I think I can speak for every Splendour in the Grass 2023 festivalgoer when I say: that was a big weekend. 

Despite marginally lower numbers than usual, attendees and performers were out in full force. The size of the festival was nothing short of a small town with all your favourite foods, drinks and brands. One could actually dislike live music – if that was even possible – and still find plenty to keep them occupied. 

Those who may have been put off by last year’s “Splendour in the Mud” may regret reading that the weekend’s conditions could not have been further away from that dismal weather. Each day was met with plenty of sun, sweat and a song or two. toby 

But enough about the weather. 

To nobody’s surprise, Splendour was not thin on talent. The three days were packed with phenomenal international and Australian artists, and I feel a tremendous amount of guilt that I won’t be able to mention all of them in this piece.

The cultural significance of the event really kicked in when Byron-bred Skegss took to the Amphitheatre. Their set was particularly powerful as it was the last for bassist Toby Cregan and that wasn’t lost on anybody in the audience. He announced his shock departure from the band back in April so it was fitting to have the Aussie icons back on their Byron home turf to wrap up his legacy with the band. 

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Check out Skegss’ ‘New York California’

“Main stage bitch!” roared Ruel who followed shortly afterwards. After missing out last year, the ARIA winner made up for it by bringing a show ready a larger arena like the MCG. His jaw-dropping hits were followed by an equally memorising set from Ocean Alley that featured their famous Like A Version of “Baby Come Back”.

I would be remiss not to mention the powerhouse that is Lizzo. After signing some behinds and getting the stiffest of people dancing, it was confirmed that Splendour was truly back. 

Check out Ocean Alley’s ‘Baby Come Back’

It didn’t show any signs of stopping from there. After some well-earned slow recovery, Saturday was in full swing. Countless bars, food carts, shops, and stages kept the party going as the music lovers ducked in and out of their favourite performances. 

In the late arvo, BENEE brought her unapologetic energy to the main stage that propelled the festivalgoers towards the non-stop hits of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sam Fender and Flume

Speaking to fellow Splendour fans, they told me what they felt was so special about the festival was not just the calibre of the artists, but how it was impossible not to find something you enjoyed; every genre, style and mood was on display and it would have taken a serious effort to be miserable. 

I jumped into Sunday with a mixture of excitement, exhaustion and a bit of sadness as the end of the festival loomed. But there were still plenty of shows to see before the end. 

I fully admit to being slightly biased as I’m a massive IDLES and Dune Rats fan. So, to be safe, I checked with other festivalgoers that both acts were as incredible as I thought they were, and everyone seemed to be in full agreement.

Their chaotic energy was contagious, and combined with Tove Lo, they raised the bar that was required for the following acts Hilltop Hoods and Mumford & Sons. 

The latter wrapped up the festivities on the main stage and ensured that Splendour bowed out by having every single person singing along with them. As one musical force, the crowd came together to celebrate a huge three days that had been thrilling, emotional and filled with fun.

Regardless of whether they were a music nut or an average joe, the festival was not one that anybody will be forgetting any time soon. See you in 2024, Splendour in the Grass. 

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