I had a blast again this year – got a big kick from seeing DEVO. The rest of my family enjoyed The Grates, The Panics, Band of Horses, Operator Please, etc. The weather was warm & dry, the food was great… all up an excellent festival. Read the official Splendour wrap up and we’ll do it all again next year.
Here’s what the organisers had to say… What a weekend! In what has been described as the biggest, best Splendour in the Grass ever, over 17,500 music fans congregated over the weekend in Byron Bay to celebrate a musical and cultural extravaganza featuring the very cream of international and Australia music artists, art, theatre, markets, food and culture. Byron locals The Black Stars kicked off musical proceedings on Saturday and the vibe and the energy never stopped. At the Big Top stage, a cranked up crowd saw Gold Coast teen superstars Operator Please give us a glimpse of our musical future.
Leeds funksters The Music and Scottish melody makers The Fratellis, and the world’s hottest new band US-based The Cold War Kids showed exactly why we should believe the hype, while rock gods Gyroscope and The Galvatrons performed storming sets that kept the Aussie flag flying against the bright blue skies. The Living End capped a comeback year with a set of epic proportions before Devo came, saw and conquered with a set featuring their old hits – complete with yellow jumpsuits and flowerpot heads, as if the eighties were reborn. Over at the Grant McLennan Stage, indie favourites The Drones, powerhouse chanteuse Claire Bowditch and US bearded wonders, The Band of Horses sang songs of breath taking beauty and depth. The Polyphonic Spree with their choir of 18, completed the evening with a hands in the air, hands on your heart spiritual experience. Over at the Mix Up Tent, our socks were rockin’, our buns were shakin’ and our feet never stopped movin’. NZ’s Scribe and Bliss N Eso played music with a message, while Australia’s Pnau, complete with dancing fruit showed us why Elton John had recently become enamoured with their music. The enigma that is Tricky took the crowd on a dark and light musical journey to finish off the night. On Sunday, the great vibe and brilliant weather continued.
At the Big Top, Melbourne’s British India showed why they are Australia’s band to watch, US band Vampire Weekend had the crowd jumping with their afro beat while Liverpool UK’s The Wombats stormed home with a set which made them the most talked about band this weekend. Iceland’s Sigur Ros, whose epic tunes and soaring melodies lifted the audience to a higher place while Wolfmother, held their status as Australia’s top rock band. At The Mix Up Tent, Katalyst lived up to his reputation of rocking the house right, while other highlights were the UK’s New Young Pony Club, and The Presets, who complete with pink tuxes and bowties showed why they are one of the biggest bands in Australia, with a cranking set. The GW McLennan Tent continued to showcase the world’s best songwriters. The crowd gave it up for former Go-Between Robert Forster and home grown favourites The Panics, while Mr Ben Lee, with his quirky charm rounded off the night with a beautiful soulful set of soaring beauty.
This year Splendour upgraded their medical response team by using Queensland’s largest provider of first aid services, Emergency First Aid Services, to provide a comprehensive care package for patrons. Stephen Barnes (Emergency First Aid Services Representative) said, “Most treatments were for minor complaints, such as blisters, cuts and abrasions. A doctor was on hand to care for a few pre-existing medical conditions that presented throughout the weekend, and thanks to this, transports to hospital were well down on last year’s event.” So as the sun sets on Splendour’s final year at Belongil Fields before we move on to our new home at Yelgun for 2009, we say goodbye to another year of amazing music, incredible vibes and the most fun you can cram into a weekend. See you next year & thanks for the memories! Splendour in the Grass Team