It all began on a WEDNESDAY morning, when a motley crew gathered at Green Rooms at 6am for some coffee and banana bread brewed with some premature shrieks of excitement and nerves.
Ellen Giebels, Elisha Clothier, Madeline Anderson, Jessica Moss, David Bellato, Matt Dempsey and I were the elements that made up this crew.
Dempsey had a Metallica wicked van which not only spurred on the excited cheers and "rock" hand signals, but became the basis for the many stops on the way up.
One such stop was in Taree, where we received a call from the other convoy comprising of Ellen, Elisha and Dave.
"We've blown a tire"
came the dissatisfied voice on the other end of the line.
Everyone on our end began erupting in fits of molten laughter which would not have made the situation any more bearable.
Apparently, according to reports Bellato narrowly missed having his ass shaved off by a semi trailer on the side of the Taree freeway whilst changing said tire. Fun fact.
The 13 hour drive was tedious, mixed with insults, jeering, laughter, coca cola, salmon, one mental breakdown somewhere near Ballina and doing the speed limit near the cameras.
However, once we had finally arrived in Woodford, the other players in the game joined us,
Tom Russell, Kyle Wainman, Sam Paterson, Lauren Bacigalupo, Bruv Bacigalupo, Bridie Sullivan and some dude called Dane or Smiffy who fucked four chicks in three days to everyones amusement/amazement.
We all wooped and people spilt beers in plastic cups on each others cars in front of a neon BP sign, but then we realised that we werent even close to the campsite and we should probably simmer down and do what we had come here to do.
Now, putting up tents in the dark is usually quite a difficult task, but when you have David Bellato putting up a tent in the dark, it is a story for the ages.
First we had Bellato and Jess Moss setting up the tent leisurely, followed by at least 4 other people who were scrambling about to find an "L" shaped thing that went into this thing, but not into that thing. This was coupled by "FUCK CUNT!" from Bellato every 24-30 seconds.
Fast forward to THURSDAY.
Today is Bellato's birthday and all he got was a green party hat from the people camping next door to us. But he also was gifted a boozy day with the girls while the men went out hunting in town (for a pair of shitty green trackies for me and a few more flasks of vodka).
We ate at a burger place that asked for your name to be called out (much like Boost Juice, for everyone who stayed at home) and Ellen and Elisha's names turned out to be:
Lesquisha and Bo Qui Qui. The woman yelling out the names was not impressed.
Should the fact that I dont really remember what went on on thursday be a good thing?
First day of Splendour in the grass.
We all woke up fresh as a daisy (well some of us, Ellen and Elisha had to sleep next to a 'sleep-laughing' Bellato) and began our day, which mainly comprised of having a luke warm shower (or in the boys case a 'man bonding' communal shower- some even under the same faucet- you be the judge) and pouring our first drink of the day.
By this time, everyone is getting pretty drunk in the hot Woodford sun (which lasts for about an hour and a half) so we decide to take our illicits and walk into the festival.
We wander through the orange paths kicking rocks and flailing dust into the air to the Ampitheatre to catch the end of Jebediah and to see the whole set of The Kills.
The air is buzzing with news that Kate Moss is in fact in the audience, and a brief capture by a keen cameraman confirms this fact. However, to me, I didnt realise that was in fact Kate Moss herself. To me I thought it looked like she was wearing Video Ezy competition winner sunnies, but I dare not say that in front of Bridie.
The Kills (pardon the pun) killed it.
Bluesy and guitar charged rock and roll mixed with the thrashing black locks and the cigarette smoking Jamie Hince made for a great welcome to the festival.
After this, we all seperated in different areas, some saw James Blake, others tried for Glasvegas. However, we all ended up back at the camp site drinking again.
This little visit back to the campsite was filled with neighbourly love, a blow up free willy whale used as a seat for four people, rap battles and tiny little dance circles.
At the campsite we realised there was a definite divide between Modest Mice and Does it Offend You, Yeahs?
So we went out seperate ways and I saw Does It Offend You Yeah? with Bellato and Ellen. This is where the week long neck injury is made.
We thrashed around like meth addict washing machines, only taking a breath when an acoustic version of Dawn of the Dead was displayed in the Mix Up Tent.
Gotye was next on the list, I had never taken an interest in Gotye and it probably wasnt the best place to be after such a work out, but we enjoyed the melodic tunes and chilled out vibe of the GW Mclellan tent until it came time for Kanye West.
