While we know that some of you simply can’t wait for the lineup, so we’ve put on our investigative caps and done some digging as to who might be appearing at the Byron mega-festival this July. Here are 10 acts heavily rumoured to be appearing at Splendour – who do you want to see there? Check it out and keep those fingers crossed:
The Wombats aren’t very good at keeping their lips sealed. When frontman Matthew Murphy was questioned about playing Splendour 2018 last year, he said, “I can’t say! But maybe it is, maybe you’ve made a good guess… I’m bad at keeping a secret.”
While that’s a pretty clear indication that The Wombats would be playing the Byron event in July, we had absolute confirmation in The Wombats’ live stream to fans last month. “If anyone’s listening from Australia, we’re playing Splendour In The Grass this summer,” drummer Dan Haggis said. “Our manager just said we can tell you.”
Earlier this year, Arctic Monkeys announced their first live dates in four years, with their sixth album expected to drop sometime in 2018. And while the band have confirmed their appearance on a string of high-profile European festivals, they’ve left a sizeable gap in their schedule, with a date in Madrid, Spain on July 13 and the next in Oslo, Norway on August 8.
Call it wishful thinking, but that seems to us like just enough time to duck down under for Splendour In The Grass on July 20. If the rumours are true, then it will be the Brits’ return to Splendour In The Grass after wowing us all the way back in 2007.
Kendrick Lamar played Bluesfest back in 2016, and now he’s been heavily rumoured for an appearance at another Byron festival in Splendour In The Grass. The Compton emcee was announced as a headliner for Fuji Rock Festival, the Japanese event which traditionally shares a handful of acts with Splendour.
Australia’s love for K.Dot is real, as he topped this year’s Hottest 100 countdown with his hit single ‘Humble,’ while his TDE colleague ScHoolboy Q also dominated Splendour’s main stage in 2017. Let’s hope that Kendrick comes down under this July, and brings some of that Black Panther soundtrack with him.
MGMT are another act appearing on the Fuji Rock Festival lineup, and they’ve also just released an album in Little Dark Age. In a recent interview, frontman Andrew VanWyngarden addressed an Australian tour when he was asked about Splendour rumours. “There is something in the pipeline,” he said. “I’m not sure when things are announced. But, yeah, we’ll be setting foot on Australian soil this year, for sure.”
MGMT played Splendour in 2009, and their fusion of indie and dance is practically made for a festival like this. It’s looking promising for MGMT fans in July.
Franz Ferdinand just dropped an album in Always Ascending, and made sure not to tell too many secrets in an interview about their upcoming tour plans. Still, we wouldn’t be surprised if they appeared on the top end of the Splendour bill. “They haven’t been confirmed yet, so I can’t share them with you just now, but all I can say is soon,” he said of Australian tour plans. “There is something definitely happening. All I can say is that it’s really exciting, we can’t wait to do it! But I don’t think I can announce it yet. I’m sorry, I know that’s really lame.”
“But yeah! It’s been ages and we didn’t manage to get over with [previous album] Right Thoughts, Right Words, [Right Action] which was such a disappointment. I can’t wait to get back over, it’s going to be a particularly special visit this time. It’s going to definitely be one to remember,” he continued.
Canadian R&B duo Majid Jordan recently announced that they would be touring Australia for the first time this July, announcing three East Coast shows in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The OVO crew are playing in support of their album The Space Between, and the tour stretches from July 26 to July 28. That’s less than a week after Splendour, and since the shows are in such close proximity to the festival, we’re hoping to see a fourth Australian set in Byron Bay.
N.E.R.D. are another act appearing at Fuji Rock Festival, and we’re hoping that Pharrell and co. will make it down under, too. They made a strong comeback in 2017 with the release of No One Ever Really Dies, and it’s been seven years since they’ve toured the country – so we’re hoping that they’ll return to take over the Ampitheatre with their high-energy blend of all genres.
They’ve been billed at Lovebox in the UK on July 14 and Fuji Rock on July 27 – let’s fill that gap with a Splendour headline slot!
While we’re on the topic of Pharrell, let’s talk about Buddy for a minute. The young Compton rapper signed with Pharrell’s i am OTHER label, while his singles have also been produced by The Neptunes. More importantly, he was recently announced to play the SXSW party hosted by Secret Sounds – the team responsible for booking Splendour In the Grass and Falls Festival. If N.E.R.D. make it our for Splendour, it would make perfect sense for Buddy to come along for the ride.
Another man on the Fuji Rock Festival lineup, Skrillex has played Future Music Festival and Stereosonic in his past – but with the dissolution of Australia’s dance mega-festivals, he might find a home on the Mix Up Stage with his bass-heavy approach to production.
CHVRCHES toured Australia in 2014 as part of Splendour In The Grass, once again in 2016 as part of Laneway Festival, which might mean that 2018 is time for another visit. They’ve got a new singles in ‘My Enemy’ and ‘Get Out,’ and they’ll also be appearing on the Fuji Rock lineup, so let’s hope that the Scottish group continue their tradition and appear at Splendour this year.