I was feeling a little bummed out to have left the incredible line-up of English summer festivals for a winter in Australia, so when I was offered the opportunity to attend Splendour, I pounced at the chance. I was assured by all my new Australian pals that it would blow my mind, and I certainly had an incredible time.
Now I’m a boomtown girl at heart, so due to the mad, trippy enchanted wonderland I was use to, I was a tad apprehensive but very much looking forward to seeing the different vibe an Australian festival has compared to an English one. The line-up was not my usual underground bass style but I grew up on The Strokes and The Cure so was looking forward to a bit of Nostalgia and potentially a festival that offered a bit of a Reading and Leeds style vibe.
The first thing that hit me at attending Splendour was the organised nature of Australian partying. Yes people were a bit high and drunk on a few ‘frothy’s.’ But the crowds bobbed around to the music in a very orderly fashion, they queued and ordered their drinks at the bar like they were waiting in the lunch queue at school. I was amazed at how well-behaved everyone was, I knew that there was a huge amount of police, drugs dogs and security around the festival, so you did feel like you were being watched all the time and maybe this made people put on the good behaviour. But no one was sprawled on the floor trying to text off their passport or skanking out in a costume made out of baked beans and sparkles.
But maybe I had got use to the crazy wonderland that UK festivals create bringing such a huge amount of art and performance together with the music to make you lose your mind in crazy enchantment for 4 days, and I really missed that.
One thing that you Aussies will always have won over us on the festival front, was the incredible beautiful sunshine. As I sipped my beer and took in all the gorgeous Australian surfer boys and the sounds of the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, I felt Australia, hats off to you guys. I could definitely feel at home here. The headliners obviously all blew me away ‘The Cure’ had to be my favourite taking me right back to when I was 10, blasting ‘Friday I’m in Love,’ in the front seat of my dad’s car whilst we sang along together. Those guys just keep on going!
The tipi’s offered a bit of that mystical environment with a few open campfires but these were heavily policed (open flames obviously need to be controlled). So the element of suspending your disbelief was lost amongst the need to create what I would call ‘controlled fun.’
Needless to say I was hugely impressed by Australian groups ‘What So Not’ and ‘The Avalanches,’ they both blew me away with their funky bass attitude and quirky style. They truly changed the way I look at Australian music. And most of all the incredible Flume, the true Australian star in today’s mainstream music world. Whilst I was watching these sets I closed my eyes, threw my hands in the air and truly felt like I was back in my beautiful festival bubble.
I am seriously looking forward to the rest of my Australian musical journey, so it’s time to discover what Melbourne has to offer…Hit me with your recommendations!