A Splendour Story
There are very few experiences that drag you down into the depths of your sorry soul than those that occur curled up in the fetal position, two days post-Splendour, regret pulsing through your veins, bad decisions playing on your mind in an unstoppable loop and not one single good memory able to penetrate the pain.
It all started well enough, excitable kids frolicking through fields not yet morphed into mud pits, Port-a-loos that had not yet witnessed the very worst of humanity and energetic chats about how pumped everyone was for the days ahead, echoing across the sunlit campground.
Up went the tents, on went the hipster threads and off to work we went. Some of us “supervised” but the others really put in the hard yards. We trekked from bar to bar, snapping shots of cocktails and frivolity, sampling said cocktails and eventually partaking in said frivolity. We clocked up 21,000 steps in one day just watching music, pressing buttons here and there, dancing, drinking, laughing. Very trying work.
At 6pm Hayden James took the stage and it was tools down after a solid two hours of working and dance ‘til we’re dead time. Saw Santigold, missed heaps of others.
Discovered working at a festival is, as you’ve no doubt figured out, a complete nightmare.
The night went on to consist of the following:
SO. MUCH. WALKING
• Taking on others people’s sweat in the Tinder Tent
• All of the cocktails
• Making friends with a guy called Sam who snuck into the backstage bar, talked a lot about sneaking into the backstage bar and made us follow him on Instagram
• Tame Impala (but can’t remember because, all of the cocktails)
• The long walk home to a tent packed with blankets that was, despite being the middle of winter, really quite warm
The nightmare continued.
Early morning wake ups by people who should have known better, are inevitable at Splendour and so, day two was a very different vibe.
We spent hours contemplating the best way to move without having to lift our heads off the pillow, gave up, ate dry bread and biscuits with cranberries (a highlight), talked about our favourite types of fish, got up, reassured each other we looked good (we didn’t) and rolled out into a very difficult day.
Drank a bit of free coffee, immediately swapped it out for Bloody Mary’s, laughed about how bad we all felt with some mates, wept internally, went back to the bar, kicked back on the grass, decided we wouldn’t be working and/or moving ever again, drank beers laying down, listened to a band that could have been the Backstreet Boys for all we remember and said very few words.
The rest of the night varies depending on who you speak to but some of us wandered around in a daze, solo, dancing occasionally, sipping beers very cautiously and watching the world go by with very blurry eyes.
Some of us walked another 21,000 steps, danced up an absolute storm, maybe or maybe not witnessed girls with cat heads swaying “sexily” on stage and lost a few hours in the Tipi Forest.
There was music. Childish Gambino played. So did Ocean Alley. The Streets, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Maribou State. There were many happy faces, confetti shooting into the air, dance offs, glitter, questionable decisions, more good vibes than you can poke a stick at.
The urge to sleep off the pain all day was very real but we pushed through it all for the sake of telling everyone who didn’t go how good it was, for the next six months.
We woke up a bit chirpier than yesterday, went to shower, cursed the line up, decided it had been two days since we were clean, what would another day matter and ventured out to find sustenance.
It came in the form of two flat whites (each), a breakfast burrito and Splendour grounds that weren’t yet filled with revelers. A Godsend, all of it.
We decided we should do a bit more work, rolled around for a few hours taking photos of yes, bars again, scored/swindled a free bottle of champagne, downed a couple of glasses each and WE WERE BACK TO PARTY MODE.
Went to visit our mates at Zeppelin Barbers, scored a free hairdo, offered hours of unsolicited haircut advice to unsuspecting patrons who really just wanted to sit down and relax for a sec and drank beers out of a plastic box filled with ice. The Aussie way.
A short time later we were out into the crowds again WALKING, dancing, drinking, sliding backstage to feel important, returning to the backstage area for some downtime and many laughs and eventually, searching for an after party that we definitely did not need to attend.
Hilltop Hoods played, lots of people cared, so did Cosmos Midnight, The Tesky Brothers, SZA, Whatsonot, others.
More frolicking, etc.
Home to bed eventually and with very little sleep and a 6am wakeup, the drive home was long and arduous and probably should have been left to another time.
The rest of the day passed in a blur of naps and fried chicken, a few tears, more Netflix than should ever be jammed into a day and eventually, blessed bedtime.
Day two post-Splendour and it was a world of pain – emotional, physical, all of the kinds. The regret and bad decision loop kicked in and we promised ourselves we would never (EVER) lift a cocktail to our lips or utter the words “I’m going to Splendour” again.
It had been a trying time.
Now though, it’s a week post Splendour and WE ARE ALIVE AGAIN. Epic memories are flooding our brains, our eyes open all the way and we can remember how to have conversations and type things and we might even have a cheeky wine with lunch today.
We remember laughing until our faces hurt, busting out the very best, on-ground dance moves, making new friends, watching thousands of people living their very best lives for three days straight, sing-alongs that made our eyes water, sidestage views of musos we love, more laughing, more dancing, the very best of times.
And we are stoked.
Post-Splendour day two, we were never going back but one week post-Splendour and we’re ready to return this weekend.
What an absolute time.
Love you Splendy. Can’t wait for next year.
/ Kirra Smith