised theatre, video, sculpture and music all within one place. Having performed and directed shows for the festival since 2002, Forbes will without a doubt take you on a journey like no other. If you’d rather pick up your Cool Shit, the Barcelona-based art group Hungry Castle will show off their public art and clothing known as Cool Shit; inspired by internet pop culture, they make big playful things, like Mr Poopie. After all, everyone loves the poop emoji that resembles ice cream.
If you’d rather pump up the jam and get your hands on a lot of glitter, pom poms and body paint, then Splendour in the Craft is not to be missed. With the help of Australia’s favourite arts and craft store, Spotlight, you have the chance to be a part of a fun Crafternoon. If you manage to bust one too many moves, you can get your clothes mended for free over at the Mend It Like Backham stall. This does sound sew good and too good to be true, but we are not lying – although it definitely comes on a first in best-dressed basis.
Struggling to find a babysitter during the long festive weekend? Fear not! This year’s dedicated grassy field for the little ones provides a kids festival like no other. This fully fenced, secure area will provide both big kids and little kids alike with a place to relax, play and unleash a new creative spirit. A giant tipi provided for parents to feed, change and rest up with their little ones at various points throughout the festival is also equipped with a baby change table, microwave, fridges, tables and lounges for all your needs.
To keep all kids entertained, there will be a mini park, a large sandpit, a music garden, dress ups, jumping castle, face painting, henna tattoos, giant board games and an Artie Fartie Partie craft zone.
One of the best parts of this immersive festival is camping with your closest buds during winter in your own tent (or tipi). But before you hit the hay, ensure you eat at one of the two food pods available on the campgrounds, hydrate every day, and ensure your tent is set up correctly – after all, it’s gonna be in-tents!
Remember to stay safe and look after your friends, both new and old, throughout the duration of this festival and, of course, have fun.
22 – 24 July 2016