That’s a wrap! SAE students reflect on Splendour 2017

Byron Bay

10 Aug 2017

HERO GordonYeung



That’s a wrap! SAE students reflect on Splendour 2017

10 Aug 2017

In July every year Byron Bay delivers one of Australia's premier festival experiences, Splendour in the Grass!  A whopping 30,000 festival-goers descended on the lush green paddocks of North Byron Parklands that would house one of Australia’s biggest and world-renowned music and arts festivals.

Over three massive days, International and Australian musicians, performers and technicians came together for one brilliant creative showcase, with performances by festival headliners, The xx, Queens Of The Stone Age, LCD Soundsystem, Sigur Ros, Paul Kelly, HAIM, and so many more awesome bands!

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Photo: Client Liaison by Tiarni Farrell

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Photo: Queens Of The Stone Age by Tiarni Farrell

SAE Institute have proudly been a long-term sponsor of Splendour In The Grass for many years, with our students providing on-ground assistance to the festival’s audio and film crews. The institute’s widely known for providing ‘real-world’ work experience opportunities to our highly trained students who are keen to put their skills to the test in a live environment.

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Photo: SAE film student Arabella Rosier filming at The Forum by Gordon Yeung

To promote SAE’s work placements as 'not your average classroom' - our friends at Secret Sounds & Splendour In The Grass donated 2 x 3-day festival tickets to run a #SAESplendour competition. Anyone who registered for SAE’s Open Day and posted a ‘not your average classroom’ video or image to Facebook/Instagram with the hashtag #SAESplendour went into the draw to win a double pass to the sold out festival.

We received some amazing entries from all around Australia, but there can only be one winner… and this year it was 18-year-old Tanguy Clarke from Nambucca Heads, NSW. Tanguy posted a video he made of himself and his mates jamming to an original song in a lounge room setting. 

Photo: #SAESplendour competition winner, Tanguy Clarke


Once the festival dust settled and everyone got some much needed sleep, we caught up with two students to hear all about their incredible experience at SITG 2017! Tiarni Farrell is a Tri 4 Bachelor of Audio student, while Melissa Picone is a Tri 5 Bachelor of Film student. Here’s what they had to say…

Can you describe your duties onsite at ​Splendour?
Tiarni Farrell: So my duties at Splendour were around helping the audio and the stage crew. I helped load gear in and out of trucks, helped with the miking and patching for bands and helped set the stage for each change over.
Melissa Picone: The SAE film students filmed the schedule of activities that took place in ‘The Forum’ tent. We then edited these individual forums videos afterwards.

TiarniFarrell TashSultana
Photo: Tash Sultana by Tiarni Farrell

What was your most memorable experience​/s​ over the festival?
TF: Most memorable experience... hmmm. I know it seems cliché, but definitely the surprise reunion of Powderfinger! No one told us that they were going to play, and I remember loading in the gear for Bernard Fanning and seeing Powderfinger on all the road cases and thinking how great it was that he's reusing his old gear. Hahaha… I had no idea it was legitimately Powderfinger until they all took to the stage to perform their old hits!
MP: My most memorable experience was watching Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki’s ‘Great Moments in Science’ talk at The Forum tent and then getting to meet him afterwards.

TiarniFarrell Powderfinger
Photo: Powderfinger by Tiarni Farrell

Can you describe how the knowledge & skills you’ve learnt at SAE equipped you to work in a real-world environment​ such as a music festival​?
TF: I've been working in live sound for almost two years now, so a lot of the work I did at Splendour has been part of my everyday job. I think my experience and knowledge of microphones and gear that’s available to me in my studies has increased my confidence in my own skills to the point where I feel comfortable in taking on a big opportunity such as Splendour. I now feel confident knowing I can work in the outside industry. 
MP: SAE has equipped me with the knowledge to work in a real-world environment such as Splendour. In class tutorials we learn how to do a basic set up of a camera, we learn about the camera’s functions and practice movements. We also have lessons where we are directed through editing programs such as Adobe Premiere, learning how it works and setting up work flows. These skills are then utilised in projects each trimester so we become more familiar and fluent with using the different cameras and editing programs. All the skills that SAE taught me were used during my time at Splendour. Having these skills enabled me to work confidently and efficiently, while also learning handy tips from the film crew we worked with who have more experience in these sort of environments.


A massive THANK YOU goes out to our SAE Byron staff who gave up their weekend to work 14-hour days supervising our students at the festival!! Jill Moonie, Russell Burton and Matthew Debien… with a special thanks to Andre Comaru and Holly Erickson.

Presenting your hard-working Splendour In The Grass SAE festival crew…

SAE Film Crew
Melissa Picone
Gordon Yeung
Arabell Rosier
Fabienne Neff
Tania Rome

SAE Audio Crew
Tiarni Farrell
Georgia Franck
Simon Goodwin
Jay Varudo
Shannon Loch
Alexander Laurell
Jayden Johnston
Reuben Beddoe
Allyson Starr
Jai Spiteri


Interested in joining the SAE crew?
Get qualified in Audio or Film at one of our six locations across Australia. SAE Institute intakes occur three times a year – February, May and September.

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Photo: The Smith Street Band by Tiarni Farrell

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