Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Spoils of Splendour

On the weekend I flew my ass up to Splendour in the Grass Festival all by myself with a mission to take photos for a website. I hiked up there with everything I would need for a 3 day festival in the middle of nowhere. I had a tent, sleeping bag, inflatable mattress, pillow, camera gear, gumboots, clothes, toiletries, muesli bars and a huge pile of baby wipes - all adding up to 17.5kg in my (friend’s borrowed) backpack.

When I finally arrived in the afternoon, I was informed (in the rudest way possible) that the free Guest Pass that I had in my hands did not entitle me access to the festival with a professional camera. There was no way I was getting in to take photos. I felt like Oliver asking for “more Sir?” It just wasn’t going to happen. So I had to think, why was I there? I was exhausted and had a few “fuck you world” tears as I set up my tent next to three girls, all called Em from Sydney.

As it got dark I decided to pick myself up, lock up my camera and go into the festival… have a wander around… make the most of my time there. Everyone was shit faced and I had already missed James Blake. I headed up to the Amphitheatre and watched those lovely fellows from Eskimo Joe. It was a gorgeous sight and I felt totally useless without my camera.

After Modest Mouse rocked it out I followed the stampede over to the Mix Up tent and got in the thick of it for Bluejuice: not everyone’s cup of sweaty pounding ska-pop tea, but I LOVE these guys live. They pumped out Vitriol as their last tune and left me psyched to get cheeky on Saturday. Too tired to deal with (that tool of a man) Kanye, I went to bed.

The next morning I woke up refreshed and ready for my mission of the day – to get my camera through security. I pulled apart my camera into pieces and one by one I took each piece into the festival, averting security's attention with the obvious no-no; an opened bottle of water (gasp! Was it vodka?!) Hazzah! They fell for it and I left each piece with a hippie rainbow-flag-selling lady until I was in with my full working beautiful camera. I got to take the following photos over about a 2-3 hour period before the inevitable happened.

[you can see a few more photos here]

It was here at the Tipi Tents that security grabbed me and escorted me out of the festival for not having the proper photography pass for my camera. What a rebel! I went back in later that night to watch Gomez and Regina Spector.

Sunday I finally got in contact with the only friend I knew at the festival and hung out on the hill at the Amphitheatre for Group Love, Hungry Kids, The Vaccines, Cloud Control, Elbow, Kaiser Chiefs, Pulp and then the grand finale – Coldplay. 

So, in summary, was it worth the trip / effort/ money / stress? Sure. Let’s say yes. At least I have learnt my lesson and am looking forward to festvial season with a real photo pass. 

x Mishy

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