With a line up including hot-shot names like Bloc Party, The Smashing Pumpkins, Kimbra and The Kooks, it’s safe to say I was super excited to hit up the 2012 mega-fest, Splendour in the Grass. With the three day music festival heading back to Byron Bay this year (one of my fave holiday spots), I was lucky enough to stay a few kilometres walk away from the festival in Belongil Fields.
With VIP tix in my hand (yeah baby!), and my festi besti in tow, we hit the road on Thursday evening. The trip normally takes about two hours, but with a few traffic jams along the way, we finally reach our home-away-from-home for the weekend.
Day one: Friday
It’s day one of Splendour in the Grass and I am beyond excited to get to the festival but before we put our party hats on, we head across the road to tuck into some delicious brekkie. Now for those who haven’t been to Byron before, I’ll let you in on a little secret…you just HAVE to check out The Top Shop.
The quirky little cafe is located on the corner of Carlyle and Massinger St (right opposite where we stayed, bonus!), and offers some of the best coffee and food I’ve ever experienced (the banana smoothies are to die for). Popular with locals and visitors alike, The Top Shop is always busy, so take a seat on the lawn out the front to catch up with some mates to kill time – trust me, it’s well worth the wait.
After filling ourselves up on haloumi burgers and goats cheese and tomato toast (yum!), we head back to base and get ready for the day ahead of us.
Now, when they say that Splendour in the Grass will go ahead, rain, hail or shine, they really do mean it. During our pre-festival drinks, we lose the sun and hide under cover while a 30 minute blast of heavy rain and hail falls from the sky. At this point, I’m feeling really sorry for those already at the festival. Lucky I packed my gumboots!
Storm over (phew!), we arrive late afternoon with the grounds covered in mud, but the atmosphere still pumping. With so many great acts playing, decision making is tough but we make the most of running between the Supertop and the Mix Up tents catching acts like Yacht Club DJs, Spiderbait, The Shins, Gypsy & The Cat, Kimbra and the stand out of the evening, Jack White.
Hot tip: When you’re at a festival with mates, it can prove hard to find everyone if you get split up. Make a meeting point in case this happens.
Day two: Saturday
I slowly pull myself out of bed to get ready for day two of the festival. We’re all feeling a little worse for wear but we head over to The Top Shop again for some recovery food and coffee. Feeling human again, we make the most of the sunny weather and get in some quick snaps of the beautiful view before we head off.
The Supertop tent is where it’s at with bands like the Last Dinosaurs, Band of Skulls, Ladyhawke, Tame Impala, Miike Snow and Bloc Party playing throughout the day. Distracted by a food break after Tame Impala (I couldn’t resist Owens Noodles), we’re sidetracked by the screaming crowd at the Mix Up tent so we pop in to check out what all the fuss is about. 360 is playing and he’s definitely a stand out of the night. Glad we didn’t miss that one!
Day three: Sunday
For the final day of the festival, we’re determined to make the most of what’s left, so we get up early and start the walk back to the festival grounds. Gold stars for effort, right?!
Starting with Yuksek at the Mix Up tent, we join the fist pumping crowd for a few songs before heading to one of the most anticipated acts of the day, Metric.
Despite a few technical problems which cut Metric’s set short, songs like Artificial Nocturne and Youth Without Youth were big hits with the crowd.
By the time night has fallen we’re ready to catch some of the biggest acts of the festival. Namely, Azealia Banks, The Kooks, Nina Las Vegas and the Smashing Pumpkins. I’m a little sad to be missing Angus Stone and Gossip, but there are no regrets for the acts I manage to see (festival success is all about compromise!)
Before we head home for the evening, we duck into the Hunting Lodge for some last minute dancing, where we ran into international supermodel, Bambi! She was kind enough to let us grab a snap shot with her (star spotting… tick!)
The final day of our festival trip has arrived, and to say I’m sad is an understatement. The weekend has been non-stop amazing. The weather has been near perfect, the atmosphere vibrant, and the company just right.
Despite the 30minute downpour of rain and hail on day one, we got to see our favourite acts on all three days, and even managed to fit in a little bit of celeb spotting!
Splendour in the Grass 2013, watch out!