Splendour in the Grass might be all about the music and mud, but no other music festival I’ve been to have provided so much to do for those seeking a break from the bands.
At any time, a hungry Splendour goer can find food from around the world. Aussie BBQ, Mexican, food trucks, Thai, Yemen, Japanese, coffee out of hippie vans, burgers, gourmet hot dogs, pastries; the list is practically endless. I was most impressed by the prices. While most music festival food prices are way over the top for the amount of food you receive, here you can easily find a decent sized meal for $10 or under. If you really want to go crazy you could get just about anything else for $15 and under.
If you’re a sucker for noodle dishes you would be in heaven. Having just come back from Thailand I decided to skip more Thai noodles and give Japanese Yakisoba a go from The Teppanyaki Noodles tent. For $8-$12 you received a decent sized plate of thin noodles with cabbage, carrot, onion, garlic, special sauce and Japanese mayonnaise. I don’t know why Japanese mayonnaise is so much better than the normal kind, it just is. From there you could add cheese or meat. It was delicious!
For something completely different you could head over to the Food Truck section, home to a range of well known food trucks offering up delicious meals including the likes of Agape, Digging for Fire, Gumbo Kitchen, Al Carbon Mexican, Harrys Schnitzel and Beatbox Kitchen. So much to try and so little time!
Gumbo Food Truck is probably most famous for their Po Boy mini burgers, which you could get 2 of with chips for $15. One was Southern style crumbed chicken and the other was pork smothered in sauce. Both came with purple cabbage and pickles. Chicken was the taste winner but both were fresh and tasty.
Back out of the Food Truck domain, another entirely different food experience could be had at Ya Man with their traditional Yemen food. I tried the original style Mellawach roll with puree tomato, boiled free range eggs, olive oil, zatar and zhug (cheeses) for $10. It’s my first Yemen experience and honestly I’m still undecided. It was completely different to what I was expecting, maybe because it looked so much like a Lebanese Kebab, but the flavour was quite a subtle savoury one, mostly overpowered by the egg and tomato.
If you’re only looking for a snack, a giant $5 Byron Bay Organic Doughnut would hit the spot. I wasn’t brave enough to tackled the jam-filled kind, certain it would end up down my top, but the original was hands down the beat doughnut I’ve ever had; and apparently a little healthier!
There was also a good range of pop-up bars that were full at just about any time of the day, including the Miss Saigon Karaoke Bar and the Smirnoff Cocktail Bar that was huge and pretty close to a nightclub. Drink prices weren’t amazing though, even a beer was $10!
Moving away from food and drinks there was still plenty to do until your favourite band came on. There was a huge range of things to buy from things that are always awesome to things that become awesome once you’ve had too many. Tees, feathers, vintage, handmade and second-hand clothes, knickers, hats (good and novelty), hand crafted marionettes, accessories, boots, floral wreaths, natural candles, art and a range of body art.
A small lane-way dubbed the ‘Very Small Mall’ held a range of smaller festival fashion orientated versions of up-market and well-known stores including Lynda holt, Rayban, Vans, Onepiece Onsies, Adidas, Top Shop and Dr Martens.
Looking for something different there were some amazing boots all the way from Peru and dream-catchers galore. The stall that stood out though was full of the most beautiful handmade dream-catchers, starting from $35. Owner, Summer, makes them herself from forest vines by winding them in a circle while their still wet and letting them dry before adding in the weave and a different stone depending on what the catcher would do for you (love, luck and dreams are only the beginning). Whether you believe in their power or just want something gorgeous to hang you can get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org
For a special treat, you could visit the Splendour Day Spa sponsored by Sportsgirl and Eleven and offering everything from manicures to hair treatments from trained professionals. Prices started from $10 for simple treatments to $350 for pampering packages.
If you were low on funds, not a problem, there were a load of chill out lounges and spaces offering things for free from conversation to lip balm. Relax on a hay bale inside Teepee Village, take some time to unwind inside the anti-binge drinking tent complete with free phone charging, water bottles and lip balm, or take some time to discover your eco footprint with the Eco Cops.
For free you could take a seat while the eco friendly…and totally legit…Tom gave you an environmental palm reading including the environmental choices that will change your life, the number of kids you’ll have and why it’s too many, and the size of your future vege garden (mine was 3.5metres).
We’ve all known or been that person at a festival who is just desperately looking for a chat; well Splendour had that covered too with The Love Doctors.
Married couple Elissa Freeman and Damian Murdoch Set up a chill out lounge with bean bags, games and good company where festival goers could not only take a break from the crowds, but also have a life changing conversation. I got the low-down from Damian, “Lisa’s a life-coach and I’m a business coach so we can help them with anything they have going on in their life.” You can find out more at elissafreeman.com or facebook.com/10xentrepreneur
Music and life revelations, Splendour had them all! Bottom line? You don’t have to love music to love Splendour!