Splendour in the Grass 2013 was something of a homecoming; the first time the festival had been held at the new location of Byron Bay Parklands. Of course, with this change came a few major teething problems (none of which directly affected me) but the music made up for it all.
Mumford and Sons’s Gentlemen of the Road tour hit the country town of Dungog this weekend. With ticket sales exceeding the population of the town, the event was set to be a big one. Braving the heat, punters poured in thick and thin to the tune of Melbourne band, Husky. The guys smashed through a solid folk/rock set as security guards hosed down the crowds.
Willy Mason took to the stage next to offer up some American country swagger. Being joined on stage by his band after a couple of songs, Mason distracted punters from the on-setting heat as the crowd grew.
Teenage girls were soon weak in the knees as festival heart-throb Matt Corby appeared. In a Jeff Buckley-esque style, Corby wooed the crowd with his powerful voice; not that he even needed one as the crowd sang to “Brother”.
The boys didn’t miss out as self-proclaimed “Gentlewoman of the Road” Sarah Blasko stepped up. Smashing straight into her new single “I Awake”, Blasko showed the crowd why she’s one of Australia’s great vocalists.
As the sun finally went down and punters were dry after a soaking from a local fire truck, American collective Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes bounced onto stage. Jumping straight into “40 Day Dream”, lead singer Alex Ebert sprang onto a speaker, making his way onto the barrier and eventually into the crowd. The night was set and the crowd was drooling for more.
The reason everyone had made the pilgrimage to Dungog was of course for headline act and festival creators Mumford and Sons. Playing a 2 hour set the folk rockers didn’t disappoint; stomping on kick drums, strumming on guitars and picking banjos.
The crowd made a mass exodus for the gate after Mumford and Sons set but the show still wasn’t over. Festival essentials Yacht Club DJ’s played out the night as punters made their way back to camp; shaking their booties along the way.
Gentlemen of the Road was an experience like no other and we’re sure Dungog has never seen so many people.
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