8 quick tips: Laneway Music Festival in Singapore

Paul John Caña
8 quick tips: Laneway Music Festival in Singapore
Tips to get the most out of the Laneway experience. Will you be attending this year?

The Singapore leg of St. Jerome’s Laneway Music Festival will be held next year on January 24, 2015. It’s the 5th time the festival will be held in the Lion City. 

Around this time, music lovers are eagerly anticipating the announcement of the lineup for the region’s biggest indie music festival.

First held in Melbourne in 2004, Laneway has since expanded to different cities in Australia and New Zealand, including Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle and Auckland. In 2011, the festival traveled for the first time in Singapore.

Just a few of the artists who have graced the Laneway stage over the years include Sigur Ros, Architecture in Helsinki, Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons, Two Door Cinema Club, Foals, Feist, Alt-J, Of Monsters and Men, M83, Japandroids and Kings of Convenience. 

Earlier this year, acts that were on the bill in Singapore included Chvrches, Haim, Jezabels, Frightened Rabbit, Youth Lagoon, Kurt Vile and James Blake. For the first time, local Singaporean acts were added to the lineup.

The venue 

I have been going to Laneway in Singapore since 2012 and every year the experience gets better and better. The festival was initially held in Fort Canning, a sprawling park near the Singapore National Museum. 

Organizers have since relocated the proceedings to the Meadow near Gardens By The Bay, which is much bigger and certainly more picturesque, with the towers of the Marina Bay Sands in the background.

What to expect

Like any music festival, there are a few attendant discomforts at Laneway. It can get sizzling hot, especially since gates open at around noon. Conversely, there is always the possibility of rain. It can get pretty crowded. Food and drinks inside can get a bit pricey. 

And while organizers make sure everything runs smoothly on festival day, some unexpected changes can happen. It is always advisable to prepare for any eventuality.

A Laneway survival kit must include proper clothing (stylish but practical!) including comfortable footwear, a blanket or banig to spread out on the grass, extra batteries or power bank to charge your phone and cameras; extra cash for food and drinks; sunblock, sunglasses, perhaps a hat, and maybe even a foldable umbrella (in case the heat become unbearable).  

And of course, always bring with you a sense of fun and an openness to discover and experience something new.

How to get to the venue

The Meadow at Gardens By The Bay is very accessible. The easiest way to get there is to ride the MRT (it should cost you around SG $2.50) and get off at Bayfront. From there, follow the signs that will take you straight to the venue.

You won’t miss it especially since most of your fellow festival goers are on the way there that day. Just follow the mass of people and you’re all set. 

SUPER FANS. Audience members profess their love for Grammy-winning Gotye, who is behind the smash single 'Somebody That I Used To Know.' Photo by PJ Caña

Planning and positioning

In Laneways past, there has always been two stages. This lessens the waiting time between one act to the next as tech crews can set-up and do sound check on one stage while a band is playing on the other. During Laneway 2014 though, organizers added a third stage, which was about a five-minute walk away from the two main stages. While this was a good idea in principle, it made it a bit harder to see the bands you like if they were playing on separate stages. 

Organizers release the playing times of all the bands way in advance so you can plan where you want to be and make sure you get a good spot to see and hear your favorite artists. 

It might take a bit more effort, but it’ll be worth it so you can maximize the time you spend at the festival.

Food and drinks

There are numerous food concessionaires inside the festival grounds so there’s no worry that you’ll ever be hungry or thirsty. It would be advisable though, to load up on food before entering the festival grounds so theoretically, you only need to buy food once (maybe an early dinner) during the course of the show. 

You’re always free to buy though when the hunger pangs hit. Be warned that the lines can get pretty long (especially during lunch or dinner time), so be extra patient.

Toilets and washrooms 

There is no shortage of Portalets all around the venue. All are generally clean and well-maintained, so doing your business shouldn’t be a problem.

SPOTTED. The author with Eirik Glambek Bøe of Kings of Convenience

Keep your eyes open

From my experience, it’s not uncommon to see some of the artists wandering around the audience area before or after their set, so always be on the lookout. (Two years ago, I ran into Erik Bøe of Kings of Convenience and he was kind enough to pose for a quick photo).

Who knows, you might get to see your favorite band and get that coveted autograph and selfie. 

Have fun! 

Laneway is all about gathering some of the most talented indie bands active in the music scene today. You can watch one or two concerts, but nothing beats the experience of seeing all of these great artists play one after the other. It’s a priceless, almost transcendent experience, which is why I keep going back every year. I’m pretty sure next year won’t be an exception. – Rappler.com

The lineup of Laneway 2015 is scheduled to be revealed on Thursday, October 2. For more information, keep checking singapore.laneway.com


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