Here’s Why Splendour 2016 Rocked Bigtime

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The Amphitheatre received Flume with open arms and danced to his music on Sunday night.

The Amphitheatre received Flume with open arms and danced to his music on Sunday night. Photo: Javier Encalada

THE CROWDS have returned to their jobs, the felt hats have been put away, the selfies have been uploaded to Instagram and the festival hangover is about to reach critical levels.

Splendour 2016 introduced three new spaces, the World Stage within the Global Village area, the Indian-inspired Marigold Majestic and the Very Small Suburb that brought some of Australia’s favourite food and fashion to Byron.


Splendour 2016’s line-up of over 100 acts played to a capacity 32,500 audience across four main stages, The Amphitheatre, Mix Up Stage, GW McLennan Stage and Tiny Dancer.

To acknowledge the festival that was, we give you the annual Splendour Awards 2016:

Best Act: Flume

The Strokes were fantastic; The Cure were great, Violent Soho, Sticky Fingers and The Avalanches were good but the act that made The Amphitheatre go crazy was, by far, Flume.

Harley Edward Streten, better known by his stage name Flume, is an Australian record producer and musician. At only 24 years of age, he has remixed songs by artists such as Lorde, Sam Smith, Arcade Fire and Disclosure.

His second studio album, Skin, was released last May and  topped the ARIA Albums Chart. Flume’s set at Splendour was special for the artist.

CREATOR: Harley Edward Streten, better known by his stage name Flume.

CREATOR: Harley Edward Streten, better known by his stage name Flume.

He took the time to speak to the audience a number of times, and explained that in 2010 he was there watching The Pixies perform.

Only six years later Flume did not only close the festival, but he did it with a bang: he invited a line up of Australian artists to the stage to perform some of his hits with him.

Remi, Vera Blue and former Lismore resident Ngaiire were par of a long list of vocalists that shared the stage with Flume on his Splendour gig.  

Best News: The weather

In a summer-like weekend where temperatures reached the mid to high 20s, North Byron Parklands was bathed by sunlight, turning the festival into Splendour in the Sun.

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay. Photo Marc Stapelberg/The Northern Star

Hats and sunglasses were needed but besides that, many ditched most of their clothing for skimpy outfits that left very little to the imagination.

Best Feature: A Family Affair

Splendour has worked hard to be a family-friendly festival, and it’s not just about Little Splendour, the fantastic area dedicated to the youngest members of the family, but there were many parents with their children on their shoulders near the stage enjoying the live music.

Best Art and Best Space: Upperdowns

The group of Amish-lookalikes having a ball at The Barn was an arts project by Bennett Miller.

The Amish Armada was back at Splendour this year as the art project by Bennett Miller.

The Amish Armada was back at Splendour this year as the art project by Bennett Miller.

Originally designed three years ago as a ‘happening’, to contrast the austerity of the Amish community against the opulent and decadent backdrop of a festival environment, the Amish have become a fixture of the festival and the best space to chill.

It also had the best coffee in the festival.

Most Popular Trend: Glitter

This year, glitter was present at Splendour by the truckloads. It was in faces, in beards, in chests, cleavages, in hairdos and in bottoms, used in equal measure by men and women.

Jessie O'Malley of Perth at Splendour in the Grass with glitter in his beard.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Jessie O’Malley of Perth at Splendour in the Grass with glitter in his beard. Photo: Marc Stapelberg/The Northern Star

The most popular colours of glitter this year were silver and gold, with red in close third.

As a complement of glitter, all shiny pieces of clothing were very fashionable too.

Men of all ages and sizes got creative and put on some funky clothes to rock on during Splendour 2016.

Men of all ages and sizes got creative and put on some funky clothes to rock on during Splendour 2016.

Best Fashion Trend: See-through clothing

Although the see through tops were seen for the first time last year, this year they were the fashion statement of the festival.

Worn with gaffer tape covering the nipples, the trend also saw some women getting covered in artistic body painting while being almost nude.

Best WTF Moment: Fake Marriages

There was a space at Splendour this year called You C*nt Stop the Music, in which two naughty nuns (wearing heavy makeup and behaving unlike nuns) performed fake marriages at the festival.

The most interesting of those fake unions was the marriage of a male cockroach and a rock chick.

Worst Feature: The long exodus

Nobody wants to spend two hours after a long festival night stuck in the car waiting to leave the parklands.

Punters at Splendour lineup at the bus stop to leave the festival site. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Punters at Splendour lineup at the bus stop to leave the festival site. Photo Marc Stapelberg /The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

It has happened before at other festivals in different locations, and organisers did their best to offer a viable solution, but until we have a train line that joins the festival site with Byron Bay and that operates past midnight, the options are limited.

Could Be Better: Splendour in the Queue

This year, queuing was what you did the most at the festival. There were long queues to buy drink tickets, to get drinks, to buy bus tickets, to get organic donuts, to the toilets, to catch the bus, and although this is normal in a festival environment, this year it felt like all we did was queue.

Maybe it was the heat.

At The Drive In front man Cedric Bixler-Zavala up in the air during their Splendour in the Grass 2016 show.

At The Drive In front man Cedric Bixler-Zavala up in the air during their Splendour in the Grass 2016 show. Photo: Stephen Booth

Co-producers Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco made a positive evaluation of this year’s festival.

“We are always astounded by the incredible community that Splendour brings together each year. Thanks for your patience, for looking out for each other and for making Splendour 2016 so special. You guys are awesome. And how good was the weather?! We can’t wait to do it all again next year!”

In positive news, for the 9th year Emergency Medics first aid services was appointed to provide around the clock care for patrons and serious presentations were 50% down on previous years, according to organisers.

Final words: 

Splendour 2016 offered a varied line up where rock, indie pop and electronica blended well, and the great weather made it possible for crowds to relax, enjoy and run free. 

The music was good, the spaces were improved, the crowds were as nice as they can be and the overall festival felt more relaxed than in previous years.

See you in 2017.


Source article – The Northern Star

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