Every July, people from all over Australia (and the world) make the journey to the hinterland of Byron Bay for the annual music festival, Splendour In The Grass
While most festival-goers prepare themselves for three days of non-stop headbanging, hip swaying and partying, there is another side to the festival that celebrates a vast selection of arts, crafts and culture.
We chat to Tory Bauer, assistant general manager of Splendour In The Grass, who moonlights as co-producer of Splendour In The Craft, about her experience working with the festival for the past 10 years.
How would you describe the community experience of Splendour in the Grass to someone who has never been before?
Splendour is like a crafty Monaco in the middle of a huge music festival – it is its own magical kingdom!
How long have you been involved with Splendour in the Grass?
2017 will be my 10th anniversary working on Splendour in the Grass.
How did you begin working with the team at Splendour in the Grass?
I previously worked in music in Sydney, and relocated to Byron when I was pregnant, and by chance (via a mutual friend), a job opened up, and I was offered an opportunity to work on the festival.
For anyone who has attended previous years, it’s evident that no two years are the same and the mini community is a melting pot of creativity every year. Aside from the music stages, what would be your favourite areas of the festival and why?
I absolutely love The Forum (who doesn’t love a bit of philosophy and debate) in between catching bands. The Champagne Bar is a perfect retreat also – for a glass or two of champagne (to wash down a cheese plate) – with beautiful views of the festival.
What are you most looking forward to about Splendour 2017?
The Science Tent is a new addition to the Festival, which I’m so excited about! I also love the diversity of the Tipi Forest and Global Village – who doesn’t love a little manifesting before breakfast! The Arts Program around the Festival is a brilliant addition also. I can’t wait to see Pickle’s Funeral Parlour and the Optical Oval.
How does a festival like Splendour, with so many varying factors, come together?
People power! The team behind the Festival is incredible! It’s like it’s its own eco-system. Many of the staff have worked there since the beginning, and we all work together like a family of carnies!
Where would we find Tory Bauer on day one of the festival?
In my site shed, huddled, typing with one hand and with a radio in the other!
How do you cope with the post-Splendour depression? Any side-hustle projects to keep you occupied?
I always know that it’s only 365 days to go, ’til the fun starts again! My side-hustle project is returning all the lost passports and car keys to people. It’s like a matchmaking service. Tinder for festival-goers.
Aside from the fantastic work you’re involved with to bring Splendour to life as assistant general manager of the festival, you are also the co-producer of Splendour in the Craft. Tell us a bit about this?
Splendour in the Craft is an oasis in the middle of the festival. All our workshops are run by Australia’s premier Craft Freedom fighters, and every session is free! Doesn’t matter if you have never crafted before in your life, we craft like no one is watching.
What makes areas like Splendour in the Craft and Global Village unmissable parts of the festival? The diverse programs! From making your own tote bags from old merch, to upcycling sunnies (in the craft tent) to burlesque dancing and cabaret in the Global Village.
For someone who has never visited Splendour in the Grass, what would be your number 1 tip:
Survival guide tip? Warm jackets for the evening!
Unmissable tent? The Forum
Go-to foodie spot? Gözleme!
Day three hangover cure? Red skin cookie from South Side Tea Room inside Splendour in the Craft.
Campsite rule? Please clean up after yourself! If you brought it in, take it out!
Splendour mantra? We’re all in this together.