Splendour in the Grass
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|Splendour in the Grass|
|Genre||Indie rock, hip hop, electronic, alternative|
|Dates||Late July - early August|
|Years active||2001 - present|
Splendour in the Grass is an Australian music festival that has been held annually since 2001. The festival has been held near Byron Bay, New South Wales for all but two years since its inauguration. 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 at Yelgun (30 km from Byron Bay). The event returned to Byron Bay in 2012, when it was held at Belongil Fields. The 2013 festival was the first to be held at the new North Byron Parklands location, 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. As of 2014, the capacity of the three-day festival is 30,000 and it is considered the country's largest winter music festival. The festival was awarded the FasterLouder Festival Award for 'Favourite Line Up' in 2009. "Ode: Intimations of Immortality", by English poet William Wordsworth, was the inspiration for the naming of the event.
The 14,000 tickets of the 2005 festival were sold out within 26 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.
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.
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. Qjump later issued an apology on the festival's Internet forum:
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.
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. As a consequence of the decision, the festival remained at the Belongil site in 2009.
In 2016 many attendees were forced to walk from the venue or sleep in the mud due to a lack of transport. Some people waited until 4am for a bus while others attempted to walk 2.5 hours from the venue back to their accommodation. There were also reports of the toilet lines being so long that people relived themselves in the open.
Artist lineups by year
Note: Two Door Cinema Club were originally slated to appear, but withdrew before the festival. They were replaced by UK outfit Foals. London Grammar also withdrew due to sickness in the band. They were replaced by The Presets.
Note: Catfish And The Bottlemen were initially slated to appear, but withdrew days before the festival due to illness in the band. They were replaced by Australian outfit DZ Deathrays. Allday also withdrew from the festival the evening before performing, due to a family emergency.
- 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. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 12 May 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 2014: Two Door out, Foals in". triple j. ABC. 17 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
- Prue Thomas (22 July 2014). "London Grammar pull out of Splendour in the Grass!". moshtix. moshtix Pty Ltd. Retrieved 31 July 2014.