Jetting out of KL by Air Asia X, JUICE lands itself a lie flat bed in premium class right next to DJ Ribut of Twilight Actiongirl, who is JUICE’s travel buddy for the junket. We’re on our way to Australia’s biggest and best festival ever, Splendour In The Grass. Woohoo!!!
Besides the occasional dance music bender by the sea, here on our sun-drenched shores the international music festival has yet to take root. In fact just getting a headlining band to include Malaysia on its tour map is a challenge, one left to big sponsors who go for commercial outfits with mass appeal (Arthur’s Day – Black Eyed Peas, Flo Rida; Hennessy Artistry – Kardinal Offishall, Ying Yang Twins) or indie outfits like Soundscape who – credit to them – do what they can.
Bridging that divide is Heineken Green Room, who have brought us The Rapture and Filthy Dukes, but more often than not, our favourite bands like The XX, Vampire Weekend and The Flaming Lips bypass us for Singapore, Indonesia and even Thailand, and it’s enough to see us sobbing into our i-Pods.Â Â
Of course, if you can’t beat them, join them. Air Asia has done precisely that in spectacular style. They might not yet be able to fly the music here, but they can certainly take you to the music. To start, Air Asia RedTix has already established itself as being able to stick you in the front row, first offering tix to Zee Avi’s concert in KL and then to SINGfest in Singapore, which was headlined by Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Smashing Pumpkins. Now the region’s coolest long-haul carrier wants to be the budget airline to jet you in for the world’s hottest festivals. And just to show you how serious they are about their brand new music manifesto, they sent JUICE to Australia’s biggest and best festival ever, Splendour In The Grass. Woohoo!!!
A 3 day music blinder held from July 29 to August 1, Splendour in the Grass 2010 celebrates its 10 year anniversary in Woodfordia, Queensland, and Asia X is laying on the rock star experience for us. The roll call is pure quality! Aside from Glasto or Coachella, I can’t imagine so many brilliant bands in one place. The lineup reads like a JUICE editorial planning wishlist – a mix of new bands so fresh their still playing the smaller club circuit and dream bands that fill stadiums: Pixies, The Strokes, Florence + The Machine, Scissor Sisters, LCD Soundsystem, Hot Chip, Empire Of the Sun, Goldfrapp, Passion Pit, The Temper Trap, Broken Social Scene, Delphic, Yeasayer, Foals, School Of Seven Bells, Two Door Cinema Club, The Drums, Jonsi … the list goes on.
Jetting out of KL by Air Asia X, JUICE lands itself a lie flat bed in premium class right next to DJ Ribut of Twilight Actiongirl, who is JUICE’s travel buddy for the junket. Sweet. The bed unfolds into a completely horizontal posish, and as soon as we are in the air, we both bed down only to wake up nearly 8 hours later, just in time to watch the golden beaches and tall white luxury condos of the Gold Coast loom into view. JUICE arrives feeling as crisp as a newly minted dollar bill ‘in’ Jay-Z’s pocket. I could get used to this….
As soon as we step out at Coolangatta Airport, Air Asia’s Sue Foley rolls up ready to pick us up and drive us to the meeting point just outside Brisbane airport where the rest of the “Splendiforous crew” are either waiting or soon to arrive in a shining white convoy of camper vans – these are the Air Asia rock buses!
It would seem every overstuffed car and van on the road is headed in the same direction, and the 1 hour 45 minute journey is made longer by a long snarl of traffic entering the Woodfordia festival site. By the time Ribut and I check into the camp grounds it’s after dark.Â Our base for the next 4 nights is a camper van. As far as fests go this is 5-star treatment, outfitted with 2 beds (pillows, sheets and comforter included), cooker, fridge, sink, plates, cutlery, electrics for lights and recharging my phone/laptop, toilet and shower.