The Guardian festival blog: Laneway festival review – more Big Day Out than boutique, but talent still shines through | Culture

With its bloated lineups and flag-wearing clientele, the multi-city Big Day Out (BDO) was long seen as the king of the Australian festival scene. In its final years the festival waned in popularity, its splintered audiences instead opting to attend smaller boutique festivals that were springing up in its wake.

St Jerome’s Laneway festival was a small operation that sprung from the lanes of Melbourne. It could afford to book left-of-centre acts due to low operational costs and a minuscule capacity. The festival became beloved for lineups including acts like Deerhunter alongside buzzy newcomers. As it grew into larger venues and national tours, Laneway didn’t lose its reputation as a taste-making event.

But in 2019, the pendulum seems to have swung curiously back to the BDO-style superfestival. Stepping into the new site of Footscray Park for Laneway’s 15th Melbourne iteration, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d been…


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Straight from The Guardian
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