Honey, we’re not in Kansas anymore. Looking around the grounds of Splendour in the Grass, there was no denying where you were. There was the Miss Saigon karaoke, the Moroccan bar, a tipi forest, a German sausage stand, a taco bar, and a Thai massage place, symbols of the influences and inspirations that have fed into the melange of Australian culture.
Granted, the country takes quite some time to get to from most of the world, but the indomitable spirit of the people brought all these various cultural touchstones under their umbrella. That extended to the lineup as Australian artists received the devoted reaction of returning heroes.
Rather than the massive waving flags from the various nations in attendance (the kind of thing you’d see at any European festival), there were scores of fit, healthy, and attractive Aussies. The beachside town of Byron Bay bred a particular hippie strain as well, complete with tanned surfers, drum circles, hula hoopers, and many a bare-naked body.
There was an undeniable glow to the entire weekend, evident from the surprisingly boiling winter weather during the afternoon all the way through to the beaming smiles of the fans. Even for a few days, it was nice to stomp down yellow dust roads and drench my curiosity in a hefty dose of Australian spirit.