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5 moments that shaped this year's Splendour in the Grass

Splendour in the Grass, crowd, supplied
Photograph: Justin Ma Splendour in the Grass 2016

Now that the dust has settled, we look back on the moments and memories that shaped North Byron Parklands into a music lover’s playground for three days.

Having a surprise guests will up your performance game by at least 50 per cent
Several special appearances happened, each of which added extra sparkle to some of the weekend’s best performances. Client Liaison’s idiosyncratic live show has already made them one of Australia’s favourite festival bands, but when they brought out national treasure Tina Arena to sing both ‘Foreign Affair’ and ‘Sorrento Moon’ it brought the set to a whole new level. Peking Duk also brought out London’s Aluna Francis (aka AlunaGeorge) and Sydney’s own Vera Blue and Nicole Millar added excellent vocals to some of their biggest tracks.

Photograph: Supplied

LCD Soundsystem’s breaking up and re-banding was worth the wait
It may have taken them a cool seven years to return to Australia but LCD’s festival closing performance on Sunday evening was everything you love about the Brooklyn band and then some… Extra loud and ultra danceable at times (especially when they played ‘Daft Punk is Playing at My House') and introspective and serene (particularly during the truncated and beautiful ‘When Someone Great Is Gone’) at other times. 

Every year Splendour is a mini city that continues to grow and flourish
From the Time Out Pub of the Year popping up in the middle of a field to the hands-on workshops at Splendour in the Craft, it’s the little things that happen outside of stages and tents that really makes the festival a world-class event.

Elon Musk was there
The mega tech kingpin was chilling out for a good part of the festival in the VIP gold bar. While his security guards refused to let him pose for any photos with punters, he did shake a few hands and seemed pretty chill.

International acts may have capped off each night but locals really shone through
While Stormzy brought some serious grime to the Mix Up Tent, and Haim charmed us into wishing they were our best friends, and Two Door Cinema Club pulled of a seriously energetic set, it was local bands that did us. DD Dumbo’s Friday night set had everyone dancing to along to the Melburnian multi-instrumentalist’s layered and funky pop songs, while Meg Mac’s soulful vocals encouraged some of the weekend's biggest sing-a-longs at the GW tent on Sunday evening. 

In a fickle market where festivals can soar or crash and burn, Splendour managed to deliver yet again. The killer combination of a pristine festival site, mini cultural adventures, top-notch snacks and most importantly – great music – shows us why 19,500 people continue make the annual trip to Byron year after year. We can't wait to do it all again next year. 


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