Summer has been unfashionably late this year, but at least it showed up in time for St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Sydney. Held at Sydney’s College of the Arts, the various stages are set in different corners of the campus and the buildings provide a visually interesting backdrop, as well as some highly prized shade.
The gates open at 11:30am, but most of the crowd doesn’t straggle in till after 1pm. Once all the ticket holders have appeared though, it’s evident that Laneway is a festival for the hipsters. It’s quite probable that all of Surry Hills has attended, leaving their ‘vintage’ televisions and spare pair of skinny jeans unguarded in their share townhouses.
To the crowd’s credit, there appear to be no drunken acts of aggression. Everyone has come with the communal mindset of dancing to their favourite tunes and discovering a few new ones. Of course at $8 for a mid-strength beer, getting overly intoxicated is really only an option for the more affluent punters.
The bands have all come ready to rock or slow dance as the case may be. No act disappoints, although production is delayed throughout the day on one of the stages. DZ DEATHRAYS were definitely a standout, as were M83 and The Horrors, whose stage presence is fascinatingly eerie.
Overall, Laneway was a smooth and peaceful day, blessed by the weather gods and an exciting mix of acts. Even if you weren’t too familiar with the line-up, Laneway provides the perfect opportunity to find out what these bands are about, and there’s really no substitute for live music.
Here’s to Laneway 2013… Don’t forget your ironically cool spectacles.