Friday, August 6, 2010

Review: Splendour in the Grass 2010 for Tom Magazine

Did a festival wrap up for Tom Magazine, the amazing folk who sent me to Splendour this year, and to stop the problem that I had last year, where the mammoth review took up the whole page, I'll just use a link this time. It was a three and a half day event, mind you. Read of the adventures here.

Splendour In The Grass 2010

Woodford 29.7.10 to 1.8.10

This year’s Splendour In The Grass festival, which marks the tenth anniversary for the revered music and arts event, has been discussed for months. The excitement has been tangible since the line up was announced, and it was revealed the event, temporarily moved to Woodfordia in Queensland, would now be over three days. This year everything seemed oversized - more acts, more venues, a larger labyrinth of an event site and thousands more tickets (from around 18,000 to 30,000). Long time attendees were complaining it wouldn’t be the same with such a large crowd, and with such commercial elements as a tent city dedicated to shopping and a day spa. They were right, after all, but with a line up like that, nobody would opt out just to avoid the raving, singleted, beer-stacking festival tools. When all was said and done, the memories you left with in the stagnant rows of cars early on Monday morning would be worth putting up with a lot worse. There were more standout acts than can be listed, but headliners included Ben Harper and Relentless 7, The Temper Trap, Grizzly Bear, Scissor Sisters (pictured), The Strokes, Band of Horses, Midnight Juggernauts, Empire of the Sun, Mumford and Sons, and Pixies.

The imminent crowd control issues became obvious in the wee hours of Thursday, as the punters struggled to secure a camping spot, and those already set up camp tried in vain to rest up for the days ahead. By Friday night, the site was buckling under the pressure of a mind-boggling number of sweaty bodies. Navigating the crowds turned out to be the only downside of the extended weekend, aside from doing a mad dash in the middle of a set, elbowing your way through to see another ‘must see’ act scheduled at the same time. Anyone who got tired of being a human sardine had numerous tents to chill in, though, from the Chai Lounge, to foam parties and workshops, to the returning Tipi Forest and Guzman Y Gomez tent. The best way to get your money’s worth though, was to get in amongst the throng, and carry your mid-strength drink of choice gingerly.

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