Intimate performances from Jack Garratt and The Preatures help kick off a week of Splendour sideshows in Sydney

The end of July is always one of the most exciting times to be a music fan in Sydney, thanks to the onslaught of sideshows the city receives from the Splendour in the Grass Festival in Byron Bay. This year kicked off a little earlier than usual on Tuesday, with the festival officially starting tomorrow. And among a slew of official sideshows, have been secret, intimate showcases around the city.

Jack Garratt, who performs a sold out show at the Metro tonight, helped launch the Splendour season on Tuesday, delivering a five track set to an industry crowd at the Roslyn Packer Theatre just hours after landing in the country. The one-man live machine impressed with a selection of tracks off of his breakthrough debut album, Phase, including hit songs “Weathered” and “Worry”.

Last night, two Australian acts playing Splendour also dropped some surprise, intimate performances. Jagwar Ma played the Civic Underground with Wild Champion and The Preatures played the Oxford Circus, supported by Hair Die and Wild Honey. For The Preatures, it was a show that was acting both as a warm up for their Splendour set on Sunday as well as being a farewell hometown gig for their band mate Gideon Bensen, who is leaving the group to focus on his solo career after their Sunday festival set. The band teased new tracks from their upcoming album during the night – which Bensen does not feature on – alongside “old” favourites and a few classic covers, such as The Divinyls “Boys in Town”.

Naturally, word spreads fast in this city and all events played to capacity crowds.

Splendour in the Grass kicks off tomorrow. For details on it and all the official sideshows head to http://www.splendourinthegrass.com/