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Who’s Playing Splendour 2012?

Written by Alex Langlands on March 29, 2012

The announcement for the 2012 Splendour In The Grass lineup is just around the corner; excitement is starting to build. Bands that could possibly make an appearance at the 2012 instillation of the Splendour In The Grass have been ‘leaked‘ and speculation began months ago, so we’ve compiled a list of well-sourced rumours, alongside some of our own sneaky knowledge, to see who is most likely to play the festival. We’ve also included a list of bands that won’t be making the trip out to the festival this year due to international commitments.


Update: Splendour in the Grass 2012 line up is here


Ruled Out

The more unfortunate side of Splendour lineup speculation is ruling out the bands that won’t be making the trip to Australia late July to play at our favourite festival. The announcement of the 2012 Hop Farm Festival has ruled out the likes of Suede, The Jezabels, Frightened Rabbit and Benjamin Francis Leftwich, all who would have made decent additions to this year’s lineup. In addition to the string of European and American festival announcements ruling out bands for Splendour, the lineup of Newport Folk Festival has ruled out hotly tipped Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men, alongside Tune-Yards, Iron & Wine and Tom Morello. The 2012 MIDI Festival has ruled out a quick return from indie-folk kings, Bon Iver, as well as 2012 Laneway headliner SBTRKT and The Shining.

Although it was somewhat far-fetched, the epic Tomorrowland lineup has eliminated any chances of The Bloody Beetroots, Avicii, Calvin Harris, Pendulum and Steve Aoki (although I doubt Splendour organisers would have booked them anyway). On the topic of electronic acts, UK’s Global Gathering means we won’t be seeing the likes of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Labrinth, DJ Fresh, Friendly Fires, Nero and Chase & Status. Staying in the UK and Camp Bestival has unfortunately ruled out any chance of a Happy Mondays return, alongside sets from Hot Chip, Kool & The Gang, Chic, Rolf Harris, Little Dragon and Spector, who were tipped to be the festival’s new UK band for the year, who have blown up internationally with their track Chevy Thunder. Maximo Park, Dizzie Rascal, James, Feeder and Utah Saints will be playing this year’s Kendal Calling Festival, also ruling them out. The last, and most disappointing, band to be ruled out due to a UK festival is the likes of The Proclaimers, who are headlining this year’s Nozstock Festival. Australian punters have been craving the ‘500 Miles’ band since their famous V Festival appearances in 2007 and 2009, which were a highlight for all in attendance.

Over in the States, Catalpa Festival rules out the possibility eliminates the chance of a Black Keys appearance along with TV On The Radio and The Big Pink. Calgary Folk Fest rules out Beirut and Wanderlust rules out Ziggy Marley. The 2012 Soundtown Festival lineup is yet to be released, however last year consisted of The Flaming Lips and The New Pornographers, so it is sure to rule out a handful of bands come announcement date. Over in Spain, Low Cost Festival has ruled out the likes of Placebo and Kasabian .

Lastly, it seems as if Sigur Ros may not make their comeback in Australia for the 2012 Splendour In The Grass. In a post on the band’s website, it states that they will start their touring in August, meaning that we have possibly missed the cut off. Harvest 2012 anyone?

Highly Likely

Most obviously we have Zulu Winter who were announced as the first official act by Splendour organisers, which is already making for a pretty exciting lineup. We also have Django Django who were apparently the first band to have been leaked, however there has been a bit of confusion about if they will play or not after the leak was quashed by the band. The Shins have also told Australian fans that an appearance at Splendour is ‘pencilled in’, which can be nothing but good news!

Hitting off the rumours in the international corner are recently reunited UK indie-rockers Bloc Party, after they mind-fucked NME and announced a few European dates across the summer. They have both dates clear and frontman Kele has named Splendour as his ‘favourite festival’. So we think that they would make a perfect fit headlining the mainstage on Sunday night. In addition to this, guitarist, Russell Lissack tweeted about the new Last Dinosaurs album saying that he was “Looking fwd to crossing paths soon”, and seeing as their song Zoom was used in the 2012 Splendour In The Grass promotional video, surely they will be playing. Surely!

