Brisbane -

Byron Bay -


1 Aug 2018





1 Aug 2018

Australia’s favourite festival Splendour in the Grass has just wrapped up for another year in a whirlwind of music, colour and lights. Another mind blowing lineup meant that tickets sold out in record time and for 35’000 lucky attendees the sun was shining, reflecting the radiant mood of the patrons. As always the event brought a lot of dreamlike magic to the Australian winter.  

An amazing mix of top Australian and International acts including Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Vampire Weekend, The Wombats, Gang of Youths, DMA’s plus many more blew the energetic crowds away and left them with memories to last a lifetime.

SAE Creative Media Institute was represented by staff, students and alumni at Splendour in the Grass, which took place in the beautiful North Byron Parklands. 14 students and three staff members were onsite for four days getting the experience of a lifetime from the best seats in the house - both in back and front of stage. And of course a whole bunch of the team from SAE attended just for the fun of it! We spoke to a few of the SAE crew on site about their Splendour 2018 experience.

Closing the festival at Tipi Forest was TAYA, a self-confessed dream come true for the SAE Byron Bay graduate. The talented DJ and producer had the honor of being named the number one EDM act to see at Splendour 2018 according to OZEDM Australia’s premier electronic music website.

Having just won Beatport’s first Beat’s In School Producer Scholarship with Yousef’s Circus Recordings, TAYA’s star is on the rise as he prepares for an upcoming European tour, he has also just returned from mentoring with Carl Cox at his home studio in the Mornington Peninsula.

For TAYA SAE was the best possible place to make meaningful connections “I loved being tutored by such immense talent, I loved being taught by people I look up to, people I am friends with to this day,” he says. And TAYA’s best advice to those just starting out; “believe in yourself and your sound.” Playing the crowd out at Australia’s biggest music festival, this is only the beginning for TAYA.

On the other side of the party is Stage Manager of the popular Tiny Dancer stage, SAE Brisbane alumni Dylan Hooper. Besides keeping the vibes rolling at Splendour, Dylan the Co-owner and Founder of Twisted Pair Productions has also been production manager at Falls Festival for the previous two years.

For Dylan, taking on interns at Twisted Pair Productions and assisting students at Splendour is a nice way to return the favour of the education he received. “It's inspiring to see students so keen and interested in their futures, this is the key to success because you can’t teach enthusiasm,” he says.  

Enthusiasm is something the SAE student interns at Splendour have in spades and this is what got Hudson Pearce to Splendour this year. Hudson, who is studying a Bachelor of Film in Brisbane and his passion for his craft earned him a  spot on the SAE crew team for 2018.

He describes Splendour as a well oiled machine; all moving parts working together to create an almost ‘living and breathing being’. “This is what is incredible about seeing all the effort put into Splendour from behind the scenes, it's an amazing achievement how everyone's efforts combined creates this huge experience.” Hudson portrays the backstage team as extremely helpful and generous with their time and knowledge amidst this hive of activity.


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SAE student interns on the job at Splendour in the Grass 2018

Rhys Ferraz who studies Audio at Byron Bay also had wonderful things to say about the Splendour team, describing the atmosphere backstage as cruisy and well organised. Rhys’ first time behind the scenes surpassed all of his expectations “Live sound can be hectic in the moment but the results of all your hard work is immediate and gratifying. This is my first time at Splendour and it has left an amazing initial impression, plus I got to be front and centre for Chvrches!” 

You couldn’t get any closer to the main stage than Sage Arms-Richardson, a Bachelor of Film student from Byron Bay. While filming at the Amphitheatre Matt Caughthran from The Bronx jumped down to her platform and offered her a cheery hello during their performance. She also had the honor of her footage of the DMA’s live performance being included in the Triple J social posting of their set. Besides filming from the front stage platform Sage also had the chance to operate the advanced Robo Cam fixed to top of stage whilst sitting next to and receiving instructions from the director in the command centre.

Sage describes the whole experience as life changing, “I didn’t expect this to happen, I’ve been converted, I know that I want to film live events as my career.”

Susan Youl had a very special journey to Splendour this year. Travelling from Melbourne and camping on site, she assisted the audio team on the Amphitheatre stage. Susan came to SAE after spotting the crew backstage working the festival in 2017, wanting to do what they were doing she enrolled in a Bachelor of Audio at the Melbourne campus.

“This is surreal being here, a year ago I was the one in the crowd dreaming to be involved with live sound, now I’m here backstage networking and doing what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Susan has made such an impression on the on site team that she has been offered paid work once she returns to Melbourne. “After this experience I now know that I have what it takes to make it in the industry, I’ve made my goals a reality,” she said.

Congrats to everyone for the best Splendour in the Grass yet, a testament to the hardwork of all involved. We can’t wait to do it all bigger and better again next year!















Thomas Selway (Byron Bay)

Jayden Smith (Byron Bay)

Susan Youl (Melbourne)

Rhys Ferraz (Byron Bay)

Jacob Reid (Brisbane)

Nathan Boniface-Bell (Byron Bay)

George Winkler (Byron Bay)

Louis Muller (Byron Bay) 


Hudson Pearce (Brisbane)

Jaiden Peters (Brisbane)

Sage Arms-Richards (Byron Bay)

Tom Barnett (Byron Bay)

Jan Quast (International Byron Bay)

Hamish Burnside (Byron Bay)


Russell Burton Department Coordinator - Film (SAE Byron Bay)

Dirk Tirrell Department Coordinator - Audio (SAE Byron Bay)

Jill Moonie Industry Liaison Coordinator (SAE Byron Bay)

Andre Comaru National Campus Marketing Manager


Special thanks goes to Olga, Markus and Brandon from Pines and Palms Byron Bay




To see where studying at SAE could take you, come to the SAE Open Day 2018:

Brisbane: Saturday August 4th Brisbane 10am-2pm

Sydney, Byron Bay, Melbourne, Perth:  Sunday August 5th 10am-2pm 

Adelaide: Wednesday August 8th  4pm-8pm


Register online and attend for the chance to win a pair of Audio-Technica Wireless headphones *T&Cs apply

Come to SAE Open Day 2018