After planned events in 2020 and 2021 were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Splendour in the Grass – one of the biggest events on the Australian festival calendar – made its long-awaited return last year.
Splendour was first held in 2001, the brainchild of Paul Piticco and Jess Ducrou, who’d met in a Byron pub in the ’90s. That inaugural year, the festival was a one-dayer headlined by Powderfinger – whom Piticco managed and whom Ducrou worked for as booking agent. The following year, it became a two-day event, and in 2009 was expanded to its current three-day format. Four years later, the festival moved to its home in North Byron Parklands.
In 2020, Splendour had planned a 20-year bash headlined by Flume, Tyler, the Creator and The Strokes – but like events around the globe had it axed due to COVID-19. After another postponement in 2021 and a muddy and chaotic return in 2022, the festival is back for its 21st edition in July 2023, offering three days of live music, camping and more for Aussie festival heads, at its usual North Byron Parklands site. Without further ado, here’s what you need to know about the 2023 edition of Splendour in the Grass.
Latest Splendour in the Grass 2023 updates:
Who is on the Splendour in the Grass 2023 line-up?
Lizzo, Flume and Mumford & Sons will be headlining the festival’s three nights: Friday 21, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July respectively. Flume will be presenting a special retrospective 10 Years of Flume set looking back on the Australian producer’s decade-plus career. That will be exclusive to the festival in Australia, as will Mumford & Sons’ performance.
Elsewhere on the line-up, international drawcards include J Balvin, Little Simz, IDLES, Arlo Parks, 100 Gecs – playing their only Australian show on this visit – and Tove Lo. Yeah Yeah Yeahs are also on the bill: the NYC indie rockers were set to perform at last year’s edition of the festival, but were forced to withdraw due to health issues.
Slowthai was initially billed on the Splendour Friday line-up, but in late May was removed from the festival without notice and had his entire Australia and New Zealand tour for July 2023 quietly cancelled. Earlier that month he had appeared in British court to face two rape charges, which he has denied in a social media statement. In June, he entered a not guilty plea ahead of a trial in 2024.
Rainbow Kitten Surprise have also dropped off the bill, announcing May 24 that they had decided to axe an entire year of shows as “one of our members is in a medical crisis”.
On June 22, Splendour organisers announced that protest performance art group Pussy Riot will perform an Australian-exclusive set at the festival. After a live interview between Pussy Riot leader Nadya Tolokonnikova and The Project‘s Hamish Macdonald in the Splendour Forum on July 22, Pussy Riot will perform on the GW McLennan stage that evening.
On June 27, Lewis Capaldi announced that he would be taking a break from touring for the “foreseeable future” for health reasons, with Splendour confirming that he would be dropping off the festival bill and cancelling the tour of Australia and New Zealand planned around it.
The news came after Capaldi’s set at Glastonbury, during which he exhibited tics from his Tourette’s Syndrome and vocal difficulties. Friday ticketholders for Splendour will be contacted with refund application information, while 3-day ticketholders will have the option of reissuing their tickets to someone else.
Replacements for Capaldi, Slowthai and Rainbow Kitten Surprise were announced on June 29. American rapper Danny Brown will perform an Australian-exclusive set on the festival’s first day. Singer-songwriter Thelma Plum and surf-rockers Ocean Alley have also joined the bill.
Australia is strongly represented on the Splendour 2023 bill, with homegrown favourites like Hilltop Hoods, Ball Park Music, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, PNAU, Tkay Maidza, Cub Sport, Harvey Sutherland, RVG and Telenova. Splendour 2023 will also host one of the last performances from Skegss to feature founding member and bassist Toby Cregan, plus a slew of emerging local artists like Peach PRC, Full Flower Moon Band, Forest Claudette, Gold Fang, Memphis LK and Big Wett.
Here’s the most up to date line-up for Splendour in the Grass 2023:
Ball Park Music
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
Mumford & Sons
The Smith Street Band
Del Water Gap
Full Flower Moon Band
On May 25, Splendour announced the artists and performers for its dance stage The Forest. They include Mexican-Australian producer Unseen Dimensions and Aussie psy/prog purveyors Twisted Sibling, among many others. Besides the DJs – see the full list below – there will also be dancers, fire eaters, video art and much more.
