Review: St Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2017


Laneway Festival started with a humble beginning in 2005, with a modest lineup of seven acts playing in Melbourne, Australia. Twelve years later, the show boasts 30 ensembles performing in Auckland, Singapore and multiple states of Australia.

A sweltering Auckland sun made a surprise appearance at Albert Park this year, with free water and sunblock being handed out by the dozens in the queue to get inside. Although the lines for everything appeared to be endless, the excitement and euphoria in the air certainly made up for that.

Four stages were set up among the chaos, pulling in hundreds of fans per show and easily attracting new audiences as well. Every performer was backed by a beautiful visual display, adding to the good vibes and offering even further enjoyment.

Norway star Aurora wows crowds at the Rotunda Stage. Photo: Glenn McConnell

Even when people were pushed up against the front barriers during shows, the smiles plastered on their faces proved that Laneway was providing a perfect environment for the day. Being among such enthusiastic supporters made you feel right at home, so much that sharing sweat with your neighbour in the mosh pit wasn’t such a big deal in the moment.

Numerous food stalls were scattered around the venue – a crowd favourite being Lord of the Fries, who make entirely vegetarian/vegan fast foods at a rather affordable price. There was no lack of choice when deciding what feasts were to be devoured in the moment.

All of the staff and organisers at Laneway this year were wonderful and polite. No matter what kind of uncalled for drunken abuse was thrown their way, it was handled very professionally, and those guilty were escorted out calmly. It was nothing out of the ordinary for an R18 event, but the calmness of it all did come as a shock.

Psychedelic gods Tame Impala put on an impressive show for Auckland. Photo: @lanewayfestnz

The highlight of the day-long madness was the last act from Australian psychedelic geniuses Tame Impala. The group is infamous for their glorious visuals and stage presence – which they did not fail to show on the night. Thousands came together to celebrate the successful day and to say goodbye to the band for now, as they are going on hiatus.

Screams and lyrics from the crowd echoed across Albert Park, drowning out the other three unfortunate acts that clashed with Tame Impala. Rainbow confetti was blasted through the masses as the night came to a close after hours of entertainment. Exhausted festival goers were seen dragging themselves home after the band’s timeless performance, which left an everlasting impression on Auckland’s Laneway attendees.

The choice of location this year was close to perfect, with just the right amount of space between stages and the number of stalls that were perfectly slotted in the gaps. In fact, the entire day was perfect and all those who didn’t get taken home via ambulance would not be reluctant to agree.

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