Splendour 2016 is done and dusted. I’m exhausted, my legs are jelly and all I wanna do is go back. WE HAVE TO GO BACK!
As always, Splendour delivered the goods-a great lineup, beautiful weather, beautiful people and a killer weekend. Bear Family were on the ground to review all the action, and we’ve decided to round up the top 10 BEAUTIFUL moments of Splendour 2016, to make you yearn even more for the sweet grounds of Yelgun. Til next year Splendour, you’ve been perfect.
True Love and religious awakening at the Church of Two Hands and a Chicken
It’s always nice to know that at anytime during the festival if you are feeling a bit down, you can always head over to the Unintelligent Design tent and witness two complete strangers profess their love in front of twenty random punters, a punk band, a 70’s influenced rock n roll preacher and a handful of foulmouthed, hairy-legged nuns. Moving, poetic, unpredictable, uncomfortable and spiritually rewarding.
Organic Doughnuts, all day, every day
Feeling shitty? Lost your best friend in the mosh? Hungover? Fallen asleep in the compost toilets? Never fear, just grab a bundle of sugary, warm deliciousness from Byron bay Organic Doughnuts and nothing else in the world will matter.
Sitting on the hill on the way to the Amphitheatre at sunset
Let’s face it, the Amphitheatre is breathtaking, but also a real mission to get to, depending on your level of prior ‘festive-participation’. Tip for next year-break it up a bit and stop for a rest on the hill. Take your time, soak up the atmosphere and look back over the campgrounds, the mix up tent and the throng of eager festivilians; all sound-tracked by the Psy-trance DJ currently rocking the Tipi Forest. Beautiful.
The crowd at Ziggy Alberts
The World Stage is extremely underrated. Located in prime territory between all the main stages, often the World Stage was neglected or cast aside as a ‘brief stop off’ on the way to ‘cut sick at What So Not’ (overheard). But on Sunday afternoon, a huge throng of people came together to appreciate the simple, sunny sounds of Byron local Ziggy Alberts. Strangers danced, Ziggy looked stoked and it was a real ‘community moment’. What Splendour is all about.
Sigur Ros closing the festival
Sure, Flume is a big star. Sure, that’s what everyone in your tent is going to on Sunday night. But my gosh, if you made the ‘uncool’ decision to see Sigur Ros in all their ethereal glory at the Mix Up tent instead, you made the right choice. Stunning visuals, piercing vocals and glorious instrumentation, the boys from Iceland were on another level. Just shut your eyes, and drift away.
Band of Horses performance of ‘The Funeral’
It’s been around for yonks and is one of the main reasons the Band of Horses crowd was full of mostly One Tree Hill fans, but The Funeral still has the magic. From the moment Ben Bridwell launched into those beautiful intro chords the tent erupted and quite a number of cheeks were glistening with actual real life human tears. Gorgeous.
Ping Pong Royale
I found myself across the weekend engaged in a fierce ping pong rivalry at the ping pong centre near the Unicorn hotel pop up. The series reached fever pitch when a small crowd of 8 year olds pumped full of sugar got behind the game, dubbing the players involved with Splendour themed nicknames; myself being ‘Urthboy’ and my opponent ‘Jack Garratt’. Urthboy got the win and for all those present it was an epic to rival the big matches of yore.
Early Mornings in the Splendour campsite
It was bloody hot at Splendour, so waking up before the sun gets too high was imperative. That meant some early starts, and if you were smart, you made the trek to the showers sooner rather than later. The sights to behold on that long, ginger-footed walk at 6 am were up there with the 10 wonders of the world. Human resilience is amazing and the punters of Splendour are some of the most committed on earth. A true smorgasbord for the senses. Special shout out to the guy passed out near the shower block with a semi shaved head and a pink tutu.
Jagwar Ma’s bid for ‘set of the festival’
The lineup was chock full of Aussie highlights, from the newcomers (Alex Lahey), the established fav’s (The Preatures) and the hype-machines (Flume), but it was electro-pop kings Jagwar Ma who snuck under the radar to smash up a full Mix Up Tent with one of the most high energy, consistently bangin’ sets of the weekend. I’m pretty sure their bassist never once stopped bouncing and the crowd was a frenzy from start to finish, devouring frontman Gabriel Winterfield at one point. Jono Ma is an electro genius- entrancing the masses one festival at a time.
Seriously, how good is camping at Splendour. Whether it be sharing your home made Baklava with the tent next to you or staying calm when a stranger passes out in the wrong tent (yours), something about getting deep in the trenches with your fellow Splendourians makes for an unforgettable bonding experience. Come to Splendour, forget your personal hygiene and make friends for life.