Splendour in the Grass 2023’s The Forest line-up is:
On June 16, Splendour announced a fresh slate of artists performing at the Byron Bay Brewery Bar and Smirnoff Seltzer Springs. Aussie rock and indie gets a strong showing at the Byron Bay Brewery Bar with Beddy Rays, Chutney, Cool Sounds, Eggy, Ghost Mutt Go-Jo, The Grogans, Lazy Ghost, Old Mervs, Pasiflorez, Ra Ra Viper, Royel Otis, and the Velvet Club set to perform.
DJs and party organisers will fill the bill at Smirnoff Seltzer Springs: Bare Foot Bear, Sundays Lemonade, Lost Sundays, Doctor Daytime, Jessie Belters, Dan Muz, Yazmin, Club Raiders DJs, Beandip, Spacie, Kira Sunday, Cashew, Reiflex, Tony Velvet, Tere and Kaktus are up for this stage.
On June 22, Splendour announced the lineup for its interview and discussion panel program – Splendour Forum – as well as the festival’s Science Tent and Comedy Club. The Forum program includes Pussy Riot founder Nadya Tolokonnikova, Tony Armstrong, Dr. Karl, Burn Gently director Antony Attridge, the Betoota Advocate and more.
Splendour’s Comedy Club program, meanwhile, includes the likes of Tom Cashman, Rosie Delaney, Michael Hing, Dave Woodhead, Cameron James, Bec Charlwood and more. See the full Forum, Science Tent and Comedy Club programs here.
How can I buy tickets for Splendour in the Grass 2023?
Tickets for Splendour in the Grass are on sale now. There are both three-day passes as well as single-day tickets available, plus camping tickets. VIP Village tickets are sold out. Head to the Splendour website for all ticketing info.
Which Splendour in the Grass 2023 artists are playing sideshows?
A huge assortment of artists on the Splendour 2023 bill will play their own shows while in the country. Those include arena dates for Lizzo, and the debut Australian headline gigs from Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin. There’s also justice for Sam Fender fans in Western Australia: after the British singer-songwriter’s previous tours skipped the state, he’ll be playing one sideshow this time around – at Perth’s HBF Stadium.
July 22 – Melbourne – Northcote Theatre
July 23 – Sydney – Metro Theatre
July 24 – Auckland – Powerstation
July 17 – Melbourne – Forum
July 20 – Sydney – Opera House
July 23 – Adelaide – The Gov
July 25 – Perth – Astor Theatre
Del Water Gap
July 21 – Melbourne – Howler
July 22 – Sydney – Oxford Art Factory
July 19 – Melbourne – 170 Russell
July 22 – Sydney – Metro Theatre
July 26 – Melbourne – Festival Hall
July 23 – Melbourne – Margaret Court Arena
July 25 – Sydney – Hordern Pavilion
July 19 – Melbourne – MCA
July 21 – Sydney – Hordern Pavilion
July 14 – Perth – RAC Arena
July 17 – Melbourne – Rod Laver Arena (SOLD OUT)
July 18 – Melbourne – Rod Laver Arena
July 23 – Sydney – Qudos Bank Arena (SOLD OUT)
July 24 – Sydney – Qudos Bank Arena
July 22 – Sydney – Enmore Theatre
July 25 – Adelaide – Hindley Street Music Hall
July 26 – Melbourne – Palais Theatre
July 27 – Melbourne – Palais Theatre
July 29 – Auckland – Town Hall
July 9 – Sydney – Metro Theatre
July 16 – Melbourne – 170 Russell
July 20 – Perth – HBF Stadium
July 22 – Sydney – Liberty Hall
July 25 – Melbourne – 170 Russell
Tove Lo, supported by Blusher in Sydney and Melbourne
July 19 – Melbourne – Forum
July 25 – Sydney – Roundhouse
July 27 – Auckland – Town Hall
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, supported by Automatic
July 20 – Melbourne – MCA
July 24 – Sydney – Hordern Pavilion
Is Splendour In The Grass an all-ages festival?
Yes. However, all Splendour in the Grass attendees under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a “responsible adult” with a valid ticket when entering the festival grounds, and at all times while at the festival.
A “responsible adult” is defined under NSW liquor laws as an adult who is either a parent or guardian of the minor, the minor’s spouse or de facto partner, or standing in as the parent of the minor for the time being. Festival ticketholders under the age of 18 who are not accompanied by a “responsible adult” will be denied entry into festival grounds.
