But with four stages hosting the biggest names in pop, rock and hip-hop from all around the world, there’s always bound to be some pretty brutal clashes. Splendour has shared its set times (and site maps and latest line-up changes) today, and here are five of the most frustrating clashes we’ve identified. Now you can start planning your hard-earned pilgrimage to the North Byron Parklands…
Friday (July 22)
Yungblud vs Confidence Man
When: 4:15pm in the Amphitheatre vs 4:00pm at the Mixup Stage
Yungblud and Confidence Man are both Splendour alumni – the former tore it up in 2018, while the latter dropped jaws a year prior – so we already know that both are perfectly suited for the festival’s unique atmosphere (they’re even playing the same stages they did on their first trips). Both acts deliver an insane amount of infectious energy: Confidence Man with their gaudy and glossy neo-pop chic, and Yungblud with his punky pluckiness.
And yes, you could argue that Yungblud takes the cake because he’s an overseas act, and with his self-titled album out in September, all the new songs will feel as fresh as they possibly could. But in the months since Confidence Man released their career-defining ‘Tilt’ album in April, they’ve shown themselves to be a fun and funky force to be reckoned with – just read our review from their outing at Glastonbury last month. The solution to this clash lies in the answer to this question: would you rather sing your heart out, or dance your butt off?
Orville Peck vs Yeah Yeah Yeahs
When: 8:30pm in the GW McLennan tent vs 8:45pm in the Amphitheatre
At face value, there may not seem to be a lot of overlap here: Yeah Yeah Yeahs are the time-honoured kings and queen of equally rough and radiant indie-rock, while Orville Peck is an elusive, country rocker whose first official single came out five years after Yeah Yeah Yeahs dropped their latest album (the violently under-appreciated ‘Mosquito’). But a clash between both acts is still something worth agonising over.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ billing comes as part of their first Australian visit since 2013, and they’re sure to be playing fresh material from their comeback album ‘Cool It Down’, due out on September 30. But Peck is a trailblazing performer in his prime, wielding an inimitable energy that far exceeds his relative greenness. Just the thought of hearing tracks from ‘Bronco’ live is enough to give us goosebumps – but so too is the vision of Karen O leading an Amphitheatre-wide singalong of ‘Heads Will Roll’. Decisions, decisions…
Editor’s Note: Yeah Yeahs announced their withdrawal from Splendour and its sideshows on July 15, citing unspecified health issues. They will be replaced by The Avalanches – which doesn’t necessarily make this set time clash any less painful.
Saturday (July 23)
JPEGMafia vs Jack Harlow
When: 6:45pm at the Mixup Stage vs 7:30pm in the Amphitheatre
Before we’re sent to Festival Valhalla with Tyler, The Creator’s set on Sunday night, Saturday offers a stacked bill of hip-hop and R&B names – Tasman Keith, Pricie, Triple One, ChillinIt… We’re in for a big day of even bigger bars. Two of those must-sees are JPEGMafia and Jack Harlow, both of whom are on enormous hot streaks with recent albums – last year’s ‘LP!’ for JPEG and Harlow’s May album ‘Come Home The Kids Miss You’.
There is only a minor crossover – JPEG’s set ends at 7:45pm, just 15 minutes after Harlow’s starts – but there are two critical things to consider: firstly, Peggy is known for ending sets with only the most banging of his bangers, so if you want to catch ‘Free The Frail’ or ‘Chain On’, you’ll have to stay till the end. Secondly, the Amphitheatre is a mission to get into at the best of times. Factoring in the chaos that Harlow’s set is sure to incite, you’ll need to give yourself more than enough time to make it up the hill, through the maze of fences, and into the eye of the storm.
Ruby Fields vs Glass Animals
When: 8:30pm in the GW McLennan tent vs 9:00pm in the Amphitheatre
Ruby Fields has grown to become a staple of the Australian festival scene, and for good reason: her jaunty and jovial personality gels wonderfully with the looseness of the setting, and her big, hooky indie-rock jams are tailor-made to ring across open fields (or in the case of her Splendour set, a giant tent) while an adoring sea of fans yell along to every word.
On the other hand, Glass Animals will be making their Splendour debut this year, and if their sets at the 2017/18 Falls run taught us anything, it’s that the English psych-pop powerhouse know how to work a big festival stage. We can easily see ourselves slipping into a trance to cuts from 2020’s ‘Dreamland’ album – which they’ve yet to tour Down Under – and their recent Governors Ball and Glasto sets prove that their performance has evolved tenfold since their last visit. Besides, who doesn’t want to be part of a mighty singalong to the 2020 Hottest 100 topper ‘Heat Waves’?
If you’re looking to end your Saturday at Splendour with good vibes, it’ll be tough to choose between these two.
Sunday (July 24)
Alex The Astronaut vs G Flip
When: 4:15pm in the GW McLennon tent vs 4:30pm in the Amphitheatre
It’s a good thing these set times came out in July, because announcing a clash between Alex The Astronaut and G Flip – two of the biggest queer icons in Australian pop – simply wouldn’t fly during Pride Month. Though not stylistically comparable, both artists are loved for their buoyant and youthful stage presence, their mesh of ultra-catchy pop hooks with sizzling indie-rock spirit, and their instant-classic queer anthems (Alex’s ‘Not Worth Hiding’ and Flip’s ‘Gay 4 Me’).
- READ MORE: G Flip: “There’s no difference between G Flip and Georgia Flipo. They are literally the same person”
Alex may just edge this one out, though – this’ll be the first gig she plays after dropping her second album, ‘How To Grow A Sunflower Underwater’, just two days prior, and we’re bound to hear at least a couple tracks from it live for the very first time. And G Flip’s got plenty of festival stages to wow us on later this year – they’ll be at all dates of the touring Spilt Milk and Falls stints, plus Spin Off in Adelaide and Lost Paradise on the NSW Central Coast. Still, it’ll be upsetting to miss their high-energy drumming and infectious confidence.