Here’s All The Surprise Collaborations You Missed At Splendour In The Grass

That Powderfinger reunion wasn't the only curveball at Splendour '17.

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On-stage collaborations have always been a pretty massive part of Splendour in the Grass (who can forget last year’s guest-laden Flume set?), but there was definitely something in the water this year in Byron.

For the bill’s Australian acts, it seemed to be pretty much a prerequisite to have special guests pop up during your set — from the fairly expected live renditions of big collaborative singles, through to some truly unexpected local legends.

So, what’d you miss? We’ve pulled together a rundown of all the collaborations that happened at this year’s Splendour, from that very special Powderfinger reunion set to a pop-up appearance from Tina Arena. With hundreds of acts on the line-up, we’re not even sure that this covers all of them — but there’s plenty to be excited about, or regret missing.


Melbourne’s Lanks may not have been on the bill, but he made the trip to Splendour for a very special appearance with The Kite String Tangle.

Love you Splendour! ❤️thanks for having me @thekitestringtangle ??

A post shared by LANKS (@lanksmusic) on

Beyond that, the day really belonged to Peking Duk, who ushered in their first-ever live show with an early-evening set that felt like a headline spot. Following a video intro from Aussie actor Stephen Curry, in character as The Castle’s Dale Kerrigan, they brought out a massive cast of Australian collaborators such as Vera Blue (for ‘Stranger’), Nicole Millar (for ‘High’), Ivan Ooze and Ben from Safia and Dan Sultan (for ‘Say My Name’).

But the biggest moment was ‘Fake Magic’, with Alunageorge appearing unexpectedly, all the way from the UK:


Mallrat started things off early, bringing out Sydney’s Oh Boy for ‘Rush Hour’. She returned the favour with Allday, performing ‘Baby Spiders’ in a loaded set that also included Japanese Wallpaper (for ‘In Motion’) and Asta (for ‘Dynamite’).

The young Australian love-in continued with Slumberjack bringing out Vera Blue for ‘Fracture’, but the real story of the day was the legends of Australian music. Early on, Dune Rats brought out Phil Jamieson of Grinspoon and Violent Soho’s James Tidwell for the Grinners classic ‘Just Ace’, while Bad//Dreems played The Go-Betweens’ classic ‘Spring Rain’ with the band’s Robert Forster.

It was especially resonant on the GW McLennan stage – named in memory of his Go-Betweens bandmate.

Slumberjack - SITG 2017 - Photo By Mitch Lowe Photo-1392-X3

And of course, later in the day, Bernard Fanning sprung a huge surprise on the festival by introducing the entirety of Powderfinger to the stage, with the exception of drummer Jon Coghill. Together, they played ‘(Baby I’ve Got You) On My Mind’ and ‘These Days’, their first performance of Powderfinger songs since breaking up in 2010.


Sunday brought more Australian legends to the stage, with the biggest surprise of the day coming from Client Liaison. As the sun set, they introduced pop music legend Tina Arena, for a rendition of their song ‘A Foreign Affair’. Not wanting to stop there, they had her lead with her classic song ‘Sorrento Moon (I Remember)’, before ending with a cover of Womack & Womack’s classic ‘Teardrops’.


Another legendary collaboration had been speculated about all festival, and played out on the Mix-Up stage when A.B. Original ended a powerful set with their cover of Paul Kelly’s ‘Dumb Things’.

As with their original Like A Version performance, they were backed by Paul himself along with Dan Sultan, with Caiti Baker also joining in. Dan and Caiti were also there for ‘January 26’ and ‘Dead In A Minute’ respectively, making for a highlight of the day.

A.B. Original, Paul Kelly, Dan Sultan and Caiti Baker was iconic ❤

A post shared by Adam Lewis (@adamlewislovesyou) on

More collaborations followed too, with Kilter bringing up Lanks, Gill Bates and Woodes for a huge evening set on the Tiny Dancer stage, while across at the GW McLennan stage, Kirin J Callinan joined Pond for a jam.

Adam Lewis is a music booker and enthusiast from Sydney. Follow him on Twitter.

All photos via Splendour in the Grass