Children aged 12 and under are admitted to the festival grounds free of charge. They must be accompanied at all times by a “responsible adult” holding a valid Splendour in the Grass ticket. Accompanying adults are not allowed to enter bars or areas licensed to sell alcohol with the underaged festival-goers in their company.
Splendour in the Grass also requires all adult guardians of minors who will be attending the festival to fill out the Youth Registration Form to attend the festival with them. That registration form, along with more information about Splendour’s youth policy, can be found here.
How will Splendour in the Grass 2023 be different from the 2022 festival? What changes is Splendour making?
Last year’s edition of Splendour in the Grass was marred by heavy rainfall and flooding onsite – leading to its first-day performances being cancelled – along with lengthy wait times and traffic delays.
In February 2023, Splendour co-founders Paul Piticco and Jess Ducrou apologised for the festival’s weather management strategy in 2022, acknowledging how inaccessibility and conditions of the festival grounds resulted in “traffic failings” which caused “unacceptable wait times”.
They also outlined numerous steps Splendour would take for the 2023 edition to combat those issues. Those included weather-proofing upgrades to areas of high vehicle and foot traffic, enhanced drainage throughout the site, and more pathways for enhanced accessibility.
“We have invested enormous amounts of time and money over the last six months to upgrade the venue and our processes,” the founders said of the changes. “[We] will continue to do so right up until Splendour 2023.”
Where is Splendour in the Grass 2023 being held? How do I get to the festival location?
Splendour in the Grass returns to its longstanding home of North Byron Parklands in Yelgun, on Ngarrindjeri Country. It’s approximately 20 minutes’ drive from Byron Bay, and numerous bus services will be available from nearby areas, including Byron Bay, Brunswick Heads, Mullumbimby, Kingscliff, Tweed Heads, Coolangatta, Ballina, Lismore and many other locations. Tickets and schedules will be announced closer to the date.
If you’re flying to Splendour from other parts of the country, Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is located roughly 40 minutes south of the festival grounds. Gold Coast Airport and Brisbane Airport are also viable options: the former is 44 kilometres away from the festival site, while the latter is 150 kilometres away.
For those travelling via the airport, private transfers and airport shuttles may be a good option for getting to the festival site. Festivalgoers can also travel via taxi and rideshare apps, with designated drop-off zones.
There is no pedestrian access to North Byron Parklands, meaning festivalgoers cannot walk from nearby locations. For more advice on travelling to Splendour in the Grass 2023, see the festival’s information page here.
What are the set times for Splendour in the Grass 2023?
Set times for Splendour in the Grass 2023 were released on June 29, for all three main days of the festival, along wth Thursday July 20. You can see all set times below, or download the official Splendour app, which is available for both iOS and Android.
Has the festival map been released?
Yes, Splendour released the official map for the festival site on June 29. See that below:
What can I bring to Splendour in the Grass? What items are banned from Splendour?
There’s a considerable list of items that punters are prohibited from taking into the Splendour festival site and/or the carpark and campgrounds. Banned items include:
- Bags larger than an A4 sized paper (30cm x 20cm) (on event grounds)
- Alcohol not bought from the event space (on all sites)
- Fireworks, flares, fire twinkling paraphernalia (on all sites)
- Anything studded (belts, wristbands, accessories) (on all sites)
- Culturally sensitive items and attire (on all sites)
For the full list, head over to Splendour’s information page here.
What accessibility services are available at Splendour in the Grass?
Splendour in the Grass’ festival site features dedicated accessible viewing platforms in the Amphitheatre and big top tents. Accessible showers and toilets are available in a dedicated area of the campgrounds, and there will be parking set aside for eligible patrons close to the main event entrance. For any of these services, festivalgoers will need to email organisers beforehand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Festivalgoers with a disability who have a companion that holds a national or state-issued Companion Card are available to request a complimentary companion ticket equivalent to the ticket held by the person with a disability. These can be requested via the email address mentioned above.
This year, Splendour will also be working in partnership with Auslan Stage Left, who enables and provides access to the Deaf Community to theatre and the arts. In Splendour’s case, all performances on the Amphitheatre stage will be Auslan-interpreted during all three days of the festival.
For more information on accessibility at Splendour in the Grass, head to the festival’s website here.
Stay tuned to NME for more news about Splendour in the Grass and Australian music festivals. Find our list of concerts Down Under in 2023 here and upcoming shows and tours in 2024 here