On the way to Kanye West/The Hives, Bellato was feeling a little chilly in his upper head region and decided that the best way to alleviate this chill was to buy an animal themed knitted beanie. He chose a dog.
We began the trek up to the ampitheatre, but there was one problem, we had lost EVERYONE.
We made it into the vicinity with no breath and our eyes bulging out of our heads. Genuinely freaked out at the masses of people, we began the search for the family and finally after being yelled at by Pele of the Hives to sit the fuck down, we found them, just in time for Yeezy.
He did his show in Acts (Act 1, 2,3), he rose from the ground encased in a cloud of smoke that was billowing as he sang 'Dark Fantasy'.
I would like to go on and list all the songs he sang and all that In the Mix.com.au shit but I wont.
I would like to describe it as a complete mind fuck in which I got to see into the dark and twisted mind of a genius.
A murder of light tan coloured girl crows danced around the stage as if the music was part of their nature. He didnt have much stage banter but I dont think he had to. He was there for one reason, and I was kind of glad to escape some kind of preach.
There were fireworks and heavy beats and girls and ballerinas and auto tune and pedestals and decks and absolute musical decadence.
Sam, I think actually lost his mind while this display was going on. For probably a 5 degree celcius night, he was in a singlet, sweat pouring from his brow and his voice desperately reaching the furthest possible point it could reach. He was spitting every word as if he had written them himself- a real fan is he.
Could you believe its all over?
No, because its not.
I have to mention before I retire to bed for this Friday night, that for some reason at every Splendour we get put near people who chant.
Last year it was "Dizzy bat".
This year, it was,
"YUMBA YUMBA WE WANNA GET DRUNKER!!! EMU, LLAMA!!! LLAMA SEAGULL!! HORSE DONKEY!!!"
and so on and so forth.
It was hilarious to listen to but even more hilarious when we saw what happened on
After these heaps sick mad dog piss heads were at that fucking shithouse drinking game all night (coupled with some kooks who keep professing all theyre gonna do is eat their face who keeps playing with a literal glockenspiel) one of the blokes rushes out of their tent in forest green undies and proceeds to boot the fuck out of himself for a good 5-10 minutes.
We all break down in hysterics, and so do other campers, to be received by him with "STOP FUCKING LAUGHING AT ME CUNT, ILL FUCKING SMASH YA!"
Nothing better than a man in forest green undies with his dinner and multiple sambucca shots all over his hairy chest screaming threats to complete a Saturday morning.
You know how it goes: shower, goon, juice, vodka, rap battlez, admiration at Kanye, how fucking cold was it last night etc etc etc.
We fuck around for yonks this morning and do nothing but recover and laugh and somehow manage to catch Foster the People at 3ish.
They were GREAT! all the kids with the pumped up kicks were there taking in a fun set which was made even better by Kele which followed it. My first experience with Kele was at Parklife last year. And after seeing him again in the setting that is Splendour in the Grass, I realised that my Fuzzy event ban is in fact the right move. He was amazing, it is a shame that he is gay (for us girls) because he is a beautiful man and all us girls were picturing what our babies would look like with him.
I bailed with Bellato to the 'Noff tent which was a two storey club they had built especially for the festival. We bailed there to catch the end of Randy Stagg's set. It featured 'King of the Rodeo' by Kings of Leon which pulled the heart strings for me, as it was probably the one band I was missing dearly at that festival. While in the Noff bar we tasted 'Peaches in the grass' which ensued some sort of drunken stupor for the next 2 hours.
We decided to meet at the giant UFO for Architecture in Helsinki.
Architecture were actually fucking amazing. Contact High became the mini anthem for the way home. We found Madeline and Bridie who were sidding and bloody loving it.
Somehow we all came together for .....thelivingend...... in which Kyle Wainman actually lost his shit for 'Prisoner of Society'.
I was so so so so so fucking keen to see Jane's Addiction and so was Elisha. So we were completely enthralled in Dave Navarro's nipple ring and the asian back up dancers mixed with breathy echoy tones of Perry Farrell's voice and his tight purple pants.
However, seeing as Jane's addiction is not everyones cup of tea, some of the crew went to see PNAU to shit reviews after the shows had finished.
Back at the camp site, Bridie was absolutely choodled and sat down on a not that sturdy camp chair. She began speaking and while doing so the chair lost its legs and she fell on her ass to the side but still remaining in the sitting position. We all had a chuckle (if you want to call it that) and carried on chatting.
Next thing you know, Bellato comes out in that aforementioned dog hat and a doona and proceeds to sit on the death chair. The exact same thing happens to him that did Bridie and an eruption of laughter ensues lasting for what seems like hours.
