Splendour 2016 setlist predictions: What surprises can you expect?

We all know who’s on the Splendour in the Grass line-up, but what can we expect to hear? Discover the setlists you’ll likely be singing along to July 2016.

2016's Splendour in the Grass lineup boasts some of the biggest acts the festival has seen during its 15 years. With international bigwigs The Strokes and The Cure as well as local legends Flume and Violent Soho on the lineup, the festival is sure to draw massive crowds. Even so, the quality of the set lists can be a bit hit or miss and what makes the cut can make or break the gig. Will At The Drive-In play your favourite tune? Will Boy and Bear cover that song you love? You don’t have to wait until July to find out.

To remove the guesswork from the equation, we’ve compared the setlists of the last six gigs performed by most of the artists on the Splendour lineup to narrow down which bangers you’re most likely to hear come July. Take a look at what we found and get your Splendour timetables drafted up.

festival generic

Don’t expect the unexpected

If you’ve seen some of the bands on the Splendour lineup already, it’s likely that a few of the setlists might ring a bell. Out of the 56 artist’s setlists available on setlist.fm, our analysis showed that only 18 artists are likely to have completely unique setlists based on their most recent performances. As a result, there’s only a one in three chance that, at any given point during the festival, you’ll experience a unique set that hasn't been heard before. Two-thirds of the artists you’ll see at Splendour will likely be playing a mixed bag of songs from their most recent sets.

Who is most likely to play a repeated set?

To get the most out of your Splendour experience, planning how you’re going to spend each of the days and mapping out who you want to see is crucial. If you’ve seen some of the bands on the lineup, you might be able to divvy up your time more effectively if you skip some of the acts who are likely to repeat songs you’ve already heard live. So if you need to take a toilet break, plan to brave the drink lines or want to check out one of the other three stages at any point during Splendour, take note of the following:

  1. Spring Kings. Out of the bands on the Splendour lineup, UK’s post-punk Spring King’s last three recorded tours involved 64% repeated songs.
  2. At the Drive-in. Rock royalty At The Drive-In come up second with 63% of their songs appearing multiple times over their last three sets. Let’s face it, though, ATDI is a drawcard of the festival, so it’s unlikely that many Splendour punters will mind hearing some of those bangers again.
  3. Fat White Family. South London’s punk rockers Fat White Family came in at close third with 62% of their songs being recycled in previous sets.
  4. Matt Corby. Australia’s very own Matt Corby placed fourth with 61% of his most recent shows featuring repeats from previous sets. However, given his new album “Telluric” dropped this month, he’s likely to mix up the Splendour set with some new tunes.
  5. Låpsley. British songstress Låpsley is the fifth most likely artist to setlist-repeat on her Splendour stint. The 19 year old isn't someone we've had a lot of exposure to down under, though, so her setlist might be a first for most Aussie fans.


Who has the most unique setlists?

Now that you know the repeat offenders to look out for, here’s a list of the artists who are most likely to play fresh setlists at Splendour:

  • Ball Park Music
  • Lido
  • Years And Years
  • Plus
  • Flume
  • The Cure
  • James Blake
  • Sui Zhen
  • Courtney Barnett
  • Montaigne
  • Boy & Bear
  • Remi
  • Banoffee
  • Harts
  • Ngaiire
  • Sampa The Great
  • Snakehips
  • Twinsy
  • World Champion

Setlists under cover

Covers can help spice up a regurgitated setlist, but this doesn’t always work when bands flog their favourites over and over again. From our findings, some of the top repeated cover candidates include:

  • Boy & Bear. Indie rockers Boy & Bear come in with the highest reported number of repeated covers, having performed “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” by Hambone Willie Newbern a whopping 245 times in the past.
  • Mark Lanegan. America’s Mark Lanegan follow with the second highest number of repeated covers on the Splendour lineup, with 183 renditions of “Creeping Coastline of Lights” by Leaving Trains.
  • Tegan and Sara. Third up was indie pop’s identical twins Tegan and Sara, who have busted out “Feel it in My Bones” by Tiesto a reported 179 times during their careers.
  • James Blake. Fourth on the list was James Blake, who has covered “Limit to your love” by Feist a total of 129 times.
  • Band Of Horses. The US quintet rounds out the top 5, having played “Am I a Good Man” by Them Two 113 times.

You’re unlikely to hear any modern covers as well, with most Splendour artists proving to have a knack for nostalgia. It turns out that 54% of all songs covered by artists on the lineup were recorded before the millennium. 26% of these songs were even recorded before the 1980s – talk about ancient! Most songs won’t even be as recent as 2010 – our research showed that 69% of all covered music from our Splendour sweethearts was recorded over five years ago. So if Rihanna’s “Work” is on your hope-to-hear wishlist, you might be out of luck.

The songs you’re most likely to hear

Out of the biggest names on the lineup, the top five hits you’re bound to sing along to at Splendour include:

Artist Song Hear the song Buy a whole album
The Strokes ReptiliaSomeday

Last Nite

Machu Picchu

What Ever Happened?

The Cure Friday I’m In LoveJust Like Heaven

Boys Don’t Cry

Close To Me


Flume Drop the GameNever Be Like You

Smoke & Retribution

Holdin' On

What About Us

The Avalanches Frontier PsychiatristSince I Left You

Stalking To A Stranger



At The Drive-In One Armed ScissorNapoleon Solo


Metronome Arthritis

Proxima Centauri

Violent Soho Covered in ChromeLike Soda


How to taste

So Sentimental

Hermitude HyperParadiseThe Buzz



Through the Roof

Sigur Ros HoppípollaBrennisteinn




Santigold Disparate YouthCan’t Get Enough Of Myself

Chasing Shadows


Rendezvous Girl

Boy & Bear Southern SunFall At Your Feet

Feeding Line

Walk The Wire

Limit of Love



So there you have it: you don’t need that crystal ball to predict the songs you’ll hear over the Splendour long weekend. All that’s left to do is create a Spotify playlist, look up the lyrics and spend the next three months studying up!

Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is an editor at finder.com.au who is a credit cards and frequent flyer expert by day and music maven by night.

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