Splendour in the Grass

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Splendour in the Grass
GenreIndie rock, hip hop, electronic, alternative
DatesLate July
Years active2001–2019, 2021–

Splendour in the Grass (commonly referred to as Splendour) is an annual Australian music festival held at the North Byron Parklands in Yelgun, New South Wales. Since its inauguration, the festival has also been held in various locations near Byron Bay, New South Wales, and Woodford, Queensland.[1]

The festival was jointly created and promoted by the Village Sounds Agency 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). "Ode: Intimations of Immortality", by English poet William Wordsworth, was the inspiration for the naming of the event.[2] The festival evolved into a two-day event in 2002 and a three-day event in 2009.[3] It is now considered Australia's largest music festival.[4][5]

Splendour in the Grass showcases popular and established musical artists, as well as emerging Australian artists. The music festival has attracted notable artists such as Coldplay, Powderfinger, Arctic Monkeys, Kanye West, Tame Impala and Lorde. The 2021 edition will be headlined by Gorillaz, The Strokes, and Tyler, the Creator as 2020 saw no festival.

Awards and nominations[edit]

National Live Music Awards[edit]

The National Live Music Awards (NLMAs) are a broad recognition of Australia's diverse live industry, celebrating the success of the Australian live scene. The awards commenced in 2016.

Year Nominee / work Award Result
National Live Music Awards of 2016[6] Splendour in the Grass Best Live Music Festival or Event Nominated
National Live Music Awards of 2017[7][8] Splendour in the Grass Best Live Music Festival or Event Nominated
National Live Music Awards of 2018[9][10] Splendour in the Grass NSW Live Event of the Year Won

Festival summary by year[edit]

Edition Year Dates Headliner/s
1st 2001 21 July
2nd 2002 20–21 July
3rd 2003 19–20 July
4th 2004 24–25 July
5th 2005 23–24 July
6th 2006 22–23 July
7th 2007 4–5 August
8th 2008 24–25 July
9th 2009 25–26 July
10th 2010 30 July–August 1
11th 2011 29–31 July
12th 2012 27–29 July
13th 2013 26–28 July
14th 2014 25–27 July
15th 2015 24–26 July
16th 2016 22–24 July
17th 2017 21–23 July
18th 2018 20–22 July
19th 2019 19–21 July
20th 2020 Originally scheduled for 24–26 July, later rescheduled to 23–25 October, later postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic[11][12] Booked for 2020:
2021 23–25 July



Ticketing Issues[edit]

Tickets for the 2005 festival were sold out within 11 hours and, soon after, festival tickets that initially cost A$125 were offered on eBay at inflated prices of up to A$3000. The festival organisers responded by sending "cease and desist" letters to eBay, as well as around 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. The Triple J radio station encouraged its listeners to sabotage the bidding process and fake bids of up to A$10,000 were consequently listed on eBay by protesters opposed to ticket scalping.[13] Following media coverage, the NSW Department of Fair Trading became involved 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 hoped that the investigation would eventually lead to the introduction of anti-ticket scalping legislation.

In response to the events of 2005, the organisers altered the ticketing system for the 2006 festival. In an unprecedented action, ticket buyers were required to register their name and date of birth at the time of purchase. These details were then printed on the event tickets and valid identification was required to gain admission into the festival. Tickets to the 2006 festival went on sale at 9am on Monday 15 May 2006—all camping tickets sold out within three hours, and all general admission tickets sold out after 48 hours.[citation needed]

Festival organisers encountered difficulties with the ticketing system provided by the Qjump company in 2008, as consumers were unable to purchase tickets following lengthy delays.[14] Qjump later issued an apology on the festival's Internet forum.

Venue issues[edit]

For a once-only trial, the organisers obtained permission to stage the 2009 Splendour in the Grass at a site in Yelgun. However, the consent provided to the organisers was the subject of a challenge by a group of residents, environmentalist and the Environmental Defenders Office of NSW, who presented their case in the New South Wales Land and Environment Court. 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 Yelgun site.[15] As a consequence of the decision, the festival remained at the Belongil site in 2009, before returning one more time in 2012.[16]

In 2016 attendees made accusations they were forced to walk from the venue or sleep in the mud due to a lack of transport.[17]


  1. ^ "Woodford Splendour at an end". Sunshine Coast Daily. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  2. ^ Sharwood, Anthony (21 July 2017). "The Real Meaning of Splendour in the Grass Is Enough To Make Your Jaw Drop". Huffington Post. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  3. ^ "An animated history of Splendour in the Grass". Red Bull. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Splendour & Falls Festival Just Got Closer To Securing A Location For 2018 & 2019". Music Feeds. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  5. ^ Quinn, Karl (19 July 2019). "Australian rock royalty to win as Splendour in the Grass gets even bigger". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Nominees 2016". NLMA. 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  7. ^ "NLMA reveal 2017 Nominees". NLMA. 9 October 2017. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Winners 2017". NLMA. December 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  9. ^ "NLMA announce 2018 nominees and Live legend". NLMA. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Winners of the 2018 NLMA". NLMA. December 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Splendour in the Grass". Archived from the original on 20 February 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  12. ^ Cooper, Nathanael (10 June 2020). "Splendour in the Grass postponed until 2021". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  13. ^ Murray, Lisa (13 May 2005). "Music fans bombard scalpers on website". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 May 2009.
  14. ^ AAP (23 May 2008). "Fans angry over Splendour in the Grass ticket problem". news.com.au. News Limited. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  15. ^ Land and Environment Court of New South Wales (6 May 2009). "Conservation of North Ocean Shores Inc v Byron Shire Council & Ors [2009] NSWLEC 69". Land and Environment Court of New South Wales. NSW Attorney General and Justice. Archived from the original on 4 August 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  16. ^ JackT (22 April 2009). "Splendour In The Grass 2009 line-up". inthemix. inthemix Pty Ltd. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  17. ^ Welsh, C., Slezak, M. (23 July 2016). "Splendour in the Grass but no sign of the bus at the end of the show". The Guardian.

External links[edit]