words by Jez Ryan
The last few days have been a bit of daze as I slowly recover from this year’s Splendour in the Grass festival that was held in Byron Bay last weekend. For me this year was definitely one of the best, and I think one of the main contributing factors to that was the weather. We had mid-20 degree days with loads of warmth, sunshine and zero mud – I reckon all of that sunshine put everyone in an pretty happy mood
Day 1 – Friday, July 22
My little four-man crew set out to arrive as early as possible on the first day, which ended up being just before Nicole Millar jumped on stage at 3pm. She performed a really fun set which got us in the mood for the rest of the day’s shenanigans. From there we wandered the festival grounds for a while, just to get our bearings and make note of all of the essential areas; the Fat Yak Beer Bar, the Unicorn Bar, the Wine Bar, the toilets and all of the food areas. The rest of the day/night was spent moving from stage to stage as we tried to catch some of our favourite acts like Jack Garratt, Hayden James, Years & Years, Human Movement and The Avalanches, before making a quick pit-stop in the Gold Bar to collect some more of my buddies (The Kite String Tangle, Kilter & Nicole Millar) to finish off the day with Hermitude, who performed to an overflowing crowd at the Mix Up Stage.
Sadly I missed The Strokes this year, but I heard nothing but great things about their show.
Day 2 – Saturday, July 23
Today was my birthday, and what better way to spend it then at one of my favourite music festivals. We set out to hit the festival in time for Slum Sociable, but due to our lazy movements (and some very nice hotel neighbours that offered us some of their bucket-punch) we got there just in time for Running Touch at 3pm (again). I was impressed by Running Touch’s live performance, it wasn’t what I was expecting at all – it was a huge shame about the sound issues that were going on during this set though, an issue that seemed to be happening across all of the stages over the entire weekend. Lido was one of the highlights for Saturday, right alongside Snakehips, Sticky Fingers, Crystal Fighters, The Cure and Santigold – we did also check out a bit of What So Not but the sound was so bad from up the back we just ended up leaving…
We then finished up the night with a bit of a groove in the ‘Marigold Majestic’ area which was a nice little treat, before having to wait 2.5hrs in the bus line to get back to Byron – that was horrible!
Day 3 – Sunday, July 24
It felt like we took our time getting in today, but somehow we ended up arriving at the same time as the previous two days. We caught a little bit of Sui Zhen before making our way over to watch my buddy Feki, who played to a very full ‘Tiny Dancer’ tent, and did an awesome job of it too. From there we tried to make the most of the last day by seeing as many acts as possible (which meant less time loitering in the bar areas). We caught The Internet, Jagwar Ma (such a fun show), Wafia, Just A Gent, Ganz, The Preatures and James Blake, before blissing out to the incredible sounds of Sigur Rós – holy shit did they blow my mind!
All and all Splendour in the Grass 2016 was among my favourites, and the festival organizers deserve a huge pat on the back for their incredible organization skills, stunning surrounds and awesome music selections.
Catch you again next year Splendour!