There is also a chance that Splendour will reunite Australia with the beloved Jack White as he tours the world after the split of iconic rock group The White Stripes. Jack White also told Australian fans that he was planning an Australian tour, but as he was bad with dates he couldn’t remember when or where. UK indie bands like Mumford & Sons and The XX also have a very high chance of appearing as they are all well overdue for a sneaky Australian visit. All with sideshows please! The Ting Tings and Sleigh Bells may also be representing the pop-rock genre at the festival with both bands telling either triple j or Radar Music that they would be here twice this year. It seems likely and there is history with both bands; fingers crossed that the sound quality of the Sleigh Bells performance has improved since they last played.

The Mixup Tent will need some quality headliners this year, for those fans not overly keen on whoever is on the mainstage. Fingers are crossed for a German invasion from Kraftwerk, but odds are unlikely. An appearance from 2manydj’s or Soulwax would surely go down a treat, and rumours have surfaced about a return from Justice, but seeing as they played over the New Year. one would hope that they wouldn’t tour that frequently. An Australian appearance from electronic heroes The Presets would make the mixup tent more into a sweat shop, but would be a hit, or possibly Empire of The Sun could make another stop at the festival; they were crowd favourites last time, why not now?

Like every Splendour, that one mainstream-indie band is essential, with Foster The People playing last year, who better than American favourites fun. who have smashed the competition on the Billboard charts recently? In addition to a possible appearance from fun. a set from UK sweetheart Ed Sheeran is likely, having come to Australia late last year for a Channel V Guerilla Gig and telling fans that he would “see you soon”. Splendour seems like the best place for the singer/songwriter to make his Australia debut.

The Temper Trap have announced a handful of shows, including shows that are part of the wonderful 2012 Vivid Live lineup. As they are in the country around the time, it seems slightly logical to say that they could return to the home of one of their greatest Australian performances and delight the crowds with their new material. Joining the ranks of Australian artists on the lineup could be the likes of Sneaky Sound System, John Butler Trio, Ball Park Music, Bleeding Knees Club, Snakadaktal, Gold Fields, Stonefield, San Cisco, Matt Corby and 360, who could represent Australian hip-hop at this year’s instalment.

French group Air are tipped to touch down on Australian shores in aid of the festival, having announced only one date this year. Splendour organisers could hassle the same magic they used last year to snag that only Regina Spektor show anywhere in the world for 2011. Childish Gambino could also make an appearance, with rumours circulating about his touring availabilities (taking into consideration his acting commitments on the show Community). Having just released his 2011 album Camp, he would be a fantastic asset to The Mixup Tent artists’ roster. Franz Ferdinand have just announced two very intimate dates in Scotland for May, but there could be a possible appearance of the band on the mainstage (is it still called the amphitheatre?). Headlining Friday night would be a gem for both the festival and fans, but without a release since their 2009 album Tonight, Franz Ferdinand will be more a nostalgic trip for punters. Two Door Cinema Club also have a very high chance. The band appeared on the leaked 2012 Future Music Festival lineup, which got every artist correct aside from David Guetta (who has announced he will headline Creamfields) and Nicki Minaj (who will headline her own shows later this year). Surely Two Door Cinema Club pulled on Future Music Festival to ensure they scored a spot at Splendour In The Grass.

Now the guessing for the Saturday night headliner begins. There have been rumours of The Cure returning to Australia since their more-than-magnificent Vivid Live show (Steve Pav, I am still more than grateful) and they seem more than fitting to headline the festival. They have announced a string of European festival dates, but unfortunately the band have ruled out recording any new material, saying the want to focus on putting on a more memorable show (Bittersweet I guess). A wildcard headliner, that has only become a possibility in recent days, is Beck. He is in America April through to June, so as he is on the road at the time, fans are hopeful that he will make the trip down to Australia, to dance along to Loser. At The Drive-In recently announced their spot on the Coachella lineup; they have a dedicated fan-base in Australia, and with it being nearly 11 years since their last Australian appearance, surely they can make an exception and play Splendour. They didn’t like ‘slamdancing’ when they played the Big Day Out, so Splendour over Soundwave seems like the logical choice.

Other possibilities include; Silversun Pickups, Lana Del Ray, Bjork, Miike Snow, Animal Collective, M83 and Phoenix.

Whoever plays, Splendour In The Grass will kick off in Belongi Fields on the 27th July through until the 29th. Consisting of a massive lineup, this year’s instalment will be one of the most intimate and best festivals Australia will see this year.

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