When I was in College studying photography we not only had to learn the technical aspects of photography but also research where we would like to go with it once we had graduated. So for months I spent all of my time researching Music photography and going to very small gigs and thinking that I had made it. It was excellent. But for our very last assessment we had to do a little "Five Year Plan" to pinpoint what our goals were and how we would achieve them. My highest goal was Splendour in the Grass and I never thought I would ever go, let alone shoot it.
Fast forward a few months and i'm being asked by a lovely human if I want to be one of the Official Splendour in the Grass Photographers - cue an ugly crying Bianca at work. So after a few meeting with our girl gang of photographers, googling "How to Camp" and buying all of the necessary items, we were on our way.
We drove down to Splendour the day before it started to get a briefing and figure out logistically how we would survive the next few days. I was lucky enough to be doing the whole thing with my gal pal Savannah and we very quickly realised how great we were at camping and also bond over how excited we were and all of the emotions.
Our brief was to capture "the atmosphere of Splendour" and looking back it was the best thing that I could have done. I got to talk to people running little shops, completely surprise groups of people by asking if I could take photos of them and also stand in front of thousands of people and photograph the crowd in all of its glory.
It was just really lovely to step away from the hustle and bustle of music photography (running to and from stages all day, not wanting to miss a thing) and instead talk to people and hear what they're excited about and see their silly tents and talk to them about their outfits.
The location was also incredible. I don't know how but it didn't even feel like I was in Australia. It felt like we had been transported to some incredible country with the best food and happy people and just all round good vibes. No one really cared if they didn't look perfect or if they didn't know someone, it was just a friendly environment and everyone I met was lovely.
Looking back I can only remember three main things.
1. Rain. So, much, rain. Mud absolutely everywhere, not being able to take off my gumboots. But in saying that it really made the festival excellent. Every night we'd go back to our tent and fall asleep to the sound of rain, we'd wake up to find people playing in the mud. Including this guy who got a bit to close for comfort after a mud fight.
2. How god damn good the Artists were. Originally I bought tickets to go to this Splendour for the very first time, just because the line-up was so good that I couldn't possibly miss it! Put it was such an excellent array of artists and everyone was so wonderful to watch.
Here are a few snaps of my favourite artists from the weekend.
3. Experiencing the entire thing with all of my friends.
It was such a magical weekend to be a part of but the best thing was that each of these excellent moments was shared with some of my favourite people. From dancing and running around side of stage to Florence and the Machine with Sav, to being absolutely drenched during Mark Ronson and all of my friend photographers giving up all hopes of getting a photo and dancing instead and completely laughing at ourselves, packing up our tent and realising we left half of the tent begs underneath the tarp which we then slept on without realising.
It was just such a positive and happy environment to be in and those memories will never leave me.
Looking back I think Splendour was the most excellent / emotional / incredible / exhausting / muddy weekend i've ever endured. Just being able to walk out of our room and be introduced to Mark Ronson and Kevin Parker, watch my favourite acts from side of stage, laugh and cry about how muddy it was and also laugh and cry about how proud we were of our photos - it was just totally surreal. Just so thankful to have played a little part on the Splendour family.
And to wrap it all up, one of my images was used as the cover for the Splendour email sent to all of the visitors. What an absolute icing on the cake moment. Until next year!