The entrance at Splendour in the Craft.
The entrance at Splendour in the Craft. Bianca Holderness

Splendour in the Grass Awards 2015

THIS is what we thought was the best of the best at Splendour in the Grass 2015.


Best Artwork: The Maze

Although the project was called Post Digital Ruins, Tom Borgas' outdoor installation/performance was known to punters as The Maze.

A series of columns created some sort of forest, a structure where people started to act in a childish way, to be playful.

That playfulness ended as soon as they left the space.

The columns were the physical representation of the virtual, with excess data bursting out of the non-physical and back into reality.

Almost as good as last year's Skywhale, but by far more interactive and accessible.


Best Space: The Barn

In its last year of existence as an arts project, the Barn matured into an institution within Splendour.

We hope it continues, or that its reincarnation is as creative and sophisticated as it was this year.

Fashion Faux Pas: Meggings and Jeggings

Despite our aversion to felt hats and the fact that customised gumboots became a fashionista's must, it was meggings (leggings for men) and jeggings (leggings that looked like jeans) that became the biggest 'no-no' of the festival.

Designed to make fashion tragics look slim and fabulous, they are a summer item for non-rainy climate conditions.

Only seen at the VIP Gold Bar.


Best Fashion Trend: The Mud

There was so much of it, it was just a matter of wearing it. The Award for If Life Gives You Lemons Make Lemonade goes to Melbourne's Ricky Arandt (below), who didn't just slide in the mud outside the Smirnoff Bar but then started hugging girls and got more than one phone number. Well played mate.


Best Impromptu Performance: The punter that slid down the muddy hill naked from the Moet & Chandon Bar in the middle of the afternoon on Sunday. More than once.


Must Be Seen To Be Believed Award: Dozens of teens begging people for their wristbands on the way out of the festival and getting narky if not being given one.


We Need To Talk About Shorten Award: The Q&A in the Grass audience asked the panel repeatedly to discuss the future of the Labor Party and opposition leader Bill Shorten. The problem was that there was no Labor representative on the panel, as everyone was at the Labor conference in Melbourne.


Best Australian Act: Client Liaison

Where do we start? These guys didn't just bring the 1980s back, they brought the house down.

We are convinced that these guys would have won this year's Eurovision Song Contest for Australia.

They don't just look like they are in the 1980s, they live the 1980s.

They strutted their stuff around the VIP Gold Bar with their Lycra and spandex mob, just like they did at the same space at last year's Falls festival.

On stage, the guys gave it all, jumped, danced and offered a show that became a highlight of the festival.


Best Overseas Act: Ryan Adams

A singer-songwriter, author, musician and producer, Ryan Adams is a prolific artist.

He has released 14 albums since 2000, both solo and with The Cardinals, including hit singles New York New York, When The Stars Go Blue, Oh My Sweet Carolina and Lucky Now.

He has produced albums for the likes of Willie Nelson, Jesse Malin, Weezer, Norah Hones, Beth Orton and many more.

Adams offered a strong show to a loyal audience of fans, in a stage full of his favourite toys: video games, stuffed animals ands a US flag with a peace symbol instead of stars.


Best Female Voice: Florence + The Machine

She was the goddess dressed in white that had the crowds eating from her hand five minutes into the show.

Florence & The Machine's 2009 debut album Lungs was an instant hit, kicking off a marathon five years of touring, promoting and back-to-back recording including 2011's Ceremonials and its singles Shake It Out, Never Let Me Go and Spectrum (Say My Name).

They went to #1 in the UK and stayed there for an astonishing 65 weeks, they took out Album Of The Year at the 2010 Brit Awards, were nominated for Grammys and played festivals across the globe including a jam packed Woodford Amphitheatre at Splendour 2010.

The shows got bigger, the hair redder, the success wider and wilder.

Now after a year off and with a new album How Big How Blue How Beautiful, Flo & Co were a massive hit at this year's festival.


Best Song: Listen to Soul, Listen to Blues - SAFIA

Many may disagree with the idea that this is the best song played at Splendour, but few could say this is not a worthy nominee for the award.

SAFIA's trajectory has been steadily on the up since winning the Triple J Unearthed competition to play Groovin' The Moo back in 2012.

This song is elegant and attractive, and it commands attention from the listener.


Best Dance Act: Peking Duk

It didn't matter that it was raining and we were outside the covered area, as well as the mud was irrelevant. Peking Duk's gig was so powerful that made thousands forget where they were and only focus on what were they listening to.

The duo sparked up an electro fuse with a twist of house, blended with a galvanizing slowed down beat.

Catapulting onto the Australian music scene, the Canberra-bred duo of Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles has captivated fans across Australia and the world with their distinct flavour of Indie electronica and electrifying live sets.

Peking Duk got off to a massive start in 2015.

They had the honour of having two singles in the top five of Triple J's Hottest 100 (an amazing feat for their first entry into the countdown), completed a sold-out Peace, Love & Sweatiness regional tour of Australia and won a Rolling Stone Award for Best Video.


Wow Factor Award: Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson is more than the sum if his musical parts.

Grammy award winning super producer, musician and DJ Mark Ronson has been behind a wave of hits by the likes of Lily Allen, Kaiser Chiefs, Adele, Paul McCartney and Amy Winehouse to name a few.

Then, in late 2014 he released his fourth studio album, Uptown Special and the single Uptown Funk, featuring Bruno Mars.

A bona fide world-wide blockbuster, Uptown Funk fast tracked to #1 on charts across the globe and is currently sitting at around 492 million Youtube views.


Best Looking band: #1 Dads and George Maple

Sorry, we couldn't decide. It's a tie.


Best Dressed Performer: George Maple

Despite Azealia Banks looking smoking hot in her top-and-shorts ensemble, and Florence Welch looking ethereal in her flowing white blouse, it was George Maple in white overalls undone at the top, and a beautiful nude-and-black Agent Provocateur corset.


Best Food: Brazilian Food From chorizos on a stick to 'Jungle Juice' (a South American version of green smoothies), guarana-flavoured soft drinks, Brazilian chocolates, bread rolls with salsa and slow cooked beef, to haloumi on a wrap with salad, their menu was a great surprise .

This place offered fresh, simple, delicious food with an exotic flavour and had people queuing all weekend.


Best Bar: The Forum Bar

Subtle, away from the crowds and with a very elegant menu, the Forum Bar had the VIP style of the Gold Bar but was accessible to everyone.

Here you could have a drink with a comedian, chat to a new friend, heckle a politician or just get to know that new friend in a space free of drunken, disorderly punters.


Best snack: Baby Burger and Grill'd

Tasty and affordable festival food.

Both outlets had a great menu, well-priced meals and did not demand a long wait to get your food.

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