Dust, sweat and dancing; a weekend at Splendour In The Grass 2016
That title says it all doesn’t it? Dust, sweat, dancing and talent. That really was what Splendour In The Grass 2016 was all about.
After another sweaty, beautiful year at Splendour, the Purple Sneakers team has taken some time out to discuss our highlight acts of the festival. Here’s what stunned us an why it stunned us.
“Organising a Festival 101. Step 1: Book Total Giovanni. Taking to the Mix Up stage early Friday afternoon the five-piece synth heavy ensemble from Melbourne were met with a fresh-faced crowd that were ready to dance and dance they did. Total Giovanni body rolled their way through a familiar set including singles ‘Can’t Control My Love’ early on and finishing with ‘Human Animal’. Limber from the word go – it was clear that these boys had stretched first. Leaving Total Giovanni I found myself like others sweating bullets and wanting more.” – Amie Mulhearn
“At Jack Garrett, I got that fantastic experience of discovering a new act through hearing how fantastic they are live. Everyone from the surrounding tents seemed to be going so I went along and I’ve never made a split second decision so good. An energetic crowd matched with a stellar performer and great songs made for a bloody good time (and a lot of ‘I told you so’s’ from my tent neighbours).” – Cailey Rose
“Whilst they can be noted as a fun and quirky outfit, The Avalanches’ SITG performance enhanced the insanity that is their incredible skill-set; for their collective musical ear paints these legends as more than just a few talented dudes sampling old records cushioned by composition. The Avalanches are a feeling, an exhalation and an escape. Joined by guest vocalists as the three scratched, mixed, strummed and drummed – they jumped down the rabbit hole with their own anthem, ‘Avalanche Rock’, before shifting between new and aged favourites, and closing with the euphoric, ‘Since I Left You’. The selection and assembly of their setlist epitomised the elements that built Wildflower – combining its new ideas with classic Avalanches groundwork. It also reflected their trajectory as a band, making it a slice of Splendour In The Grass magic that I’ll truly never forget.” – Hannah Galvin
In Loving Memory of Szymon
“At lunchtime on Saturday at the GW McLennan stage was treated to one of the most blissful yet somber moments of the weekend with a tribute to the late Szymon Borzestowski. The six-piece band featuring Szymon’s family, friends along with other guests were triumphant in their recreation of the 2015 record, Tigersapp. Gorgeous harmonies from the Little May ladies, an epic vocal crescendo from Dave Le’aupepe (Gang of Youths) and Sam Cromack (Ball Park Music) . It was a sincerely moving experience and one that will stay in this festivalgoer heart and mind for a long time to come.” – Amie Mulhearn
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
“The energy on stage and in the crowd was insane. I was right up at the front, having the life crushed out of me and screaming along with everyone else. Despite the signs everywhere forbidding it, there was even a mosh and at one point a circle pit going. Everyone was going insane and that’s the best kind of crowd.” – Cailey Rose
“Having been a couple of years since they were last here (for Falls festival 13/14 and Parklife in 2011 before that), it was a very welcome return indeed for the other-worldly band. Epic would be an understatement, with the stage fitted out in green, leafy vines and other props that made it seem like we’d tripped down the rabbit hole and into the heaving, percussive, electronic wonderland where they reside. Huge flags waved as the set began, and was at full throttle from start to finish. Even though the band was struck by tragedy with the death of drummer Andrea Marongiu, they would have absolutely made him proud with the damn near riot they whipped up very early on. Smashing through hits like ‘I Do This Everyday’, ‘I Love London’, ‘Solar System’, ‘LA Calling’ and so many more, this was the pinnacle of my festival euphoria right here.” – Emma Jones
City Calm Down
“There were a variety of acts that I loved throughout Splendour this year, but I can honestly say that Sunday was probably the most sentimental day for me. The first act I saw on the final day of Splendour was City Calm Down. They were one of the first bands I had ever interviewed for Purple Sneakers and it made me feel so happy to watch them play to such an excited and energetic crowd. They are one of my favourite bands and I swear, their cover of David Bowie could not have been more perfect.” – Lauren Payne
“For Golden Features, it was all about sensory experience. Donning his signature golden mask behind a desk that illuminated the roman numerals to his XXIV EP, the artist made his presence extremely clear that he wasn’t up for too much personal interaction; the only distraction was to be the music coming out of the speakers and the lights that carried it through the tent. Laying down a wall of hypnotic sound that borrowed from his back catalogue, the Mix Up stage was treated to heavy beats, zipping melodies and suspenseful pauses, as the producer piqued and sewed together an incredibly rich blanket of forward-thinking electronica.” – Hannah Galvin
“Any concerns I had about Duke Dumont playing at Splendour this year were quickly dismissed as he took to the stage and the Mix Up tent quadrupled in size almost immediately. His infectious electro pop with incredible vocals and his ability to work the crowd expertly came in handy, not to mention the countless confetti cannons and smoke explosions to take the drops to a whole new level. With his classic tunes like ‘Need U (100%)’, ‘Won’t Look Back’ and ‘I Got U’ thrown into the mix as well as some show stoppers from other artists (this was a DJ set after all), Dumont had the thousands upon thousands of punters sweating, dancing and the tent absolutely heaving from early on.” – Emma Jones
“I ended the festival in the serene crowd at Sigur Ros. I fell in love with this band when I saw the music video for their track ‘Glosoli’. Even though the band sing in Icelandic and I can’t understand most of the tracks, the music still fills me with such joy and when the trio played ‘Glosoli’ at Splendour, I actually teared up. Consider this the sappiest thing you’ll read today!” – Lauren Payne
Stick around Purple Sneakers for more Splendour content, including some juicy interviews.
Photo Credit: Bianca Holderness, Ian Laidlaw for Splendour In The Grass and Triple J