FEST FLASHBACK: Splendour in the Grass 2006 feat. Sonic Youth, Mos Def, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Is any show worth an 18 (or even 38) hour trip? With acts like Sonic Youth, Mos Def, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Scissor Sisters, and Brian Wilson on the bill, PopMatters' Nick Gunn was willing to go see for himself...
FEST FLASHBACK: Splendour in the Grass 2006 feat. Sonic Youth, Mos Def, and Yeah Yeah YeahsCity: Byron Bay, Australia
Venue: Belongil Fields
Can’t decide whether or not to get gone? In anticipation of the big, bad body bake that is the Summer Festival season (buy your SPF60 now, people!), PopMatters spends this week revisiting the highs and lows of last year’s most scintillating soirees.
DAY 1: 22 July 2006 As I slide down the slippery side of 25, I wonder if I've gotten too old for the orgy of music and mud that is Splendour in the Grass. By day two I felt like the rock-festival equivalent of the Little Mermaid, gasping for air in a heaving sea of punters. But I'm getting ahead of myself... and anyway, the packed schedule was enough to wear anybody out. To give you some idea of how big Splendour is, we drove for 18 hours to get there and back, and that was in no way the longest pilgrimage taken by the festival's devotees. Others came from Melbourne (38 hours round trip) and Western Australia (unspeakably far away) to pay their respects to the gods of rock. As usual, tickets for the shindig sold out in 24 hours, despite a new-fangled system that made scalping a virtual impossibility. This turned out to be a good thing, though, as it ensured that the tickets went to the 17,000 people who really wanted them.
DAY 2: 23 July 2006 Many of us spent the early hours of day two mourning the absence of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, who had enticed many to make the long trek to Byron. Instead, we showed up at three to see who the mystery replacement was, the act denoted on the program by four mysterious question marks. Speculation had been rife on the radio, in the forums, and around the pubs. Some claimed they knew it was going to be the Mess Hall. Others touted Silverchair. Since neither of these suggestions were particularly exciting, the sigh of disappointment that greeted The Vines to the stage was muted. Everyone sat through the obligatory "Get Free" and then sang along with their underwhelming cover of "Ms. Jackson", but nobody really enjoyed it. At least that's what I'd like to believe.