Image for 10 Reasons Why Laneway Festival Is Going To Be The Highlight Of Your SummerLaneway 2017 Brisbane / Photo: Rebecca Reid

10 Reasons Why Laneway Festival Is Going To Be The Highlight Of Your Summer

Written by Michael Carr on November 7, 2017

Since its humble beginnings in 2004, Laneway Festival has grown into one the most well respected and religiously attended events in the Australian festival scene. Having long since outgrown its birthplace of St Jerome’s Laneway in Melbourne, the festival has transformed into a touring event, the organisers even taking the brand beyond our borders to Singapore and New Zealand.

And so with Laneway Festival 2018 fast approaching we run through a list of 10 Reasons Why Laneway Is Going To Be The Highlight Of Your Summer

Gotta Love That Boutique Festival Atmosphere

Laneway was pretty much the leader of the boutique festival charge here in this country, and while it’s grown into one of the biggest music events of the year, it’s still managed to keep a boutique festival vibe, not least by finding unique and charming locations such as Sydney College Of The Arts And Callan Park and Fremantle’s Esplanade Reserve. Add to this a carefully curated lineup that tends to draw the most musically well-informed crowds and you’ve got a big part of the recipe for the festival’s enduring success.

The Mad Crew Of Exclusive Acts Including Bonobo, The Internet and more

Of the number of choice acts playing exclusively as part of the festival, I’m most excited about Bonobo and The Internet. The former of course has become one of the most well recognised names in mellow dancey electronica over the past ten years of his career, while the latter are one of the most exciting offshoots from the Odd Future enclave, with singer Sid Tha Kid starting out as a DJ with the crew before setting out on her own mature and sensual RnB direction with The Internet. BADBADNOTGOOD, ODESZA and Wolf Alice are all also only appearing at the festival, making this one of the hottest tickets in town.

Father John Misty

From dropping acid at a Taylor Swift concert (sort of) to really pissing off Ryan Adams, Father John Misty is an enigmatic figure, to say the least. And he just so happens to write some of the most bitingly insightful lyrics of the last decade or so. And even if he does come off as a bit of, to paraphrase Adams: a pompous ass, when you’re dropping truth bombs like this guy you can afford to be a little arrogant. It kind of adds to the mystique.

Like, Everyone Is Gonna Be There

I don’t know about you, but every time I’ve been to Laneway – even in other cities – I end up spending about as much time talking to friends I’ve run into as I do making new friends in the crowd. The combination of the meticulously programmed lineup attracting like-minded people and the up close and personal nature of the festival locations makes for a highly sociable experience. And with what is lowkey one of the more attractive crowds in the Australian festival scene, Laneway is already a great time before the music even comes into it.

All The Great Local Acts

From Alex Cameron to Miss Blanks, Laneway 2018 is bringing its A-game when it comes to great local talent. Alongside the aforementioned twisted troubadour and hip-hop boss, the festival also boasts the likes of City Calm Down, Amy Shark, KLLO, Cable Ties and more. Laneway has always made a habit of supporting great local talent, getting in on the bottom floor with acts like Tame Impala and Eddy Current Suppression Ring.

You’ll Probably Discover Your New Favourite Band Just Before They Explode.

Along with supporting emerging local talent, Laneway also has a reputation for finding the best new acts from around the world and booking them just before the break it big, from aforementioned local heroes like Tame Impala to The XX and even returning festival favourites from 2016 The Internet, Laneway has broken a slew of great artists here in Australia and 2018 seems likely to continue that tradition with the likes of Dream Wife and New Zealand’s own Aldous Harding looking set to have massive years in 2018.

The Fans

As mentioned earlier, another defining characteristic of Laneway has been its almost dickhead-proof lineups. I say almost because unfortunately dickheads are just unavoidable, especially as it’s subjective and so you’re likely to be a dickhead to someone else – I know I sure as hell am. But moral relativism aside, Laneway’s history of programming diverse acts across a wide range of genres, styles and levels of popularity, as well as eschewing the idea of a headliner to instead focus on the lineup as whole has meant you tend not to get the roided up disco biscuit munching crowd and thus makes it the ideal for those of us looking to escape the fluoro and southern cross tattoos while still having a taste of the festival experience.

Most Other Festivals Are Out Of Business

Not to discount the great work Laneway has done over the last 14 years, but they have pulled one hell of a Bradbury, with pretty much all the major competitors in the touring festival market – from Big Day Out and Soundwave to Stereosonic and Future Music – having shut up shop in the past five years or so. Still, as they say in the world of high calibre music events, it’s survival of the fittest… oh wait that’s evolution, but whatever, it still applies.

You Might See Mac Demarco’s Ass

While he has gone to great lengths to make clear he doesn’t make a habit of getting his dick out during a show unless it’s going really bad –  taking “when when in doubt whip it out” to its artistic conclusion – the fact remains that Mac does like to get his kit off, especially in Australia. Even more so if serial exhibitionist Kirin J Callinan is around to egg him on. Plus it’ll be summer and – excuse the pun – hot as balls, so there is a good chance that he’ll be stripping off at least ~some~ clothes. He’ll be playing music too if that’s important to you.

You Can’t Afford A House And The World Might End Any Day Now

Between the cost of living in Australia and the geopolitical situation, it can be hard to find any silver lining to the storm clouds of modernity (rest hand on chin in thinker pose). Continuing the time-honoured tradition of using live music and celebration as a salve on the wounds of everyday life, what better way to forget the crippling existential dread of the 21st Century than a music festival? And with Laneway coming up on their 14th year in 2018, you can be sure that the folks throwing it know how to put on the kind of party to make you smile and laugh in the face of financial enslavement, climate collapse and nuclear apocalypse.

Laneway Festival 2018
Tickets on sale now

Friday, 2nd February
Hart’s Mill, Adelaide (16+)
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 3rd February
Footscray Community Arts Centra And The River’s Edge, Melbourne
Tickets: Official Website

Sunday, 4th February
Sydney College Of The Arts And Callan Park, Sydney*
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 10th February
Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane (16+)
Tickets: Official Website

Sunday, 11th February
Esplenade Reserve And West End, Fremantle
Tickets: Official Website

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