Splendour in the Grass 2016
Splendour is what you make it. The cliches aren't hard to find, nor are the stereotypes, the peer pressure... everything all the way down the negative end of the spectrum until it feels like buying your ticket means signing up for 5 days or navigating being too indie, too basic, knowing too little about music, trying to know too much, only there to drink, only there to ping. You name it. The reputation of that place is laid on thick. And sometimes it can feel hard to compete with. But when you stop competing (because you realise winning isn't possible, and dancing sober is okay), you realise what exactly the origin of that reputation is. Splendour is a place where young people (and old, actually) can do and wear whatever the hell they want. Just watch out for the cute little blue-collared labradors on the way in. Where the songs that spoke deeply to you are transplanted from the radio to the stage and you share them with hundreds of others, realising that it made you all feel that special way. And - perhaps this is hyperbole - that you're not alone. By Day 3 you can understand why, for many, it's the epitome of sanctuary, not to mention the highlight of the year.
If you're spending near five hundy on a ticket (not including the cost of petrol and glitter) what else can you do? You can only have the best time possible for yourself. See the music you want and save your legs on the stuff you're not fussed about. But do perch yourself within earshot of that emerging band you've never heard of while you eat your Organic Byron Bay doughnut. You never know what might happen.
Words by Greer Clarke
Collage by Tim Salisbury
Illustrations by James Martoo
Photos by Sophie Hur, Hamish Litster and Tim Salisbury