Since taking over Caledonian Lane in Melbourne in 2004, the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, or just “Laneway” as it’s known to punters, has been on the cutting edge of Australian and International indie music. Laneway has since spread to Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Fremantle and now looks set to take over the world.
The ethos of Laneway is simple – amazing bands in innovative spaces. “Laneway” isn’t just a name, it perfectly describes the spaces the festival occupies. The Melbourne leg has changed locations a number of times but now makes its home on the banks of the Maribyrnong River at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. In Sydney, Laneway fits snuggly between the historic buildings of The Sydney College of Arts in Rozelle. In Brisbane the festival takes place in legendary Fortitude Valley, Adelaide plays host at Harts Mill in Port Adelaide and Fremantle is all about the West End.
But what makes the festival really special is the organisers’ knack for picking bands that are on the cusp of becoming huge and placing them in these unique, almost intimate environments. 2006 saw The Gossip play to the Sydney crowd. 2008 played host to Gotye and Feist. 2010 was all about Florence and the Machine and Mumford and Sons who had just taken out the triple j Hottest 100. And this year saw two of the year’s biggest bands, Of Monsters and Men and Alt-J, rocking out.
Mega music blog Pitchfork have described Laneway as “Australia’s most insurgent and unique pop music event” and the festival truly is the epitome of the Australian indie-music experience. So it’s only right that we should be exporting it to the world.
In 2010, a year after Laneway made its first trip overseas with an Auckland leg, the festival landed with a bang in Singapore. Not known for its love of indie-music, the South East Asian city-state embraced the Australian musical invasion and Laneway has since become a staple on the cultural calendar. Expedia’s Aussie travellers spend 3-4 nights in Singapore – plenty of time to fit in a festival along with the sightseeing.