Words by Amar Gera //
Coming up on its 20th birthday, Byron Bay’s Splendour In The Grass is sure to be an absolute ripper this year. Past line-ups have boasted the likes of international headliners such as Kendrick Lamar, Tame Impala, Childish Gambino, Chance The… oh, wait… and the list goes on. It’s also been a hub for homegrown talent, with acts like Flume, Ocean Alley, Cosmos Midnight and many more gracing the line-up over the years. With this in mind, there’s no doubt that Splendour will spare no expense for its 20th bash.
Like everyone else, it’s safe to say we have a bit of a wish list for the three-day party in the Parklands. We’ve put together a list of who we’re keeping our fingers crossed for, let’s hope the Splendour gods deliver.
The Houston born megastar is one of the most exciting acts in hip hop today. With classic albums like Rodeo, Birds in the Trap, and Astroworld, he’s helped push the genre into new and exciting heights. He hasn’t been to our shores since 2016, when he famously climbed onto the roof at Listen Out Sydney during ‘Pick Up the Phone’.
Imagine the Amphitheatre stage packed to the brim, with punters from all across Australia singing ‘Sicko Mode’ or ‘Antidote’ at the top of their lungs. The mere thought of it is enough to give us Goosebumps (see what we did there). C’mon Travis, you know there’s a whole nation of fans that will cop tickets to see you live, don’t let us down!
After pulling out of Splendour 2013, it’s fair to say Aussie fans were left just a bit heartbroken by the California born creative juggernaut. He was fresh off the release of his 2012 Grammy-winning debut Channel Orange, and fans were finally gonna see their god live and up close. Now, seven years later, he’s released the much-loved Blonde and Endless. He’s also written for other artists, featured on their songs and dabbled in other creative ventures.
More recently, he’s released tracks ‘DHL’ and ‘In My Room’, both to much praise. We know it’s definitely a long shot, but Aussie fans deserve to see Frank live at least once in their lives. Get ready for a crowd full of tears during hits like ‘Self Control’ and ‘Nights’, with punters hugging their homies telling them how much they love them.
One of the most influential artists of the 21st century, Chicago rapper Kanye West is a once in a generation artist. Although controversial and provocative, there’s no denying that West is an unbelievable talent, and his live shows are nothing less. With nine solo and three collaborative albums under his belt, a mere hour wouldn’t be enough for the hip hop icon.
You might be surprised to know he actually played Splendour way back in 2011, hot off the release off <h4>My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy</h4> (arguably his best album, change my mind). Though we understand this is the impossible act on this list, it’d be incredible to see West take to the Splendour stage again, and certainly one to remember.
A homegrown favourite, Sydney’s very own Alison Wonderland would be an awesome addition to the Splendour line up. She’s conquered the country, from selling out shows at the Enmore and Forum to playing smash sets at festivals like Field Day and Festival X, and she’s also sold-out shows across the world and played major festivals like Tomorrowland and Coachella (being their highest billed female DJ in history). She’s an absolute treasure and class act, and there’s no doubt hits like ‘I Want U’ and ‘Peace’ would make for some beautiful moments at Splendy.
The Northern Beaches’ very own Harley Streten would be the perfect fit for 2020’s Splendour in the Grass. Closing out 2016’s Splendour, we know Flume is no stranger to the Splendour stage. His 2019 mixtape Hi This is Flume would be perfect for the Parklands, bringing the exhilarating future bass beats that he’s showed off across the world. Also, if you’re reading this, feel free to chuck in a couple of sideshows Flume, there’s no doubt fans would flock from across the nation to see you turn up the way only you can.
The South Korean producer and DJ is a real favourite in the EDM scene, with her slick tech house grooves finding love all across the globe. She’s got five EP’s under her belt, and they’re all sick as hell. Playing fire sets at Lost Paradise and Field Day, as well as recently selling out two shows at the Roundhouse in Sydney, it’s clear Peggy’s music truly resonates with Aussie punters. Peggy would be a beautiful addition to the Splendour lineup, and would be the dose of tech house bliss we need in our lives.
Although he was just here for a bunch of festivals over NYE, the California native has got five years of not coming to our shores to make up for. And judging by the crowds at Origin Fields, Beyond the Valley and Field Day, it’s clear that Aussie punters have mad love for Tyler. We don’t think anyone would be complaining if they got the full IGOR experience at Splendour (as well as some classic hits off Wolf, Cherry Bomb, and Flower Boy of course).
The Colombian R&B queen is nothing short of spectacular, with her debut album Isolation filled with enough beautiful R&B and neo-soul jams to last us until the end of time. A natural-born performer, Kali brings class and sophistication to any stage she blesses with her presence. She’s also got mad features, having songs with Tyler, the Creator, Steve Lacy, Jorja Smith and Kaytranada.
Her song ‘Tomorrow’ was even produced by our very own Tame Impala, vibey enough to send you into the next dimension. A real R&B treasure, Kali Uchis is everything you could want from a Splendour act and more. She’s also got an album on the way this year, so Splendour (along with a national tour) would be the dose of R&B goodness we’ve been waiting for.
That’s right, we ain’t playing. The Mount Druitt Drill group would be absolutely incredible at Splendour this year. With hard-hitting bars, high energy live shows and the intense drive that’s won them legions of fans so early in their career, there’s no doubt ONEFOUR would tear the party up.
And you just know that fans would turn out in full force for the notorious rap group. Regardless, we need some live shows from ONEFOUR soon, there’s an army of fans out here waiting to see them live again.
He really is just an icon livin’. The 21-year-old California rapper is no joke, going from being known as the son of Will Smith to forging a path for himself as one of the most exciting young acts in the hip hop game today. And we’re not gonna front, he’s an incredible performer, bringing the heat wherever he goes.
Fingers crossed he brings his dad along to Byron to smash out a quick track with him on stage. And fingers crossed one of those tracks is ‘Gettin Jiggy Wit It’ or ‘Men in Black’. Even the Fresh Prince theme song would be dope.
There’s no doubt our wish list is just a tad ambitious, but if there’s any festival that could pull together artists of this calibre for its 20th bash, it’s Splendour in the Grass. Regardless of the lineup, we’re certain the three-day bash from the 24th to the 26th of July will be amazing to say the least. We can’t wait for the line up to drop, and we’re sure you can’t either.
Make sure to watch this space for any lineup or other Splendour related announcements.