Hindsight. A gift to some and a curse to many. Yet, there’s a definite benefit to looking back on prior experiences and building from them: do it better or not at all.
Splendour in The Grass (SITG) is one of the premier events on the Australian musical and social calendar annually and evokes the sensation of wanderlust if you’re not lucky enough to be road tripping cross country to Byron Bay. The festival fills Instagram feeds with flower crowned spectators and glowing stages blaring tracks to entranced onlookers. It’s unfortunate if you’re not there but a lifetime experience if you are. One can dream.
Meet Faith Kongwa, a 2016 SITG festival goer who flourishes in the spectacle of live music. An avid Port Adelaide supporter with a penchant for ankle boots and chai lattes, Faith knows her music festivals like a sailor knows the seas. With an enviable track record of concerts under her belt including Kanye West, The Wombats and the infamous Sticky Fingers set at Groovin the Moo 2015, she has certainly learned a thing or two about the music industry as a fan, and as an emerging artist.
Faith trekked from Adelaide across to Byron in 2016 with two friends and, it’s easy to say, achieved a life goal in the process. Yet despite Faith being a self confessed stress head SITG made her learn a thing or two about how to handle festivals.
I had a chat with Faith about her SITG experience and her top tips to survive.
Firstly, how was your SITG experience for 2016?
I cried at least once a day, every moment was magical. The weather and the people were equally perfect and made the entire experience completely unforgettable
Was it everything it was hyped up to be?
Everything and more! You can’t quite comprehend how special it is to be apart of Splendour until you’re there. Being surrounding by thousands of other people who love the same music as you is the best feeling.
It’s a tie out of Gang of Youths and Ball park music. Both had really energetic performances and tame crowds which is the combination you want at a festival.
Biggest clothing cliché you saw?
GLITTER! some people might find it tacky but Splendour only happens once, stop hating and embrace it. Some people got really creative with their glitter which was really cool to see.
FAITH’S TIPS AND TRICKS
- Gel soles in all your shoes
Even if you’re wearing gumboots. Because, standing around for 6 hours really takes a toll on the feet and you don’t want to miss out on the last (and usually best) acts of the night because your feet hurt too much.
- Setting up is important
Although most of the time will be spent at the festival, early mornings and late nights involve hanging around the campsite a bit so you want to be comfy. This means camping chairs, a portable speaker and a fold out table. Really embrace the festival experience and don’t be afraid to deck out your camp site in lights, flags and any other groovy décor.
- Jump the toilet Que.
At the festival, the line for the female toilets is 10 miles long. However the IDENTICAL male cubicles has a dramatically smaller line. Although they are a little more worse for wear than the female toilets, its worth going to the boys when you’re either busting, hate waiting or don’t want to miss the start of Matt Corby’s set.
Sober or otherwise, three days of festival leaves anyone feeling like they have a killer hangover each morning. Six hours of dancing and drinking very little makes it extremely hard to function in the morning, let alone prepare for another day of doing it all over again. Berocca or anything similar will be your best friend.
- Be prepared for all weather
Splendour is infamous for its metre deep sea of mud each year however this year was the complete opposite. Like most people, my outfits were planned well in advance for SITG and its winter weather. This meant that I had to make last minute changes up until the day of the festival in order to cater to the summer like heat. I ditched the gumboots and opted for converse (bring another pair of shoes other than gumboots!!)
- Budget for food
Eating during the day at is essential but that can become difficult for a few reasons. First of all, bringing food into the festival is a great way to keep costs down but is incredibly impractical to carry around all day. However purchasing every meal is more money being forked out to this already bank breaking experience. This is why I recommend bringing enough small snacks (e.g. muesli bars or a can of tuna) to last the day and keeping them in a small shoulder bag. This way, you only have to spend $5-$15 on food for dinner each night.
Follow Faith on social media @faith.kongwa