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Image for Splendour In The Grass 2019: 10 Acts We Think Could Play (And Why)Image: Matt Sav + YouTube/Janelle Monae + Supplied

Splendour In The Grass 2019: 10 Acts We Think Could Play (And Why)

Written by Jackson Langford on April 2, 2019

UPDATE 03/04/19: Splendour In The Grass Announces 2019 Lineup

If there’s anything more intense than the Splendour In The Grass festival itself, it is the arduous lead up to the lineup announcement. Between the fake posters, the accidental slip-ups and the endless rumours, sometimes the wait for the biggest Aussie festival lineup of the year can become unbearable.

Well, enter us trying to make that wait just that more unbearable by circulating some acts we think could be taking on the Ampitheatre/Mix-Up/G.W. McLennan stages at North Byron Parklands this year in hopes of getting you all hot and bothered about the real lineup when it drops on April 3rd.

TAME IMPALA

Look, we don’t want to say “Tame Impala are definitely headlining” because we don’t know but the stars are bloody aligning, we tell ya. Kevin Parker and co. have been having a huge bloody 2019 so far. Not only have they finally dropped new music, they’re also about to headline Coachella, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Primavera Sound etc. With a giant gaping spot in their touring schedule towards the end of July, it seems only destiny that Tame will return to the Ampitheatre for the first time since 2015.

FLUME 

Where Kevin goes, Harley follows. Our other golden boy, Flume, has also had a massive 2019 so far. Having surprise released his new mixtape Hi This Is Flume, as well as dropping the lead single to his upcoming third album, he’s gearing up for some huge shows. He’s also playing Lollapalooza as well as Montreal’s Osheaga festival. He hasn’t played Splendour since his Sunday night headlining spot in 2016 and, with all his other festival dates of the year beginning in August, it seems like his home country would be the perfect place to kick off his festival tour all once again.

JAMES BLAKE 

Another artist that hasn’t played Splendour since 2016, James Blake started his year with a high with the somewhat abrupt release of his new album Assume Form. Naturally, he is taking the album on the road with a whole f*ck ton of dates across the globe – including one very special performance at Japan’s Fuji Rock festival. It’s pretty common knowledge that the Fuji Rock lineup, which takes place the weekend after Splendour, often has some serious overlap with our humble little Byron shindig, so let’s hope Blake and his sweet, sweet synths make their long awaited return to the Ampitheatre.

JANELLE MONÁE

Speaking of artists that are playing Fuji Rock, it has been a long, long, long time between drinks for Australian Janelle Monáe fans. The last time the Dirty Computer visionary was here was back in 2014 for her co-headlining tour with Kimbra…except Monáe fell ill and couldn’t play any of the shows. She told Double J last year that she felt so bad about cancelling the tour. Hmm, if only there was some way you could make it up to us, Janelle? Perhaps travelling to North Byron Parklands towards the end of July? Right before you fly to Japan for Fuji Rock? We’re just spit-balling, of course.

TRAVIS SCOTT

A man that absolutely dominated 2018 and earned himself literal millions of new Aussie fans (yah!), Travis Scott is destined to tour his latest album Astroworld in Australia sooner or later (it’s lit!). His biggest song to date, ‘Sicko Mode’, somehow clawed its way all the way to the 3rd spot on 2018’s Triple J’s Hottest 100. His touring schedule looks pretty empty following a performance at Firefly Festival in the US, so it seems only fair that he hop on his rocketship and ride it all the way to far north NSW. On top of that, we need a hip-hop headliner and who better to give us that than the man of the hour himself.

CHANCE THE RAPPER

When we asked who would be better to fill in a headlining hip-hop set, we asked it rhetorically but if Chance The Rapper wants to step up to the plate then we’ll take it. Chance hasn’t been to Australia since the New Year period between 2016 and 2017, but now as he prepares to drop his debut album – yep, his very first one – at some point in July, Splendour seems like the perfect place to road test it live. He’s wrapping up some European festival performances a week before Splendour starts, so it wouldn’t be too much to ask of him to give Australia a quick detour before he heads back to the States…right?

SIA

Is it unlikely that Splendour would bestow upon us three homegrown headliners? Yes. Would it bring a bloody tear to the eye if Tame, Flume and Sia all closed out the Ampitheatre stage? Abso-bloody-lutely. Sia was last on her home turf in 2017 with a massive headlining tour, and since her rise to absolute superstardom people have been pondering when and if she’d ever take to the Ampitheatre stage with her gorgeous vocals and booming pop. With her headlining Fuji Rock just a week later, we can have just enough hope that the mysterious icon will make her Splendour homecoming in 2019. 

THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS

Something Splendour has been missing over the past few years is a really gargantuan dance/electronic act – sans Flume. An act that has spent decades influencing and pioneering the world of dance needs to pack out that Mix-Up stage – heck, even the Ampitheatre – to give us who love a bit of synth and a lot of bass something to sink our teeth into. The Chemical Brothers easily check off all of that criteria, and they’ve got a free week or so between their performances at Deichbrand Festival in Denmark and Fuji Rock in Japan. Is it a tight squeeze? Sure, but we believe in them.

SMASHING PUMPKINS

Yeah, we’re going there. This is the epitome of wishful thinking, but the long-awaited reunion of the original Smashing Pumpkins lineup has us going batsh*t over when Corgan and co. will be back in Australia. The legendary band are playing a festival in Portugal on July 13th with the next announced show after that being a gig back in America a month later, so there is certainly room for them to play Splendour. But, what we’ve learned about this country’s festival lineups is that if it’s too good to be true – it probably is. BUT WE’LL NEVER LOSE HOPE.

CHILDISH GAMBINO 

Because the dude owes us.

Stay tuned for the full Splendour In The Grass 2019 lineup, dropping 8am Wednesday, 3rd April.

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