A review: St Jerome's Laneway Festival

How is this for an ideal day? A lunchtime laying it down with The Rubens, early afternoon drinking in Of Monsters and Men’s mountain sounds, an evening riding an awesome wave with alt-J, getting free to Flume and soaking up all the gold of Bat For Lashes? Once again, St Jerome’s Laneway Festival has pulled out a line up whose brilliance is much more obvious than this confusing attempt to turn their lyrics into verbs.

Laneway has come a long way since a couple of dudes in Melbourne decided back in 2004 that alleyways could do much more than host stinky bins and illegal activities. The guys crammed hundreds of hipsters into Caledonian Lane, slapped The Presets onto some decks, and instantly won hearts. And while this ever-growing festival may now be more appropriately named Hugeopenspaceway, it has still managed to retain its alternative edge, offering music lovers a mixed bag of lesser known up-and-coming acts as well as some solid Indie favourites.

Kicking off in Brisbane and Sydney early February 2013 after shows in Singapore and Auckland, St Jerome’s Laneway Festival is heading to the lucky cities of Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth in the weeks to follow. A  clear favourite in the 2013 line-up is UK band alt-J, whose album is currently amongst the top 20 most streamed on Spotify (just after  the Beibs, how awkward). They had the crowd at the Sydney festival tessellating like it was the World Tetris Championships and everybody was a winner. I’m still not entirely sure how one tessellates, but when Indie royalty in the ranks of alt-J suggests to a crowd, ‘let’s tessellate’, no-one is going to say no. The festival has also developed a bit of a reputation for opening the doors to breakout acts: check out the bets on the line-up’s 5 international and 5 Australian breakout acts here.

The festival also serves as a smorgasbord for people watchers. If you get a kick out of double denim, highlighted hair and all manner of Indie ensembles, then polish your lenses and get yourself to a conveniently-positioned hill at your nearest Laneway festival. Not only are these festival goers rather easy on the eyes, but they are generally known for being more chilled than your stereotypical music festival attendee. A slightly smaller than average festival means less risk of a sweaty armpit to the face in an overly-cramped mosh pit, and more happy swaying along to tunes in grassy fields. Any festival with a decreased risk of contact between the sweaty armpits of strangers and your face, is a good festival in my books.