St. Jerome's Laneway Festival 2017

Refused performing at Laneway - Photos by Mark Derricutt

Refused performing at Laneway - Photos by Mark Derricutt

By Poppy Tohill

Date / Venue: Monday January 30th, 2017 - Albert Park, Auckland

Dear Laneway,    

We’re just going to come right out and say it - You nailed it and we’re quite possibly (100%) in love with your new home of Albert Park, so congratulations on a raging success.

With the festivals new home significantly offering punters more space, shade and grass which hundreds happily embraced as they sprawled their blankets under the trees, claiming the best spot away from the basking hot sun that was also there to join in on the musical festivities, the layout of the site and stages also deserve to be highly commended.

While there were a few minor issues with sound here and there, the lines for the toilets, bars and food proved very manageable and as for the scheduling of artists, job well done.

Which brings us to talk about the unarguable reason 12,000 punters were there - the music.

The Laneway experience always tends to come with the discovery of new artists, at least for most people I know. The festival seems to pride itself on showcasing a range of performers generally in the early stages of their careers, that are 'the ones to watch,’ if you will and again they seemed to stay true to this algorithm with the likes of Aurora, Julia Jacklin and White Lung, a few personal favourites we will be following very closely from now on.

Although the crowd considerably increased in size as the likes of Whitney, Bob Moses and Aurora took to the stage, the earlier female-powered line up of kiwi favourites Fazerdaze, Purple Pilgrims and Australian darling Julia Jacklin still managed to pull the incredibly decent sized crowds they so thoroughly deserved.

A sea of people stretched along the street from the Thunderdome stage for Whitney, Cut Off Your Hands and Bob Moses, while it seemed almost the entire 12,000 strong crowd circulated the Rotunda stage as Aurora despite a few minor sound issues, eventually took to the stage, rewarding her fans with the performance of the day, in our books.

Whilst sadly impossible to catch every single bill on the act, the proximity of the stages made for a great way to capture at least one song from those you were missing, in passing, as you made your way to whoever was next on the hit list.

2017 wasn’t a let down on the fashion front either it seemed, as the denim overalls, colourful short-shorts, flowing sparkly dresses, baggy shirts and singlets were out in full force amongst the glittered faces and aviator sunglasses completing the beloved summer festival vibe.

On another note, Laneway will be patting themselves on the back for the later addition of King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard to the line up - the mind-melting psychedelic seven piece wowing a large crowd and gaining themselves a good portion of new fans amongst the already-converted, if the hyperactive energy radiating from the large mosh-pit was anything to go by.

As the night progressed the number of stupidly intoxicated people was applaudably low, as everyone held themselves mostly together with the ever-growing excitement for Tame Impala - “the act that everybody here wants to see,” one punter kindly explained.

Closing the night off in style, the psychedelic pop group who recently announced they’re going on an indefinite hiatus from touring, put on a spectacular performance for the largest crowd of the night who enjoyed multiple bursts of confetti throughout the crowd-pleasing favourites ‘Let It Happen’ and ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.’

In conclusion? Whether or not the you were there to see as many bands as possible or just to enjoy a day in the sun, surrounded by good tunes and people, or perhaps to do a combination of all of the above whilst checking out the festival’s new home, we think Albert Park was the real winner of the day.

Now please excuse us while we deal with this Laneway Festival comedown…

 It’s not too early to start the countdown to next year is it?