The Splendour In The Grass 2019 line-up got announced yesterday, including acts like Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, SZA, Chance The Rapper, Santigold, Courtney Barnett, The Streets, and oh wait, what's this?... MYSTERY OZ ACT???
Of course, there's already been a stack of speculation around who it could be but we've taken the 24 hours, considered and prepared our cases. Here's who The Music's Lauren Baxter, Jessica Dale and Neil Griffiths think will be hitting up this year's Splendour as the 'Mystery Oz Act'.
Case: The Middle East
Presented by: Lauren Baxter
Sad girls unite! The Middle East reuniting for Vivid LIVE is a big deal. If I need to tell you why, I’m sorry we can’t be friends. Thinking back to that first EP, hoo boy, I’ve got all of the feels. Why then do I think they are Splendour’s 2019 ‘Mystery Oz Act’? Three reasons. Let’s break them down.
First, that infamous 2011 onstage Splendour breakup. How romantic to return to that stage on the year of their reunion. Bury the hatchet. Claim back the space. I Want That You Are Always Happy, well now you can make that happen. I just want to cry on the Amphitheatre hillside to Blood with 50,000 of my closest friends goddamnit.
Second, they’ll already be there. Bree Tranter, Rohin Jones and Mike Haydon are touring members of Matt Corby’s band who has been announced on the bill. I mean, if flights and accommodation are already sorted, what else do you need? Chuck an extra couple of cases of beer on the rider and we’re good to go.
Third, contractual requirements, baby. Vivid has billed The Middle East’s reunion as one-off performances and they’re not sold out. Going down in mid-May though, hopefully we won’t have too long to wait to find out if our theory is correct.
Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.
Case: Tina Arena
Presented by: Jessica Dale
When Tina Arena made a guest appearance during Client Liaison’s 2017 Splendour set, the crowd (and the rest of the country watching on social media at home), collectively lost their shit. Arena performed a her 1994 track, Sorrento Moon (which is a goddamn classic, @ me if you want, I don’t care) and Womack & Womack’s Teardrops with a little Client Liaison twist which had the crowd clapping in unison.
The past few years of Splendour have seen some of Australia’s most legendary and revered acts make appearances - last year it was Paul Kelly, the year before Powderfinger had the sneaky mini reunion of our dreams during Bernard Fanning’s set, The Church played in 2015.
Queen Tina has just wrapped her run as the star of the Evita stage production and she currently has no tour dates scheduled so a SITG appearance is not all that far fetched and we are here for it if it happens.
Case: John Farnham
Presented by: Neil Griffiths
OK, hear us out.
1. Remember the reaction Johnny got when he came out on stage with Coldplay in 2009?
2. Remember the reaction he got when he closed out the 2016 ARIAs?
Now, put that on the North Byron Parklands stage and you've got Splendour history right there. Ol' mate Farnsie threw the old 'last time' shows schtick out the window years ago and he's performed at a number of festivals across the country recently, so why not perform at one of Australia's biggest events for the first time... one last time?
Though hearing Australia's unofficial anthem You're The Voice be belted out in unison by thousands swarming the main stage would be an epic moment itself, there will no doubt be a few marks who say, "Ugh, as if John Farnham would fit on a Splendour line-up?" First of all, how dare you? Falls Festival proved in the last two years that some "heritage" acts (Braithwaite in 2017 and then Toto in 2018) can prove perfect additions to a line-up for younger audiences. And who better to bring on board than one of the country's best ever?
Oh yeah, and his schedule is open in July. The stars are aligning, people #FarnsieforSplendour.
Splendour In The Grass 2019 takes place at North Byron Parklands from 19-21 July. Tickets go on sale from 9am AEST on Thursday 11 April, 9am sharp AEST. For more details, check out theGuide.