Splendour in the Grass is fast approaching and will be held on Friday 29th to Sunday 31st of July in Woodford, Queensland. However, as usual, there are those who don't get tickets, or simply can't afford the small fortune, and this causes somewhat of a gaping hole in the social aspirations and livelihood of many.
It is disheartening to know that you've missed out - I know, I've been there, and all I wanted to do was make other plans to keep occupied, and have as much fun as my Splendour-friends. Luckily there are an abundance of options for those seeking an alternative, such as camping elsewhere, taking a daytrip or creating your own Splendour sideshow-holiday.
If you want to channel the fresh, out-doorsy feel of Splendour, camping is a good start. July is optimum camping temperature - cool, sunny days, and frosty nights that beckon a campfire and toasted marshmallows.
The Sunshine Coast is north-east of Woodford, and offers an array of accommodation and camping facilities. Mooloolaba is perhaps one of the most popular areas, boasting a number of restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and entertainment if you feel like indulging. Otherwise, there are camping grounds located right by the ocean for an at-ease weekend.
Nearby, you can also camp at Cotton Tree, located on the banks of the Maroochy River. This area has a more secluded, relaxed feel, but there are neighbouring cafes and weekend markets if you fancy.
If you're after something a little more on the green, organic side of Splendour, you could also head west into the Sunshine Coast hinterland to Maleny, Montville or Eumundi. Each township fosters an easy-going lifestyle with a very natural vibe, surrounded by beautiful forest. There are various camping grounds in the area, nearby to walking tracks and waterfalls if you choose to stay; but only 30 minutes drive from the Sunshine Coast, the hinterland is also great for a day trip.
Be sure to check out the Eumundi markets on Saturday, too. They are ever expanding and truly offer a wealth of foods, fresh produce and everything from artwork to furniture and natural skincare. You really won't miss the stalls at Splendour when you can spend half a day exploring Eumundi.
Alternatively, get some friends together and head south to the original home of Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay. Although the festival is absent, there seems to be a constant Splendour-vibe in Byron created by the diversity of activities, people and landscape the area is known for. There are also a number of camping and accommodation options available.
Byron Bay - soak up the sounds of the ocean this year instead.
With good food, friends and Splendour-inspired tunes, camping or taking a day trip elsewhere is likely to be an enjoyable and rejuvenating escape, much less draining and likely less expensive than Splendour in the Grass.
However, for those who were particularly wanting to see a band or artist at Splendour, remember, many bands perform sideshows after festivals. So keep a keen ear and eye out for announcements on the radio, and online.
This may involve a trip somewhere else to see the said band, but travelling interstate to see Kanye or Regina becomes your own,
tailored Splendour getaway - without the hustle and bustle, exhaustion and muddy feet.
Flying to Melbourne for the weekend with friends to see your favourite band would be an adventure, and tickets can be as little as $140 per person return, if you book soon. Again, a much cheaper alternative to the festival.
Lastly, don't despair - Triple J provided a healthy recap of 2010's Splendour festivities on its website last year, with photos and live music from the event, band interviews and gossip. They will surely do the same this year, which means you can practically have the best of both worlds.