The Six Types of People You'll Meet at Splendour
Illustrations by Manisha Moongold.
Splendour is coming. In three weeks, veterans and first-timers alike will gather in and around Byron Bay. But this year things will be different. For starters, the venue has moved to North Byron Parklands, and per a press statement yesterday, tatty wristbands have been replaced by 1984-esque ‘radio frequency identification tags’. Should you lack the resources to wirelessly recognise fellow punters, we’ve come up with a few characters you’re guaranteed to skip mud with at the end of the month. The list, of course, is by no means exhaustive. There are always D-list Australian ‘celebrities’, cheapskates who collect garbage/ ‘volunteer’ to score a free ticket and rich-kids-in-disguise hanging around, too. But for now, find comfort in the fact that the more things microchip, the more they stay the same.
Usually between the ages of 18 and 22, the fauxhemian is a communications student at a major metropolitan university. She’ll be hitting Byron with her similarly clad posse, a bouquet of flower crowns, and nude sass and bide knits. Also known as the Gypster, she’ll pretend to camp, and intermittently scurry offsite to her mid range (motel) accommodation to shower, re-apply MAC’s lipstick du jour and collect her portable iPhone charger for maximum real-time selfie mileage. She adores Frank Ocean. She will not be attending sideshows.
Old School Label Guy
Found in the best corner of the best part of the VIP bar, the Old School Label Guy has been staying in the same, lush private house since the festival started. He wears a cowboy hat, talks about touring England in the nineties and still uses a Blackberry.
The Music Journalist
You can recognise the serious sonic reporter by their black-only garb, impeccable leather jacket/slightly tatty blazer and disparaging body language. Can be either gender. They cross their arms and stand alone, slightly to the side at every set and despair at how long the line for the toilets in VIP has become. Has learned how to perfectly articulate the italics in ‘it’s for work.’
Much to the chagrin of the Music Journalist, models are the only group of people at the festival who are drinking for free. No one can figure out how. They dance until the end of the after-after party, then remark that Coachella was a lot more fun. They always appear flawless and the cursed flash floods that transform Gypsters into drowned rats merely invigorate the models’ freshly highlighted long bob into a voguish ‘wet look’. Aside from hot pants and denim cut-offs, they wear an ecstatic expression and never, ever peak too early.
Not a character exclusive to Splendour, per se. That guy makes appearances at most Australian festivals. He might be a fan of the ‘Getting Shredded 4 Future’ Facebook page and insists on going topless/ wearing a Bonds wifebeater at all times. A novelty flat cap is his pick-up apparatus of choice and he has a symbol of national pride inked on one limb and ‘Only God Can Judge Me’ penned on another. He urinates in empty beer cans at the front of the mosh pit and can frequently be found huddled in the only dry corner of a stranger's tent. He adds girls’ names and numbers to the ‘notes’ section of his iPhone and does a group message blast with the collected data after the festival ends. He buys animal onesies when it gets cold.
She wears sensible shoes, jeans, a t-shirt and an AAA pass. She carries a $4,000 camera and rushes around with a 'fuck off' expression and a garbage bag—just in case of rain. She never complains about toilet lines because a) she may be a cyborg, and thus never needs to go; or b) knows where the real backstage toilets are. She has Kele from Bloc Party’s mobile number and is probably the coolest person at the festival.