Who could have guessed that the humble beginnings of the Laneway Festival, as a alleyway party in 2004, would have grown into one of the most popular summer festivals in Australia, spreading to seven cities in three countries, and now, we can add America to that list as its set to expand.
Co-founders and promoters, Danny Rogers and Jerome Borazio, were excited to announce the expansion to America earlier this month, and at SXSW last week, it was announced that the location of the North American Laneway will be Detroit, Michigan, to launch for the first time this September.
Rogers and Borazio stated that Detroit was ideal for Laneway because of “its unbelievably dynamic musical past and present – [it] is the perfect location for our first foray into North America.” Detroit is the home of Motown, The White Stripes, and who could forget KISS’ song ‘Detroit Rock City’? All these things come together to cement Detroit as a hive of great music, and Rogers and Borazio are hoping that Laneway will soon be cemented as a part of that reputation.
The move into the American market is the next step in the founders’ vision for the boutique indie festival, following the expansions to New Zealand in 2010 and Singapore in 2011 which were met with convincing success.
The festival is being co-promoted by American companies Palace Sports & Entertainment and Paradigm Talent Agency for its North American entry. With the help of these established companies the focus is to “bring great music to our fans and we knew we had to bring that to Detroit,” said Lucinda Treat, Palace Sports & Entertainment’s executive vice president for Business Operations and Strategy.
“With our venues and resources, we know the Laneway Festival Detroit will continue to maintain the standard Laneway fans the world over expect,” she added.“Detroit – with its unbelievably dynamic musfical past and present – is the perfect location for our first foray into North America.” – Danny Rogers, Laneway Festival
The Detroit event is set to be held at the Meadowbrook Music Festival venue, a beautiful stage in Rochester Hill, Michigan, that seems to hold some of the essence of the original laneway beginnings of the festival. The outdoor stage will play host to Kendrick Lamar, Of Monsters and Men, O.A.R. and fun. over the next few months, and already looks to be the ideal setting for Laneway Festival Detroit.
“We’re also really looking forward to getting behind Australasian artists and helping them continue the amazing run of success Aussie acts have had in the States recently,” say Rogers and Borazio.
The Laneway organisers have already been putting in the effort to support Australian music on a global scale, in particular trying to help perpetuate the presence of Aussie music in America. This can be seen in American successes like Gotye, Kimbra, and Tame Impala, who were special additions to the Singapore Laneway lineup last year.
Laneway’s SXSW event that saw the announcement of the Detroit expansion of the festival, also featured performances from Flume, Alpine and Vance Joy, which could be a hint that these artists will join the Detroit leg later this year.
The press release for the Detroit announcement rightly stated that Laneway Festival is “renowned for its for its forward-thinking, adventurous line-ups and inspired metropolitan locations”. It has previously hosted Feist, Mumford & Sons, Florence + the Machine, Tame Impala, The xx, and M83.
This year’s tour, with the inclusion of MS MR, Cloud Nothings, Alt-J, and Bat For Lashes, marked another successful year, with our Tone Deaf review of the Melbourne Laneway saying it is “fast becoming the most enviable date on the summer festival calendar.” And now that incomparable Laneway goodness will be brought to America too.
We can only wait to see what the Detroit Laneway will boast as its lineup, the announcement is set to be released sometime in America’s spring, our autumn. So let the speculation begin, fingers crossed that the SXSW appearances of Flume, Alpine, and Vance Joy are a teaser for what can be expected with the initial lineup announcement this September.