Rain, hail, sun, the show went on

DIRTY DANCING: The mud didn’t deter revellers from donning their glad rags for the festival, and dancing to a range of music across three main tents and a host of side shows.
DIRTY DANCING: The mud didn’t deter revellers from donning their glad rags for the festival, and dancing to a range of music across three main tents and a host of side shows. Common Ground

GODFATHERS of grunge Mudhoney won some new fans at Splendour in the Grass on Saturday night - and could have picked up the prize for the most aptly named band at the festival.

Mud there was, and plenty of it. By late Friday it was starting to stink and no one's calves went unsprayed. About 40 truckloads of bark were spread on the bog on Friday and Saturday nights to help it recover from the torrential hail storm that made hearts sink across the shire on Friday afternoon and it worked.

The liberal application of woodchips, sunshine and wind meant that by Sunday only those who wanted to had to wallow.

That leaves the "honey".

Once the sun came out there was light to mix with the sweetness of Splendour being back in Byron.

The clear weather saw punters basking in the sun and soaking up the exotic sights of barefoot belly dancers, bizarre nuptials and meditating monks.

It was a weekend for people watching, with a glorious array of fashion and funny costumes, painted faces and silly hats, the thousands of good-natured punters intent on having a good time.

Jack White delivered everything that was expected of him on Friday night, with a generous dynamic show to a packed tent, sending everyone home happy.

On Saturday, girls wept with happiness as Lana Del Ray poured out her sentimental songs, then sang along with all their might.

Kiwi chanteuse Ladyhawke achieved the same unifying effect among her followers.

The headline acts, Bloc Party and Smashing Pumpkins didn't disappoint, but for many it was the thoroughly disreputable exuberance of Dirty Three frontman Warren Ellis - and the band's difference from much of the mainstream pop on offer - that won the day.

For organisers, it was a welcome return "home" but it will be with relief that they embrace their permanent home in the north, where problems of parking and mud, will ease.

Police expressed disappointment at the number of drug arrests made - 421 - but there were no serious incidents. A Splendour staffer issued a "no comment" on the number of arrests.


Pictures, Page 13

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