The First Day of Splendour

It’s one of Australia’s most beloved festivals for a reason. Every year, somewhere around the middle or end of July, thousands of music lovers make tracks to Byron Bay for Splendour In The Grass.

I think we can all agree there’s something special about Splendour – for punters and artists alike. It’s a chance to let loose for 3 or 4 days (depending on your stamina) and a golden opportunity for artists to ‘level up’ with a set to remember.

Locals making their Splendour debut on Friday were the much buzzed brother-sister duo Lastlings, dream-pop queen Hatchie and an artist putting innovative Australian R&B/future soul on the map, Kaiit.

Finding himself in Australia for the first time, Sam Fender delivered a set that put his stunning voice and intelligently emotive songwriting on show. Back in town for the first time since 2017, K.Flay bent genres over at the Mix Up tent to an adoring crowd, while Fidlar went down a treat as per usual on the Amphitheatre stage.

The rise of UK rapper Dave has been meteoric. On his last visit, he played a half full tent in the early afternoon – it’s fair to say Australian audiences weren’t quite on board yet. However a year and half down the track that has changed significantly. The Mix Up tent was heaving with thousands of fans chanting ‘Tiago Silva‘ and rapping along to every word. Overheard from the front row: “Dave, you changed my life!”

Santigold persevered through sound struggles to deliver a career spanning set. 2019 marks the 10 year year anniversary of her debut Santogold, so the show pad a special homage to celebrate.

The ever raucous once again Foals delivered a soaring set, before Tame Impala capped off the day with a masterclass in modern psychedelia.

IMAGES BY ROCHELLE FLACK

Read Splendour day two and day three recaps.


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