Splendour in the Grass ’23: Day 2 Diary

Image credits: Bruce Baker

Solomiya tackles the hot and the cold

Dear Splendour Diary,

I think I somehow got both hypothermia and hyperthermia; waking up at ungodly hours with no feeling to my feet, then waking up at a godly hour absolutely sweating. Now used to the Splendour routine, I donned the least clothes I could without being naked and went in for Day 2. 

I do have to warn you, if you plan on showering you better plan on waiting. The morning routine  included cold bursts of showers and long lines for the bathroom. I packed a high fibre sultana bran for breakfast, and that was definitely a cleansing experience. Which leads me to my next point: a hard trick for Splendour-goers is rationing out food. The camping guidelines highlight that you cannot bring a gas stove or power generators for food preparation, which makes meals very victorian-child-esque. I went through the whole food pyramid, snacking on peanut butter and muesli bars. The food stalls within the festival grounds were expensive (what else) but worth it for a meal or two during the day, or in between sets so that you don’t jump off the grassy knoll in a calorie-deficient mania. 

Speaking of, with Saturday packed with the most acts of the festival, I was geared up to watch at the main Amphitheatre, but the crowd control was tough. The two routes to be tackled: grassy knoll (a literal hike up the steepest cliff in Australia), or the roundabout way around (as confusing as it sounds, two different paths and a clueless traffic guard guiding shuffling festival goers). If you want to be even remotely close to the front, you’re also going to have to sacrifice an hour before a set to get a good spot. Day 2 of the festival was basically me camping in front of the Amphitheatre stage.

Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) literally swallows the mic. Image credits: Bruce Baker.

Splendour Receipts:

DJ Macaroni and the Pasta Munchers:

Walking around the festival in a mid-afternoon stupor, I was lost. And then, out of the corner of my eye, I see an empty stage… but wait it’s not empty! DJ Macaroni performed an enjoyable house set, but unfortunately it just did not hit at the 1pm timeslot. The only crowd enjoying it was the seccy who definitely got his groove on.

$50 in $5 notes to throw at the security guards amazing dance moves.

Dr Karl and the lukewarm science tent:

I could not tell you what science facts he was teaching us, but apparently why farts smell so bad in the shower is number one. The warm atmosphere, shade, comfy chair and his soothing buttery voice. I had the best nap of my life.

$30 for the back and mind support.


Absolutely amazing set! Benee had such a quirky and lighthearted stage presence that it felt like I was getting ready to go out with my friends, screaming and dancing to her songs. Her quirky dancing (you may see me drop these moves at the next party) included a lot of rolling around on the ground and high-pitched shrieks. The crowd ate it up as Benee jumped into the audience for a round of hi-fives – I swear someone on the big screen was crying. Her set was more band-driven than what Spotify leads you to believe, except for one of her new songs, ‘Sheesh’, which was jarring. The autotune drowned out her strong vocals, but the strong drums carried the song. The strongest carrier of all was the surprise appearance of Mallrat! This baddie joined Benee on stage for ‘Do it Again’, the anthem for the women’s FIFA 2023 games. But the loudest moment out of her set was the crowd cheering for ‘Supalonely’, or as some guys in front of me yelled, “that TikTok song!” And when she delivered, we went absolutely mental.

$100 million to buy all of TikTok with just her vibes.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (who’s nickname I cannot repeat):

I was absolutely sweating waiting for my first ‘mosh pit’ experience. Everyone doubted my survival, and looking around at the massive crowd of beefy blokes, so did I. The energy in the mosh was high, and I think some of the people were too. I can confirm this because my mate swears they shared a joint with a 7ft Jesus figure. My notes get sort of patchy at this point because I was fighting for my life: when a circle opened up in front of me and the crowd geared to attack like rabid dogs, I was cowering and gripping my friends’ hands in some sad sort of human chain. I thank them everyday for my survival. And then they start rowing! Who cares for Chloe Ting ab workouts when the whole amphitheatre sits down to start ‘air-rowing’. 

Anyways, back to the music. Surprisingly, King Gizz didn’t play any songs from their newly released album. But unsurprisingly, the set consisted of all bangers – especially with the likes of ‘Dripping tap’ (our planned first dance song at a moshing wedding) and ‘Ice V’. Of course, all of the songs were biblically proportioned, as in super duper long.

$4, a dollar per song they actually played.

I rioted for Pussy Riot:

Honestly my favourite set at the festival – and not just because of the close times back home. I was right at the barricade! But I was also drunk in my love for Pussy Riot, yelling in Ukrainian “ти моя богиня (you are my goddess)” and “я тебе люблю (I love you)”. Everything outside of me and the Riot’s founder Nadya Tolokonnikova was a blur. The graphics behind Tolokommikova and her racy balaclava-clad backup dancers, along with the punk-electronic music was simply chef’s kiss. Not to mention the sharp change in her vocals from cute whispers to screamo yelling “PUSSY” and us replying “RIOT”. 

But apparently the feminist messaging may have gone completely over the heads of some audience members, with a few blokes in the back being utterly confused at the performance, and then scared shitless when images of an eggplant being mutilated were projected behind Pussy Riot…and then they tried starting a mosh…

₴1000 (hryvnia), which is like $39. But I’d pay anything to see her again.

Yeah x 3:

On the comedown from Pussy Riot I had low expectations, especially when I only know one or two songs from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But of course, like everything else, I was wrong. While small on stage, lead singer Karen O had a big spirit and presence, absolutely commanding the rowdy audience. She also kept throwing and twirling the microphone around, and at the end of their set had difficulties disconnecting it to chuck into the audience. Anyways, I was very rowdy…even managing to start a massive crowd chant for ‘Heads Will Roll’. And lo and behold – it was the next song! I maintain the belief that my voice was heard. The staging was very 2014, with large neon sticks circling the band. They also had fun gimmicks, like massive confetti cannons for ‘Spitting off the Edge of the World’ and giant eye bouncing balls that travelled through the crowd. I was unfortunately too short to even touch the ball (poor choice of words I know). 

$70 for a pass at indoor skydiving, because I felt like I was floating.

Flume, the computerised light show:

Splendour royalty Flume was a hotly anticipated act; his performance marked 10 years of his debut album ‘Flume’, which was heard through a very nostalgic set. The hypnotic soundscapes and amazing (and blinding) laser light shows created an immersive listening experience. Between heavily computerised glitches and a strew of female vocalists including Tove Lo and MAY-A, his computer broke! Well, not really…I deduce that he needed to pee. But the storyline of his decks malfunctioning allowed him to rise up onto a whole other level – literally! On a new set of DJ decks, Flume ascended to the heavens, spinning more tracks, such as that one song in the Macquarie Uni ads.

$5 because I can download his songs and they’d sound the same. But $50 for the experience, I loved those lasers so damn much.

Other highlights for my tax report:

1. The warmest morning after the coldest night, our yurt transformed into a sauna.

2. King Gizz casually walked out onto stage setting up and the audience remained blissfully unaware. Rockstars or middle-aged men? Both apparently.

3. The amount of sweat created gripping my mates hands so as to not get sucked into the rabid mosh.

4. Me being the Duolingo owl and teaching everyone “давай (come on)” in Ukrainian to yell at Pussy Riot. She definitely loved it.

5. Flume walking into the light like some techno angel.

6. My handwarmers I stuffed into my socks which kept me alive through the night. The smartest idea I’ve ever had.

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