The Last Minute Planner’s Guide to Splendour 2016

With the 2016 edition of Splendour In The Grass less than 24 hours away from kickoff, we’re sure many of you are relaxed and quite comfortable, having made all of your plans weeks and months in advance and are just sitting pretty waiting for the big day to arrive.

We’re also sure more than a few of you are tearing your hair out because you haven’t a clue what you’re doing and haven’t made any plans yet beyond ‘turn up and hope for the best’. If you’re the latter, not to worry, we’ve got you covered with our last minute Splendour planner’s guide for this year.

How you’re getting there:

Oh, your annual Splendour road trip is approaching? That’s a whole lot of hours travelling packed full of good times – literally, your four best friends packed into your Toyota hatchback as you head from one end of the state to the other. Now is the prime time to organise the essentials: snacks, drinks, sightseeing pitstops and tunes (here, we’ve done that one for you: 100 Best Tracks of 2016 So Far).

Also, this is the best time to nut out your schedule for the next three days so bring a notepad and have the set times on hand so at least one of you can scribble down a plan in the car. Alternatively, if you’re around Sydney like I am and not really keen on burning rubber for that long, or simply don’t have the time, flights to Ballina take just over an hour. We’re two days out from Splendour and Jetstar are still offering trips from $55. Sometimes all you need is some light turbulence and a mid-flight snack to prepare you for a crazy, jam-packed weekend full of festival fanatics and your favourite music.

Who you’re seeing:

With four main stages and nine other festival areas featuring all kinds of amazing things to see and do, you certainly won’t be bored. On the contrary, you may start having mild spasms over the amount of choice you do have. Clashes are always a pain but very manageable. Should I catch Flume or Sigur Rós? Jagwar Ma or The Jungle Giants? Motez or Hermitude? Do I want to chill with some lols at the Comedy Club or muzz to The Delta Riggs spinning the decks!? If none of those appeal to you, check out our list of the ten acts you can’t afford to miss from this year.

It can all seem a little overwhelming but it only takes two seconds to download the always helpful Splendour In The Grass app and begin to get a handle on which acts you want to see, then sit down with your mates and form a plan. There will be a bit of compromise involved but, all in all, everyone will have an amazing time if you’re all seeing the acts you truly love.

Of course it will probably all go to pot on the day, what with toilet stops and drinks and food breaks, but hey, at least you’ll feel easier now if you have some kind of rough idea what you’re doing right now.

What you’re taking:

If you’re camping, you’ll need at least some form of tent and a sleeping bag if you don’t already have one. Places like Big W and K-Mart are the absolute goods for cheap tent-ery and camping items. Camping or not, you’ll want to have a pair of gumboots handy. The weather forecast for this year’s Splendour might look all sunshine and rainbows right now, but this is Australia and mother nature cares not for your festival happiness. A little bit of rain can turn the Byron Parklands into an absolute pit of mud and despair that not everyone enjoys sliding around in, so get your hands on a pair of gumboots even if iPhone weather says it’s sunshine ahead.

With all that mud and sweat and grime, you need to sort out basic toiletries as well, at least some form of body wash will do and a towel and toothbrush at the very least. Sure, you could opt out of that altogether and just not shower for three days straight, but the punters parting like the red sea in the moshpit as you and your disco stench pass by will be noticeable. Now would be a good time to go to K-Mart and get cheap underwear and socks too.

You also want food. All of the food. Splendour has three food halls on site this year with more tasty goods than you can poke a wizard stick at, so they’ve got you sorted for meals throughout the day, but snacks for after you get back to your tent or wherever you’re staying after a long day’s debauchery will be like manna from heaven.

Where you’re sleeping:

Even with all the forecast sun during the day, night time is probably going to be anywhere between a little frosty and ‘Jack Nicholson frozen in The Shining‘. It’s important to have a decent tent that you can keep dry. You’re going to want at least one pillow (if worst comes to worst you can use your bag) and a sleeping bag. If you can, a blanket on top of that will have you wrapped up like the world’s happiest burrito even if the outside world is cold and full of terrors, otherwise you can sleep underneath a sea of your own clothes just as effectively (if a little messier).

By the time you get there you’ll probably be emotionally drained from trying to get everything sorted at the last minute and it can be tempting to want to just throw everything and go and get amongst the tomfoolery. Make sure your tent is properly stood up and stuck in the ground so hard not even an earthquake could move it before you start celebrating. You don’t want to be that person everyone in the campsite is laughing at because their tent is propped up worse than Pauline Hanson’s logic or floating away in the Byron breeze.

Try and make some kind of note of where your tent is pitched before you head out on that first day as well, few things are worse than wrapping up a long day’s Splendour-ing and traipsing back to the campsite with dreams of a warm tent only to not have any idea where you’ve left it and having to spend a further half an hour stumbling around in the dark looking for it. Pick out recognisable stuff (your closest bathroom number is usually a good bet) close to you and remember it above all else.

What not to bring:

A shit attitude or Native American headdresses. Please don’t. Otherwise, as long as you’ve followed the basics, your Splendour In The Grass should be an absolute whale of a time. We will see you there!