Splendour is a marathon. A three day, beautiful, musical marathon in which you only get out what you put in. Sure Day 1 is a pleasure. You’re there, you’re fresh, you’ve made it. Day 2, especially this year’s Day 2 was a treacherous, nearly impossible struggle with a magical Florence Welch shaped reward for those who managed to endure. And Day 3? Oh Day 3, how bitter-sweet you are. On Day 3 the mixed emotions come in thick and fast.
It started with filthy, disturbing doubt. A morning desperately packed with coffee, Organic Doughnuts, half eaten tacos and doubt as to whether you can actually do it all again. It’s days like this that separate the weak from the strong. It’s days like this that you dig deep and find out who you truly are. It’s here. You’ve made it. It’s the last day.
Next came the torment of disappointment, rising up to make the Day 3 struggle all the more real. Allday was out. The stalls were out of gumboots. The Smirnoff tent was out of that amazing raspberry slushy stuff. And it was still raining.
But it wasn’t all bad news. Amidst the angst, Day 3 delivered a few well earned prizes for revellers who stuck it out. Fans were gifted with a display that will go down in Splendour history and forever hold a place in my heart, as we witnessed triple j’s Matt & Alex storm the stage in place of Allday.
If that wasn’t enough to send spirits soaring, you could pick your poison – early on Vallis Alps’ dreamy sounds washing over the Mix Up tent while The Delta Riggs smashed out a high energy, jam-packed set worthy of their Rolling Stone Live Act Of The Year Title at the Amphitheatre.
And those two stages marked our locations for the day, pulling us back and forth between the likes of Danish singer-songwriter MØ, and her set which was equally gorgeous and gutsy, and The Vaccines lighting up the main stage in all their brit-rock glory. Alpine’s electrifying set at Mix Up outshone even Splendour darlings MSMR with fan favourite Gasoline and the newly released Foolish hypnotising the crowd.
As the sun went down on our final day it was back and forth and back and forth to catch the massive rock sounds of Royal Blood and the divine Alison Wonderland, proving why she is one of the most phenomenal acts in the country right now.
Then, one last climb saw the penultimate set from Tame Impala light up the hill, a feat the blazing band achieved without the help from the dicks setting off flares in the crowd. The fire burned it’s way through Feels Like We Only Go Backwards, while the masses sang as one.
And then it was time. The closing act of Splendour 2015, Blur, stormed the stage in all their brit pop glory. If you’re anything like me, Blur will have been high on your list of must-see acts, having not been to our shores in 18 years. Die-hard fans were treated to a few newbies, smashed out in style but those were not what we were there for.
The highlights came in the form of the classics, Parklife, Girls and Boys and of course Song 2. The amphitheatre was full of pure joy, but as for whether it was the performance itself that sent off Splendour in style, or the bucket-list moment of seeing one of Britain’s greatest bands live in the flesh? I’m still unsure. Die-hards don’t get me wrong, I was wrapped to lose my Blur-ginity, but after spending the previous night with Florence + The Machine, I can safely say I’ve had better.
Whatever it was, by the time the crowds dispersed, the pain of the morning was long forgotten, leaving behind only the wondrous feeling that it was over far too quickly. We rode hay bales, we slipped over, we told the PM to get fucked, we covered ourselves in flash tats, we dyed our hair, we danced under the moon, we kissed each others’ faces and we made memories.
Oh Splendour, how we love you. See you in ’16.
Gallery: Blur – Splendour in the Grass 2015, 26/07/15 / Photographed by Yael Stempler