After a soggy start, with heavy rainfall creating a boggy mess in Byron Bay on Thursday and Friday, Splendour in the Grass organisers made the call to cancel its first-day acts, as punters took to social media to share pics of the chaotic campsite that was largely under water.
Some faced 15-hour wait times getting into the festival, with scant information provided as to how to find water or get cars through the mud. Others reported leeches in the campground facilities.
But the rain didn’t stop acts – including Baker Boy, Bernard Fanning, Yungblud, George Alice and Japanese Wallpaper – from performing. They took the party to bars and pubs in Byron to keep everyone’s spirits up. Makeshift stages popped up at the Railway Friendly Bar, Kingscliff Beach Hotel and Beach Hotel.
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Saturday was a different story. Splendour’s official social pages announced the festival was going ahead as planned and, unsurprisingly, recommended gumboots for anyone who could get hold of a pair. Festivalgoers reported gumboots were selling for $80 at the festival.
Bus delays were an infuriating addition to the wet weather, with the Guardian reporting that buses didn’t arrive for hours, especially on Saturday night when people were trying to leave the festival site to get home.
Headliners Tyler the Creator, Jack Harlow and The Strokes successfully drew in the crowds for their slots. Aussie acts Amyl & the Sniffers, G Flip, Alice Ivy, The Jungle Giants and Violent Soho seized the moment to bring fans together despite the ankle-deep mud. And the sheer resilience of the festival, music-makers and punters was generally praised by those who attended, including journalist Osman Faruqi.
Broadsheet sent a photographer to capture some of the joyful moments of the festival, despite the downpour.