Splendour Festival 2023 - The Review

Once again Splendour Festival demonstrated why it's the premier music event in Nottingham

By Luke Seagrave | Published: Tue 1st Aug 2023


Saturday 22nd to Sunday 23rd July 2023
Wollaton Park, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG8 2AE, England MAP
W/e £92, £62 (youth) Day tickets - £61 - 17yrs +, 45.92 - 11-16 yrs.
Daily capacity: 25,000
Last updated: Thu 20th Jul 2023

Splendour Festival returned for two days to Wollaton Hall for its 15th year. Every year improving on the previous one. Thankfully 2023 was no exception. Boasting a lineup which caters for pop, rock, and everything in between. There is something for everyone. 

Just when you think that Splendour will be hard pushed to beat previous line-ups, they manage to boast a line up that had Madness returning to headline on the Saturday Night and for the Sunday night a true Britpop musical legend - Noel Gallagher with his band High Flying Birds as the headline act for Sunday night.   

Like any good event, its not all about the headliners (as great as they are live), whoever books the bands for Splendour clearly has an incredible skill of balancing the rest of the line up with current bands (DYLAN, Confidence Man, Rudimental) and nostalgic bands (Inspiral Carpets/Altered Images) and even a slice of Eurovision with Sam Ryder.  

Confidence Man - Splendour Festival 2023

In short, the bands are split in such a fashion that it would make it difficult having to choose just one day to attend.  Tickets for the event were priced at £61 for a general adult day ticket, and £10 per day parking. Great value for the plethora of bands on offer. My only criticism is that if punters are attending both days, maybe there should some discount on the ticket and parking. 


Once we had parked, we headed for the entrance/security checkpoint, and even though they were searching everyones bags, there was very little waiting time. At Splendour you are allowed to take food and drinks in provided they haven’t been opened before going into the arena. In effect you can bring enough in, so that you don’t have to pay for food and drink inside the arena. However, if you can’t be bothered to carry extra bags around with you, there are plenty of bars and food stalls to cater for most tastes. Although expect to pay the usual rates for festival food. As a quick example, I parted with £7 cash for a pint of lager and 15 pounds went on two bags of doughnuts and a coffee. To be fair they are usual festival prices.   

Upon arrival the heavens had opened up and the field was drenched, so we found a spot towards the back of the field with a nice view of the main stage and set up our camping chairs. Thankfully we had decided to believe the weather reports about the onslaught of rain and had brought appropriate clothing to try and cope with the vast quantities of rain. As you looked round the arena, thousands of umbrellas were on display from attendees trying to stay dry. 

Rainy Festival Site - Splendour Festival 2023

In terms of the music, due to the number of bands performing, it would mean you would have to miss the end of some of the bands to be able to catch every band that were split between the main stage (which was bigger this year) and the Confetti Stage (which was the size of last years main stage). However, Splendour also like to showcase up-and-coming talent on the courtyard stage, as well as having a comedy stage and another stage on the hill. 

Thankfully most of the bands I wanted to catch were split between the main stage and the Confetti Stage. 


Some of the highlights from this years event included Altered Images impressing the audience with their blast of nostalgia, vocalist Clare Grogan still has a powerful voice, and its hard to believe that they hit the charts in 1981, and have managed to still sound as vibrant today as they did over 40 years ago. Certainly, surprised a lot of people at how incredible they sounded.

Betty Boo brought a nice bit of fun to the proceedings with her non-offensive fun pop tunes. ‘Doin’ the Do” is always a pleasure to hear live, and despite the weather it got most of the crowd dancing. 

Betty Boo - Splendour Festival 2023

One of the bands that appeared to come to prove they are a tour de force when playing live was Rudimental, from their set opener ‘Give You Up’ this was an all-out assault on the senses. They even slipped in a cover of ‘Torn’.  One of their biggest hits ‘These days’ was performed during the main part of the set, which is always a brave move not to keep the big hit for the end. Thankfully this worked for Rudimental. Certainly, a band worth seeing live. 

DYLAN were able to capture the audiences attention with their well written rock songs. They have started to gain a lot of attention over the last year. Possibly because of their hectic tour schedule which started last year with their support slot on Ed Sheeran's tour. It is always great to see a band work their way up the ladder so to speak. 

Madness - well they are just the perfect headliners - fun, feel-good chart-topping hits. They didn’t disappoint. All of the fan favourites were included - ‘One Step Beyond’, ‘Baggy Trousers’, ‘Embarrassment’, ‘House of Fun’, ‘It Must be Love’ all included in the performance. 

Madness - Splendour Festival 2023

Sugababes appeared to be in good form, and its easy to forget how many great hits they have had such as ‘Freak Like Me’ and ‘Hole in the Head’ and ‘Round Round’, this just felt like greatest hits show, maybe they were trying to prove that they are back with a vengeance after such a long time away.  

Sam Ryder headlined the Confetti stage, and delivered exactly what people were expecting, great vocals, a feel-good show and admittedly a lot of the audience were only there to hear ‘SPACE MAN’ but hopefully Sam has done enough to convince them that he is a very talented singer/songwriter and not just a Eurovision finalist.


Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds brought the Sunday night to a close, opening with tracks from his new album ‘Council Skies’ - ‘Pretty Boy’ and ‘Council Skies’ sounded great, but sadly Noel will always have that shadow of Oasis hanging over him, and as good as his own material is, it is still the Oasis covers that he plays that get the biggest reaction from the crowd.  Noel generously included seven Oasis tracks in his setlist included ‘Going Nowhere’, ‘The Importance of being Idle’, ‘The Masterplan’, ‘Half the World Away’, ‘Little by Little’, ‘Live Forever’ and ending the night with ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’

How can anyone be disappointed with that?

Once again Splendour Festival demonstrated why it is the premier music event in Nottingham! Great fun, incredible music. Its easy to see why its still going strong, fingers crossed it will go on for at least another 15 years.

Check out our full photo gallery for all the photos.

Rudimental - Splendour Festival 2023

review by: Luke Seagrave

photos by: Luke Seagrave

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