Splendour: What We're Excited For

26 July 2012 | 3:59 pm | Dan Condon

theMusic.com.au are heading to Byron Bay this weekend, here's what we want to see and do.

More Splendour In The Grass More Splendour In The Grass

Splendour In The Grass is just hours away from kicking off, and boy are we excited.

We are going to be on the ground, trying to use up as much 3G coverage as we possibly can so that all of you, either at home or at the festival, can get a sense of what's happening around Belongil Fields all weekend long.

Our team is made up of a wide variety of old hands and fresh faces, everyone keen as hell for all different aspects of the festival; bands, partying, a trip to the beach or two and 400 cans of beer. Here's a little introduction to a few of our team who'll be on the ground (the rest are working furiously so they can bail early tomorrow) and what they are looking forward to.

Mitch Knox:

Like any self-respecting (albeit largely reformed) post-hardcore fan, I'll be front and centre for the eagerly awaited return of At The Drive-In. I missed their controversial performance at 2001's Big Day Out, so I'll be interested to see if they actually make it through a full set this time around. I'm also super keen to hear the phenomenal, expansive sounds of Explosions In The Sky in a live setting – something to cross off the ol' Bucket List – and The Cast Of Cheers, as nobody does jangly math-pop quite like the Irish.

On the cultural side of things, I will probably immerse myself in the wonderful weirdness of places like the Tent of Miracles, the Hunting Lodge, the Tipi Forest, and – holy shit, there's a Grill'd too? Forget everything I just said. I am going to be there. The whole time. Stop judging me.

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Dan Condon:

I'm looking forward to drinking some beers, eating some Pizza Loca, reliving my angry youth with At The Drive-In and watching people fall over as night sets in on Belongil Fields. I hope it won't be too cold, I hope the bar lines aren't too bad, I hope DZ Deathrays kick as much arse as they did at Laneway and I hope I manage to wake up early enough each day to go for a swim in the ocean. I've missed just one Splendour since its beginning (the first year Coldplay played) and I know that the most exciting part of this weekend will be something I'm not be expecting. Fuck I hope Azealia Banks is good…

Steve Bell:

I've been to every Splendour since the beginning, so logistically I'm looking forward to heading back to Belongil Fields and mentally revisiting some of the past bands and debauchery that I've been privileged to bear witness to. I enjoyed the two years at Woodfordia immensely, but there's just something about those open spaces at Byron which makes partying there a special experience. From a musical viewpoint I'm looking forward to meeting in the flesh some friends I've admired from afar for a long time – The Afghan Whigs in particular – as well as reacquainting with some old dalliances such as Dirty Three, Jack White, Mudhoney, Explosions In The Sky and At The Drive-In. I'm also very much looking forward to seeing some local lights smash it on the big stage – DZ Deathrays, Bleeding Knees Club, Mosman Alder et al – and just getting back amongst the magic and mayhem which makes Splendour In The Grass such a pivotal part of one's annual party planning…

Brendan Telford:

It doesn't matter who is on the bill, however many clashes there are, whether you have a tent right next to the gates, next to the ever-deteriorating toilets, are bunking on someone's floor or are dodging the pesky police from the confines of your car at 5am each morning, Splendour is guaranteed to be a great time, fuelled by booze, random catch ups, the occasional (and not so occasional) shenanigans. And whilst Woodfordia was an excellent location, there is something extra special about SITG returning to its spiritual homeland of Byron. But we cannot forget the music, and this year has evergreens (Explosions In The Sky, Dirty Three, Spiderbait, Mudhoney), rising stars (Band of Skulls, Youth Lagoon, Father John Misty, Pond), once-offs (At The Drive-In, The Afghan Whigs, 50 Years of Dylan) and potential car crashes (Lana Del Rey and "Smashing Pumpkins" AKA Billy Corgan and some faceless drones). Splendour is a unique festival with one constant - it's always one hell of a ride.

Celline Narinli:

Wearing my Squirrel Onesie and dancing to my favourite bands. Mostly looking forward to The Shins (particularly with their new line up), whether Lana Del Rey will conquer or fall and the very sassy Azealia Banks.

Tyler McLoughlan

Anticipation – it's half the joy of festivals. But this year I'm going to break my pre-festival ritual of abstaining from all music featured on the lineup by smashing The Afghan Whigs' albums back-to-back on my drive to Byron to get good and gee'd up. Whilst Greg Dulli and co's first Australian visit is set to be one of my personal highlights over recent years, Splendour is about so much more than the world-class array of music; there's all the food-on-a-stick choices, the obligatory 3am Tipi Forest visit, the random chats with people who turn out to be Evil Eddie's dad, the minor celebrity spotting, the long-lost mates (from three hours ago) that make beer taste way better, and the sense of community created when so many great local acts – including DZ Deathrays, Ball Park Music, The Medics and Last Dinos – get to represent on the big-boy stage.

Stephen Booth:

Ok. Sheesh.  I'm so predictable. The Afghan Whigs, ATDI, Mudhoney, Dirty Three, DZ, Tame Impala, Azealia Banks and Father John Misty all make the list plus of course I'm curious about exactly how many unicorns Lana Del Rey will have on stage. Enquiring minds want to know. Be kind, play nice : )

Ben Preece:

Aside from having to forego my annual overindulgence of the Byron Bay Donuts due to health reasons (probably a lie), I'm looking forward to, well, the experience of Splendour in general.  Most of the shenanigans that's typical can't be mentioned here but it really is my favourite festival, it's sentimental, it's big, it's long and it's amazing!  This year's line-up is overall killer, sure, but when you have three of my all-time favourites on the one bill then whatever else comes is bonus.  This means Bloc Party, The Shins and Jack White are the no-brainers for me, but geeeeebus - At The Drive-In, Miike Snow, Afghan Whigs, Chet Faker, Kate Miller-Heidke and Dirty Three, etc - can't sneeze at them ones right?  Aside from that, a personal milestone will be celebrated when Ball Park Music hit the main stage on Sunday.

By the looks of things, some people have already hit a peak this weekend...

What are you most excited about, Splendour-goers?