Phil Jamieson’s Guide to Splendour In The Grass

No other Australian muso is as steeped in Splendour lore as Phil Jamieson. This year will be Grinspoon’s fifth appearance at the festival and it’s sure to be another showstopper. Even when his band isn’t booked, Phil’s still there, shunning gumboots, eating falafel and generally raising hell. FasterLouder went straight to the source to get Phil’s Guide To Splendour In The Grass. With tongue firmly in cheek, here’s what he had to say…


The first one I went to was with my future wife and we found the lady selling the brown cookies...she was inside and selling the magical hash cookies. They made for a fantastic Splendour. Supergrass was on obviously and it was just a fantastic year with the hash cookies.


Because I camped last year I have knowledge of the camping issue. The good thing I found about the camping (which I guess normal artists don’t know) is that on the Friday night before the actual gig opens they open the bar in the festival. So it is a really good way to get acquainted with other campers and just go and have a good time. I found out from campers there that if you move to Bellingen you have to swing – which means sleeping with other people. I didn’t know that Bellingen was famous for that. George Negus: swinger!


The fucking worse thing about Splendour is if you turn up in gumboots and it’s not raining. I wore gumboots and it was dry beautiful weather and I just looked like a clown. So my advice is even if it’s muddy don’t wear gumboots. The only person that makes gumboots look good is Kate Moss. That’s cause she’s hanging off someone more talented than her and has probably taken more drugs than her. So I would say a big no to the GBs, even if it is raining.

Anything to do with ponchos and that rubbish, I think you would want to go I Know What You Did Last Summer fisherman style. If you’re fucking going to be protected, wear something that looks like fucking doomsday.

If it is sunny you can’t beat those stupid t-shirts that say that you came from fucking Gosford in a fucking laser. They are all yellow and have glitter on them. There are some tragic things going on there.


You want to not drink too much before 3pm, because you may miss something at 5pm that might have been good. Some of my friends that I have got tickets for in the past have always ended up being too inebriated to see any of my performances. That’s like three years in a row! They have enjoyed too much of the festival atmosphere.

I have not had a drink in six months. I mean, cocaine is great. You can’t really knock back cocaine at a festival if you have the money or someone is giving it away. I’ve never been a fan of ecstasy, but I think the kids these days love it. Also they like putting it in their bottoms. Maybe that is more of a Big Day Out thing; I don’t think ecstasy in the bottom is a Splendour thing.

I think alcohol-wise it depends on your poison. The alcohol there in cans is expensive. If you’re camping, I would smuggle alcohol in. I’m not encouraging people to jump the fence, just smuggle in alcohol. They’re horrible pre-mixed cans there, between 8 and 10 dollars a can. I’ve never been a dark spirits fan.

If I was to get wasted at Splendour at the bar it would probably with white wine or something like that. It’s reasonably cheap and wine gets you fucking nutted. You can drink those pre-mixed fucking vodkas all day and they are just sweet and don’t do shit. So I think that the wine is probably going to get you plastered quicker. But I don’t know about liquor. I’m not an authority. I’m more of an authority on drugs, as has been widely publicised.


Wategos [beach] is really, really great. I love Wategos. Personally for me it is a really magical joint, but that could get ruined by 3000 fucking festivalgoers going there. But usually I’d be there between 7 and 9am. I’m an early riser.

If you want to get trippy it’s kinda nice to see the sun rise at the most eastern spot at the lighthouse. There is that great little falafel joint tucked in behind the Beach Hotel that is really cheap and will probably keep you sustained for less money than what you pay for your gutter junk food at the festival. It’s a really little hole in the wall. Just stick lots of chilli on it. It’s as cheap as getting a freshly squeezed juice in Byron. If you want to spend heaps of money there is a really great sushi train on Johnson Street near the Great Northern Hotel.

Splendour In The Grass returns to Belongil Fields on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 July.