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10 things we learned at Splendour in the Grass, Day One

Alyx Gorman

1. Sampa the Great lives up to her name on the main stage. With a full band and three backing singers, her presence dominated the Mix Up stage, and her final track ‘Price of Fame’ charmed the already packed house.

Sampa the Great on stage at Splendour in the Grass
Photograph: Mitch Lowe

2. Being able to snag a $5 sausage roll from Bourke St Bakery, in the middle of a festival, is an experience worth significantly more than it costs.

3. Jack Garratt comes on strong. He opened with some of his biggest bangers, and because there’s no where to go from there but sideways, he then launched into a Craig David’s Seven Days and Justin Timberlake’s Seniorita, before ending the set in actual tears.

4. Alas, the Unicorn was unable to bring their impressive wine list with them to Splendour. Their top notch mash, peas, gravy and chops survived the journey well though.

5. The shortest line for drink tickets is next to the GW Mclennan stage.

6.Emma Louise and her clear voiced, theatrical style are the perfect fit for a white pants suit.

7.Meanwhile, Leon Bridges’ retro soul act, right down to his shaved part and high pants, is music festival gold. He may sound like a time-warp, but the audience intrinsically knew how to dance to his juice,  resulting in one of the night’s most joyous moments.

8. Crowds rammed the Amphitheatre for The Avalanches. With their at times sparse sound, made flesh by Spank Rock subbing in for samples, they created an almost eerie atmosphere, blending snatches of familiarity and strangeness. This was one of those times that making it weird just felt right.

9. The older The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas gets, the more convincing he gets at delivering Is This It’s painful refrain “I’m just way too tired”. Over the years, The Strokes mastery of their material live has deepened, and like their frontman the jaded and sarcastic vibe has aged well. Which painfully underscored what’s lacking in their latest album.

Photograph: Bianca Holderness

10. If you’re catching a shuttle bus home, you either need to leave the party very early, or be prepared to get home very late. We could hear the last strains of ‘Last Night’ as we arrived at our Mullumbimby shuttle bus, a few minutes before midnight, to a snaking line. We didn’t get on a bus home till 1.45am.

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