Festivals are back, baby! Splendour in the Grass is the biggest Aussie outdoor music session and the highlight of the festivals calendar. This year is going to be one of the most historic as it’s been two years since we’ve partied in the parkland.
If you’re lucky enough to have copped tickets way back in 2020, you’ll no doubt be aware that the headliners this year will be Tyler, the Creator, Gorillaz, and The Strokes. It’s basically our answer to Coachella or Glastonbury, with big international acts, cool dance tents for late-night beats, and a whole range of stalls, markets, and great food. There’s also a kids section for those on a family trip and a drag arena.
We’ve not been able to have it large for a while now and, for some, this may be their first big festival experience. If you’re a little rusty on what you need to bring, what you’re allowed to pack, and just how many packs of biodegradable glitter you’ll need to do the full three days properly, here’s what you need to know.
Okay, before we kick things off, it’s good to get to grips with the layout of the festival and where exactly you’re going to be parking, sleeping, and partying.
Splendour has 11 stages and areas in the main arena, with camping around the edges to the north, south, and east of the site. You’ll be entering and exiting the campsites through three main pass-out points which are located below in the little pink circles.
Camping next to your car is possible which should help with setup and pack-down. Just remember that Splendour is 559 acres — or 2.2 km squared — and filled with 50,000 people, so expect to do a lot of walking, especially if you’re not camping by your tent and planning to do regular trips to the campsite.
Once you’re parked, you’re parked. That means you can’t drive out of the festival until Monday morning.
This is the question we’re all asking. Officially, Splendour in the Grass does not allow you to bring your own alcohol to the festival. This means no booze in the grounds, no booze in campsites, and no booze in your car or bags on the way in. That goes for anyone leaving and returning to the site during the event, too.
The festival is pretty strict on enforcing this policy and volunteers will be checking cars and bags on arrival. They also comb the campgrounds occasionally and if you’re found to have alcohol at your site, it will be confiscated.
To add to this, open or unsealed bottles with any kind of liquid inside won’t be allowed in and neither will re-sealable pouches of yoghurt (they’re onto this trick). Drinks are of course available inside the festival from a number of bars where you can get craft beer, cocktails, and seltzers.
It goes without saying that drugs are also included in the list of things you can’t bring and the festival will have a not insignificant police presence, which includes the use of drug dogs. Roadside drug and alcohol tests will be stationed on the roads leading out of the festival so make sure you’re prepared for this and don’t drive if you’re planning to indulge.
Okay, onto the big stuff. If you’ve never been camping before (who are you?), we’ll run through the basics and the essentials here. Splendour has advised people not to bring the whole kit and kaboodle as space is limited on-site — so try to bring only what you’ll need for three days.
Make sure you’ve got a good quality one; something with a bit of thermal insulation isn’t a bad idea, either. Put it up and pack it down before you go, so you know what you’re doing with it and always, always take it home with you.
This could be a roll mat with a sleeping bag or a full-on inflatable air mattress. Whatever you take, remember it gets real cold, real quick at night, so make sure your kit is ready for this. Extra blankets are always a good idea if you’ve got the space.
Always a good idea for chilling at the site before heading in for the tunes. Don’t be that person who didn’t bring a chair but is somehow always sitting down.
It gets dark early, so having a few lanterns (and spare batteries) is necessary. Fairy lights on the tent are a bit basic but can be helpful in making your way back at night.
This pretty well covers the essentials. Remember, you can’t bring gas bottles, cooking stoves, or have fires of any kind.
You’ll no doubt already have your festival outfits down so we’re not going to chat fashion here — except to say that appropriation isn’t cool and leave the Native American headdresses at home.
What you will definitely need includes:
There’s nothing better than fresh socks at a festival, especially if they’re super comfy to counter all the dancing you’ll be doing. Extra pairs of warm socks for sleeping in are also a great shout.
Bring a couple of pairs for the inevitable event in which you lose one and then can’t see for the rest of the weekend.
Byron is all about the broad brim, but really anything that’s going to keep the sun off is an essential.
If there’s any hint at all of rain in the forecast, bring gumboots. Splendour can get really muddy and you’ll end up losing a shoe in the sludge unless you’ve got the footwear to match. The same goes for a rain jacket or poncho to keep the worst off.
Can’t stress this enough, it gets Arctic at night — we’re in the middle of winter after all. Bringing a good winter jacket, a fleece, or some thermals can make all the difference between dancing the night away under the stars and making an early exit for the warmth of the sleeping bag.
We’re a huge fan of those little bits of kit that can transform your weekend so here are a couple items we’d never do a festival without.
The queues for the showers get pretty long, so you can embrace the mess and avoid showering every day if you give yourself a quick once over with the wet wipes. Just make sure to get bio-degradable ones.
Refillable Water Tank
The lines for the water aren’t usually too bad but you don’t want to be making that journey with a parched throat at 6am like everyone else. Bring a big refillable tank and load up on water that you can redistribute to smaller bottles for walking around during the day.
An essential item for lessening your impact on the planet. A coffee cup and a few spares are never a bad idea.
You’ll need something to keep all your stuff with you during the day, so a small handbag, tote, bumbag or similar is worth bringing. While we’re on bags, bring a few bin bags to throw all your rubbish in at the campsite as well.
Pharmacies sell these little bags that get warm when you shake them. A God-tier move for dancing in the cold later on.
Bring adequate supplies of panadol, Berroca, antacids, rehydration sachets, dry shampoo, hand sanitiser, tissues, throat lozenges, Ural, loperamide, and clotrimazole. Trust us, it’s better to have and not need than need and not have.
You can charge your phone on-site, but having a portable battery pack or three at your disposal makes keeping everything topped up so much easier. Splendour has said Telstra network users will have signal on site, however, Vodafone users likely won’t so try to stick with your mates on the former if you need to get in touch with anyone.