Splendour in the Grass
|Years active||2001 - present|
|Date(s)||Late July - early August|
|Genre||Indie rock, Hip hop, Electronic, Alternative|
Splendour in the Grass is an annual Australian music festival that has been held near Byron Bay, New South Wales since 2012 and from 2001 to 2009. In 2010 and 2011, the festival was held in Woodford, Queensland, while organisers made an effort to gain support for a new location at North Byron Parklands (30 km from Bryon Bay). The event returned to Byron Bay for 2012 and was held at Belongil Fields. The 2013 festival was the first to be held at the new location at North Byron Parklands, to much controversy from festival goers and the local community.
The festival was jointly created and promoted by the Village Sounds and Secret Service music companies, and began in 2001 as a one-day gathering to cater for Australia's winter season (a period that had traditionally been associated with very few events of this nature); the festival evolved into a two-day event in 2002. With a current capacity of 30,000 and a three-day timespan, Splendour in the Grass has been considered the country's largest winter music festival and won the FasterLouder Festival Award for 'Favourite Line Up' in 2009.
English poet, William Wordsworth, and his work, "Ode: Intimations of Immortality", was the inspiration for the naming of the event.
The 2005 festival sold out its 14,000 tickets within 26 hours. Soon after the sell-out, festival tickets that initially cost AUD125 were offered on eBay at inflated prices of up to AUD3000. Lawyers for the festival organisers responded by sending "cease and desist" letters to eBay and some 150 ticket resellers, citing a breach of the conditions of sale. However, eBay refused to block the ticket auctions, claiming it was the seller's responsibility to ensure that they have the ability and right to sell products. Radio station, Triple J, encouraged its listeners to sabotage the bidding process and disgruntled music fans responded, listing bogus bids of up to AUD10,000 in protest against ticket scalping.
After much media coverage, the NSW Department of Fair Trading became involved in the issue and met with eBay representatives. The then-Fair Trading Minister, John Hatzistergos, instructed the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the reselling of tickets and determine whether resellers were in breach of the Fair Trading Act. Festival promoters hope the investigation will result in changes to event ticketing by way of the introduction of anti-ticket scalping legislation.
In response to the events of 2005, organisers altered the ticketing system for the 2006 festival in the hope of stamping out ticket scalping. In an unprecedented move, ticket buyers were required to register their name and date of birth at the time of purchase. These details were printed on the event tickets, which had to be provided with valid identification in order to gain admission to the festival. Tickets to the 2006 festival went on sale at 9AM on Monday 15 May 2006. All camping tickets to the weekend event sold out within three hours, and all general admission tickets sold out after 48 hours. The 2006 festival was held on the weekend of 22–23 July.
The 2007 festival sold out in its first release by 2.25pm on the first day, approximately 5 hours and 25 mins after being released.
In 2008, festival organisers encountered difficulties with the ticketing system provided by the Qjump company; consumers were unable to purchase tickets following lengthy delays.
Qjump later issued an apology on the Splendour forum saying, "We would like to sincerely apologise to everyone affected by the issues experienced with the online sales of Splendour in the Grass tickets. We understand and acknowledge the frustrating time that many Splendour fans have experienced. Unfortunately an issue with the bank’s payment gateway prevented some customers who had successfully queued from completing their purchase of tickets. Our team has been working around the clock to respond to each and every email and call. We hope you can be patient with us while we complete this process. The demand for tickets far outweighed supply, with over 70,000 people trying to purchase 17,500 tickets and for many people the problems encountered with the queue and payment gateway meant that people were kept waiting for several hours only to miss out. For that we are very sorry."
In 2012 the festival sold out in record time of 43 minutes, with camping tickets being sold out within 10 minutes.
On 31 July 2008, Byron Shire Council moved to approve the DA from Splendour in the Grass organisers to hold a one off trial event at Yelgun in 2009.
That development consent was the subject a challenge in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court by a group of residents and environmentalist and the Environmental Defenders Office of NSW. The Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court, Justice Brian Preston, ruled that Byron Shire Council had exceeded its powers by granting the development consent where the land included parts zoned for conservation purposes. The development consent was ruled invalid, prohibiting the festival from being held at the new Yelgun site.
As a consequence, the festival remained at the Belongil site in 2009.
Artist lineups by year
- Katherine Feeney (10 February 2012). "Splendour in the Grass returning home to Byron Bay". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- Consequence of Sound (2007–2011). "Splendour in the Grass 2012". Festival Outlook. Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- fasterlouder.com.au (2009). "Festival Awards 2009". fasterlouder.com.au. FasterLouder Pty Ltd. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- Consequence of Sound (2007–2011). "Splendour in the Grass 2010". Festival Outlook. Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- Murray, Lisa (2005-05-13). "Music fans bombard scalpers on website". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
- AAP (23 May 2008). "Fans angry over Splendour in the Grass ticket problem". news.com.au. News Limited. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- Land and Environment Court of New South Wales (6 May 2009). "Conservation of North Ocean Shores Inc v Byron Shire Council & Ors  NSWLEC 69". Land and Environment Court of New South Wales. NSW Attorney General and Justice. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- JackT (22 April 2009). "Splendour In The Grass 2009 line-up". inthemix. inthemix Pty Ltd. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- "The Middle East release statement on break up". Triple J. ABC. August 4, 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2012. "We don't feel like playing any more for a whole lot of reasons that I won't list here and I'm afraid if we continued any longer it would just be a money grab."
- Splendour In The Grass Official Website
- Splendour In The Grass 2012 competition
- Rip It Up Magazine | Splendour In The Grass Review