Everyone is feeling pretty dusty.
Festival back has set in and everyone seems to be craving a bacon and egg sandwich.
However, Ellen and Sam find it in themselves to proceed into the festival at midday to catch Grouplove to rave reviews.
We all finally get off our ass and catch YELLE!
who has to be the cutest fucking person I have ever seen. She is wearing a bright red jumpsuit and leaping about on stage to the upbeat bubblegum techno tunes such as 'A Cause des Garcons'.
We feel energised after this and head up to the ampitheatre to catch the end of the Vaccines and Cloud Control.
The Vaccines were forgettable, but Cloud Control was not.
Just earlier at the camp site I had sung a little tune from the Lion King. I dont know why, it just came to me and felt right.
Turns out one of the dudes in Cloud Control had a kid, and they proceeded to play that "Aaaaa sven yaa summa bee summa baa" song from the Lion King which got the crowd so riled up, a massive convoy of flailing bodies ran up and down the ampitheatre over and over again to the rest of their set. It felt dusty and crazy and it made me feel alive to just be witnessing it, let alone joining it which is what Bruv, Sam, Dane and Tom did!
The final regroup back at the campsite was nigh, and everyone was so excited to finish the night out with a bang.
And that is exactly what Friendly Fires delivered for me.
They were energetic and pulled me into a whirlpool of their new album, PALA, in which I actually do believe I saw God or something like it in 'Pull me back to earth'. I was "that guy" if you know what I mean and I didnt care. This was one of the bands I was most excited to see, and fucking hell did they live up to my expectations.
Even when Bellato was singing "Hawaiian MAN" in our ears to "Hawaiian AIR" (got to love him)
The boys then got separated from the girls as they skipped off to see Kaiser Chiefs and we went to catch The Panics. What a snore.
We sat there and giggled and chatted throughout the entire thing, and realised that one of the worst things a band can say at a festival is,
"Now here is one from our new album!"
We decided Cut Copy was the way to go, but seeing as we have all seen Cut Copy about a billion times at your Homebakes or whatevers, we decided a nice little sit in the Strongbow boat was the answer. Pie did not agree with us.
She skipped back out and continued to party until it was time to take position for Colplay.
We struggled up the ampitheatre "FOR THE LAST TIME!" and got a spot right at the very top. We managed to catch a bit of Pulp, with Jarvis Cocker running his gob at every opportunity he got. It made me think, "if you tell someone he is a genius enough will he believe it?" and "wow some people really enjoy the sound of their own voice over 30,000 people screaming their name. Which is less narcissistic?"
I noticed while waiting for the delectable Chris Martin to take the stage that there were a lot of dickheads in animal suits. I just caught sight of a fucking unicorn making out with a dog. Now you dont see that everyday.
Here came Coldplay.
There is always one band that takes your breath away, even when you have nothing left in you. Even when your back feels like it is going to crack in half, and your bones ache from the cold and your mouth is dry from the multiple mid strength mules youve had (yessss....thats it). It takes something special to be able to break through that world of hurt and make your mind explode like a tens of thousands of paper butterflies.
I tried to let a single tear fall down my cheek, but due to the condition I was in, it was near impossible. Inside, my heart was melting with every melody exuding from his mouth. An appreciation I had never held for Coldplay before was unlocked like Pandora's box and all of my love came spilling out of my eyes like a Salvador Dali painting.
They were beautiful.
After this was all over, we were left with the grim realisation that it was all over. We had felt happy, sad, turned on, irritated, hungry, thirsty, full, tired, energised, drunk, high, peaceful, crazy but most of all we felt united in the experience that we shared together in those 5 days in the Woodford forestry.
* Chingy the jokester programme seller that hit on Ellen and stole a vodka from Bellato.
* Free Willy.
* Getting Free Willy reprimanded by a security marshall. "SPLENDOUR,YEAH!"
* Sam's photo with Jamie Hince.
* "DOWN, UP- MORE ENERGY."
* Chris and his tapas.
* Val Kilmer.
* Bunny Boiler.
* Smiffy's women.
* Communal whirlpool.
* Kyle Wainman: CSI: MIAMI on Sunday night.
* TENT FUCKS.
* "He sprogged in er guts."
* The gollldddddyyyyyy.
* The gollldddddyyyyyy.
THANK YOU TO ALL INVOLVED FOR MAKING IT, BEING A PARTY, BREAKING CHAIRS AND BREAKING HEARTS.