Review: Laneway Festival | Melbourne | 28.01.17

Monday, January 30, 2017

It was sunshine, glitter and killer tunes all round on Saturday at Laneway Festival. It was finally Melbourne’s turn to show off Footscray to Victoria’s music lovers. 

First up, let’s get into the music: 

Local Acts did us proud
Australian music is in the best place it’s been in a very long time, and the festival had an array of local talent to show off. This included the otherworldly vocals of Tash Sultana, who is fresh from dominating this year's Hottest 100 countdown. Everyone's fave trio Camp Cope also dominated and brought energy by the bucketloads. I notice quite a few festival-goers rockin’ their Camp Cope gear, and it’s no wonder why, they’re about to take over the planet. 

Whitney were on another level
Chicago’s very own Whitney were my surprise act of the day. Though they sound magical on recording, their live set was aurally stunning. They’ve only been a band for approximately two years, but you wouldn’t know it, they come across pretty seasoned, and I can only imagine what they’re going be like in years to come. Some highlights from their set included 'No Matter Where We Go’, their cover of ‘Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You’ by Bob Dylan, and ‘No Woman’. 

The Future Classic stage owned 
It’s what the day needed, and whenever it felt like my energy levels were going down, all it took was a visit to the the Future Classic stage, and all was good in the world again. Baro was impressive early on, he’s style is what Australia hip hop has needed for a long time, and it’s great to see him doing well. Producer Clams Casino ignited the crowd with his beats and incredible production. My favourite from the stage was Mr. Carmack who brought his unique blend of jazz and trap. His mixes were intriguing and I could have listened to them for hours. Bonus points for him coming on early, I love the dedication. Local favourites Jagwar Ma closed out the stage in fine style. While most of the festival were at Tame Impala, those of use who were at Jagwar Ma were treated to the finest electronica has to offer. 

Here are my non-music observations from the day:

Glitter was everywhere
I didn’t catch any of the festivals over the New Year period, so the glitter pandemic is very new to me. I mean, I see glitter at most festivals, but what I saw on Saturday was a whole new level of glitter obsession. For a brief moment, I thought I was at Rainbow Serpent. We’re talking intense levels of glitter, not just a little under the eyes. Entire foreheads, chests and backs were rockin’ sparkles. Even when I sat down and put my hand on the grass; glitter would end up on my hands. You do you, and if it’s glitter that you want to use to express yourself, go for it.

Safety needs to be addressed
This was my first time attending Laneway in Melbourne, and though it was a great day and all, the set up of the Very West Stage (the main stage) was a bit of a concern. The narrow nature of the stage meant that you probably couldn’t catch Tame Impala if you were near the back (hence why I skipped them to catch Jagwar Ma instead), but that’s not the issue. The issue is that there are no exits, so crowds are crammed in a narrow manner, so if something goes down in the mosh, everyone is screwed, and the festival has a crowd crush situation on their hands. 

Pick up your damn trash 
Okay, I get it, you're in the mosh and you can throw your tinnie in the bin because the Dune Rats are on and you’re really feelin' it, mosh pits are immuned from this mini-rant. If you’re sitting at the back of stages or lounging around in grass areas, put your damn trash in the bin. I’m not joking. Get up, walk towards the clearly labelled bins, and discard your trash, it’s not brain science. I don’t want to hear the ‘but it’s a festival, the floor is our bin’ argument. By leaving your shit all over the ground, you’re creating hazards for others when it’s dark, plus no one else can sit there because you’ve covered it with your trash. I would like to see Laneway commit to a waste management scheme like I’ve seen at other festivals in Australia where punters get a free drink if they pick up a certain amount of cans. 

Written by Amy Smolcic

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