It’s that time of year again. The ultimate girls’ trip to North Byron Parklands. Also known as Splendour In The Grass.
To some, it’s merely a festival but to me, it’s Christmas in July. It’s my annual pilgrimage where me and my favourite girlfriends escape our busy lives and have some good old fashioned fun. Oh, and despite what anyone says about Splendour In The Grass, you are NEVER too old to attend, and you should NEVER take your partners with you.
Yes, I may not have heard of every artist on the lineup but Splendour transcends music, despite what any hardcore festival fans may tell you. I mean, one year I didn’t see any artist perform until I was three days in. This is sacrilege to some, but there is so much more to this festival for me and my friends.
Each July we take the trip to Byron to eat, drink, be merry and of course see a little bit of music. We also camp, but not as you know it. Flash Camp is the place to be if you’re headed to Splendour. With real beds, heated showers and hair and makeup onsite, you know this is what summer camp should have been growing up.
After a coffee and breakfast (trust me there are real baristas at Splendour) we proceed to get our hair, makeup and outfits sorted. If I’m feeling a little worse for wear, I’ll even go for a quick massage to help me tackle the miles of walking I know I’m going to do.
Once we are pampered and ready to party, we head in to the festival for a spot of shopping – yes, that’s right – shopping. It’s the perfect excuse to buy something new for the specific purpose of wearing it to the festival and literally never wearing it again.
Now, all this shopping tends to make me thirsty and I have an easy fix for that as well – a quick sip of champagne or a cheeky wine at the bar. If you’re keen on escaping the madness to whet your whistle, Smirnoff’s ‘The Wilds’ which is a double story event space and chill out zone offers you the perfect reprieve from the festival action. It’s a lush Splendour oasis where we can enjoy drinks, music and even a free touch-up (who doesn’t love that?).
Carb loading is also a must to a) soak up the drinks we’ve been consuming and b) regain as much energy as possible. Believe me when I tell you, THERE IS SO MUCH GOOD FOOD TO CHOOSE from at Splendour. My favourite are the pop-up restaurants. Last year, Splendour was home to a Chiswick pop-up and this year Bondi Icebergs dining room and bar is heading to the festival. Set up in a picturesque location with seatings throughout the day, it’s the perfect opportunity to treat yo’ self with a three course meal and drinks.
As a female, the onsite activations are some of the best I’ve seen and every year they get better. From free makeup and a wash and blow-dry to a secret laundromat disco, Splendour is like a playground for adults. At these activations, the food is on point, the drinks are delicious and thanks to a post #MeToo world, they are spaces that always feels safe and inclusive.
After all the shopping, eating, drinking and music I end the night curled up in a tent with some of my favourite women recounting the day, laughing and praying we don’t wake up with a hangover.
Spoiler alert: I never do – Hydralyte is my friend and I pack it in large quantities.