Could a smaller, bolder festival be a better experience?


“If you wish to be much less form, after the February and March climate occasions, understanding the location and the long-term climate forecast predicting heavy rain, I don’t suppose they [the organisers] can say they had been caught unaware by the climate.

“There’s quite a lot of classes to be learnt. I completely perceive why they went forward, after the horror two years they’ve had, however there appear to be have been shortfalls from administration.”

Organisers blamed the climate and workers shortages for lengthy queues contained in the competition and ready for buses, however as Lyons factors out – none of those had been surprising. Selecting the competition’s return 12 months in a location that has been inundated with flooding and with well-known hospitality workers shortages throughout the nation, to extend capability by 15,000 was an odd determination.

Festival organisers cancelled the first day of performances at Splendour in the Grass due to heavy rain.

Pageant organisers cancelled the primary day of performances at Splendour within the Grass attributable to heavy rain.Credit score:Getty

Splendour’s organisers stated in a press release that “the climate exceeded the forecast data we had and that, together with its impression on the venue, did lead to lack of anticipated volunteers and a few workers at quick discover.

“In gentle of the area’s circumstances at 16 June, Splendour lodged a brief discover growth utility with Byron Shire Council, who had been supportive and permitted a satellite tv for pc campground. Almost about native workers shortages, we flew workers in from across the nation to complement.”


Whereas the general public faces of Splendour are native founders and organisers Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco, their firm Secret Sounds is majority owned by Stay Nation – a worldwide leisure firm headquartered within the US that operates a few of the greatest music festivals on this planet, in addition to ticketing firm Ticketmaster. Its energy throughout the trade is so immense that politicians within the US have referred to as for it to be broken-up by authorities regulators.

Realizing {that a} multibillion-dollar firm finally owns and operates the competition makes it tougher to swallow the road that Splendour wanted to promote tickets to a different 15,000 punters with out seemingly including commensurate workers and logistical assist on website.

The opposite unlucky byproduct of the logistical points is that it distracted from why so many individuals copped the mud, the rain and the strains to get on website: the music. An occasion like Splendour is a chance for music followers to see a few of the greatest acts from Australia and world wide, and for rising acts to showcase their music to worldwide label execs.

On that entrance, the competition was an thrilling showcase of how various Australian music is correct now, with acts equivalent to Alice Ivy, Northeast Occasion Home, Stella Donnelly, Triple One, The Jungle Giants, Violent Soho and Grinspoon.


However whereas the native roster was daring and refreshing, the largest headliners – notably these enjoying on the competition’s greatest stage, the Amphitheatre – felt a bit out of step with the worldwide shift away from rock and in direction of rap and pop. There have been solely two hip-hop acts on the principle stage at prime time, and no feminine artists after 6pm on the Amphitheatre.

That the competition nonetheless sells out and skews to youthful audiences, regardless of the heavy presence of throwback acts like The Strokes and Grinspoon, could possibly be seen as a vindication of the curation. However the motive why Splendour issues a lot isn’t as a result of it’s a sellout competition. It’s the largest assertion the Australian music trade makes when it comes to what issues and who represents the way forward for the scene.

The truth that Splendour has survived, and managed to tug off a 2022 restoration regardless of the challenges, is a testomony to everybody concerned. But when there’s one factor we’ve learnt over the previous two years it’s how resilient, various and thrilling Australian music is correct now. Those that wield essentially the most energy (and Stay Nation is on the prime of the record) ought to reward that resilience and the religion patrons have proven. Even it means a doubtlessly smaller crowd, and hopefully with big-name acts that really feel extra reflective of the place music is at in 2022.

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