It was all blue skies, big tunes and huge vibes at Splendour in the Grass 2019 as North Byron Parklands played host to a gigantic bill of music, art, craft, food, discussion and debate over three epic days.
When Splendour 2019 went on sale back in April all 42,500 tickets sold out in just one day – the biggest crowd the festival has seen yet. The increased capacity saw tens of thousands of punters stream through the gates to catch sets from over 100 acts including Tame Impala, Childish Gambino, Hilltop Hoods, SZA, Foals, Catfish and the Bottlemen, James Blake, Santigold, The Lumineers, The Streets, Russ plus so many more!
Gates to the festival opened on Thursday, with Splendour becoming a home away from home to Splendour campers, many of whom kicked off their weekend that night with killer music at the Red Bull A Night With at the Mix-Up stage including sets from Pond, Mystics, Electric Fields, JessB and more.
On Friday, Byron Bay’s own Tones and I set the tone for the weekend, packing out the Amphitheatre at midday for one of the biggest crowd sing a longs Splendour has seen for an opening act.
Winston Surfshirt had knowing fans grooving to their secret set in The Iconic Laundromat, Wolfmother gave the crowd a healthy dose of nostalgia and Foals brought insane energy with lead singer Yannis serenading fans as he surfed his way across the Amphitheatre crowd.
Saturday turned the heat up with British rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen and Wolf Alice delivering stellar performances alongside our homegrown heroes. Kwame literally had the Mix Up tent shaking while Pond’s Nick Allbrook showed us how to groove with some epic dance moves under that Byron winter sun. If you missed Ruby Fields, you couldn’t have missed the mammoth crowd spilling out of the GW McLennan tent to catch ‘Dinosaurs’
Dean Lewis brought the feels and Allday brought the friends with The Veronica’s joining him for an epic rendition of ‘Untouched’. Que squeals!
The one and only Childish Gambino literally took it to a new level closing out the Amphitheatre, with what will go down as one of Splendour’s greatest performances, as the stage rose beneath him. He encouraged everyone to get off their phones and connected with the crowd, his back up dancers were incredible, he played an unreleased track and even had a gospel choir join him on stage, proving to a packed house why he is one of the biggest stars on the planet right now.
Sunday was ‘bring your friends to Splendour day’! Matt Corby was joined by everyone’s queen, Tina Arena during his cover of ‘Chains’. Corby was also joined by Meg Mac, Joyride, Jarryd James and Georgia from Broods for a magical version of whimsical tune ‘Miracle Love’. What So Not was joined on stage by Silverchairs’ Daniel Johns for an unforgettable performance and SZA delivered the goods as she served up banger after banger from her iconic debut album ‘Ctrl’ as well as the Wheatus 90s anthem ‘Teenage Dirtbag.’
Then it was time for Australian superstars Hilltop Hoods to take Splendour home, filling in for Chance the Rapper who cancelled due to illness. Suffa, Pressure and DJ Debris delivered an unbelievable set with a roll call of guests including Ruel, Illy, Montaigne, Adrian Eagle, G Flip and Nyassa – all tee’d up with just 24 hours notice. What complete legends. Massive thanks and love from team Splendour.
When they weren’t dancing, Splendour punters ate and shopped at 130+ food and market stalls; crafted up a storm at Splendour in the Craft; marvelled at SplendourArts’ The Rock Rock, and contributed to interactive art installation Hiromi Hotel: Brain Flower by artist Hiromi Tango. They drummed, watched cabaret and more at The Global Village; discussed the hot topics at The Forum and expanded their minds and knowledge of Pill Testing at the Science Tent. And our littlest rockers partied until they were pooped at Little Splendour.
Co-producers Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco said “What a huge weekend! We want to say thanks to our Splendour Community for their ongoing enthusiasm and love for the event. We also want to say a massive thanks to Hilltop Hoods and their whole team for heading to Byron at such short notice and turning the Amphitheatre into a huge sing-a-long on Sunday night. It’s the crowd that makes Splendour so special so big love to you all! We’ll see you in 2020 for our 20th anniversary!”
See you in 2020 for the 20th edition of Splendour in the Grass
This article was originally published in the 51st Issue of gcmag