New experiences = the most fun. That’s why PEDESTRIAN.TV and Smirnoff have teamed up to help start conversations when it comes to breaking down barriers that put a stopper in good times.
Every year thousands of Aussie music lovers descend upon the beautiful rolling green paddocks of Byron Bay to dance, play, sing and experience the fun and frivolity of leaving behind our adult life responsibilities for a weekend at Splendour In The Grass.
But who are the (probably magical) masterminds behind that big party in the middle of winter? Let me tell you, they’re great.
The festival was founded by Jess DuCrou and Paul Piticco but we’re here to talk about some of the badass chicks working behind the scenes. They’re bloody killing it in the festival scene, which has been through some ~turbulent years~ recently.
PEDESTRIAN.TV sat down with some of the gals from Splendour and Secret Sounds Connect to chat about what they love about putting on some of the biggest festivals in Australia, and what it’s like being in the business of making hundreds of thousands of punters happy every year.
Elise has been killing it as the General Manager of Splendour for the last eight years, which means she’s got her job pretty much down pat. But that’s not to say that working in events is a walk in the park.
“It’s like trying to put an octopus into a string bag,” Elise told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
“It’s a year-round planning process. Once we finish this event we will have our debrief which will essentially form our planning, which will commence pretty much once the debrief is finished.”
It’s all worth it in the end for Elise, the countless hours of planning and prepping, working with medical, police, and official services to make sure the festival is up to compliance, and making sure everyone is having a good time in a fun and safe environment.
The excitement that her and the Splendour team brings to the punters is what she loves about being in the events industry.
“I remember the first time I ever worked on a show and I was standing there side of stage. When you look out and see the enjoyment on peoples’ faces, it makes it all worthwhile,” Elise told us.
“The other day I was doing a shop in Bunnings for a whole lot of site stuff and the girl who was serving me caught wind that it was for Splendour, and they were just so excited. I was kind like “oh it’s just Sunday afternoon” just racing around, and it makes you just stop and take stock, and realise that this is the reason that you’re working.”
ALYSSA-JANE (AJ) IVERY
Digital Marketing & Social Media
“I’m known as AJ at Splendour, I’m 28, and I’ve been with Secret Sounds for four years now,” AJ told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
“I’m mainly focussed on socials on site, but I work on marketing across the whole company. We have a touring company, and two record labels as well that I work across.”
AJ was working for a theatre company before finding her home at Secret Sounds, and says that working with the Splendour team is like being in a big family that’s always welcoming in new and exciting fam members every year.
“A really great thing is just seeing it all come together from an empty site to a full festival,” AJ said, about what she loves about working some of Australia’s biggest parties.
“By the end of the festival you’ve watched it all progress, and everyone’s come through, and it’s just a great team behind the scenes here at Splendour.”
You’ve probably seen some of AJ’s handiwork happening on the Splendour In The Grass Instagram, where they’ve been putting together fun little videos before this weekend’s party to make sure everyone has the best time possible.
Zoe’s been with the Secret Sounds Connect team for two years now, and her journey with Splendour started in the deep end – her first day was the Tuesday of Splendour 2015. She hasn’t stopped powering ever since.
Her role is all about working alongside brands and sponsors to make all the other stuff that isn’t the bands onstage happen. We’re talking Very Small Suburb, Smirnoff Lodge, Rimmel Room, and all the other fun pockets around the festival.
“It’s about finding the right brand fit for the festival and working closely with the sponsors and promoters to make sure the execution is on point and will bring something unique to the show,” Zoe told PEDESTRIAN.TV
“On ground it’s about keeping across all sponsor activity thats happening and could be anything from sponsor presented stages, pop up gigs with splendour artists, offsite events, backstage tours and activations.”
Her entire year, much like everyone else within the Splendour team, is about the festival. As soon as one festival wraps, she’s already working on getting ideas moving for the next year’s festival, and how she can make them happen.
Zoe told us that seeing all those ideas she’s been working on for months leading up to Splendour actually coming to life is what she loves the most about each year’s festival.
“The most exciting part is seeing everything you’ve been working on and all the ideas you’ve been pitching to brands and speaking about for so long actually seeing them come alive come show day,” she told us.
“Just seeing all the patrons coming to the festival and enjoying the activations is really amazing.”
Emma’s the go-to gal when it comes to needing a fence put somewhere, or getting power into the middle of the site in a hurry. She’s the one responsible for turning a “lush, green paddock into a fully-functioning city” and then back again in the space of a couple of weeks.
She’s been with Splendour for three years now, and helps to get those big activations you can see around the festival site actually built.
We spoke with her about what working the big Byron party every year is like, and what she loves about her job within the Splendour family.
“It’s always changing, its always a different curve ball. Nothing’s ever the same. It’s just a constant challenge – it’s not like your day-to-day,” Emma told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
“There’s so many different moving parts and so many layers. I love seeing it grow, as well. Like this year in particular I’ve felt like it’s just the best year yet.”
Emma’s main advice for anyone wanting to get into the logistics and physical build of a festival is to always have more than just a Plan B, because everything is super likely to change at least four times.
“You’re a problem-solver at the end of the day. We’re the ones that turn up with the cool head no matter what’s going wrong,” she told us.
“We have a solution, because the first option didn’t work. Don’t add fuel to the fire, just look at the problem and simply fix it – that’s what we’re here to do.”
The rest of the Splendour team are absolute guns, but know that these four faces are behind turning that big green space in North Byron Parklands into your playground for the winter.
Yeah the girls!