Sydney's Laneway Festival Will Move to a New Inner City Location Next Year
The 2020 festival will be held in The Domain.
If you're a fan of live music and live in Sydney, chances are you've found yourself at Laneway Festival at some stage over the past decade or so. Since it outgrew its CBD digs in 2010, the fest has taken over the nooks and crannies of Rozelle's Sydney College of the Arts for one (usually scorching) day each summer — filling them with artists and bands as varying as Florence + The Machine, alt-J, St Vincent, Tame Impala and Earl Sweatshirt. But next year things will change, with organisers announcing that the 2020 festival will be held at The Domain.
In a statement released today, Laneway Festival's promoters confirmed that they have "decided that it was time to move back into the city" after "ten amazing years".
The upshot of the move, according to organisers, is that it will allow the festival to have bigger stages and better sound, and will get rid of the end-of-set bottlenecks that come part and parcel of holding the festival at the College of the Arts and Callan Park. It will also be way more accessible by public transport, being close to trains, buses and ferries, as opposed to the current site, which can only be accessed by bus. We're hoping it will also mean it will be free from strict noise curfews that have seen sets cut short in the past.
The news comes after Laneway was named as one of 14 'high risk' festivals by the NSW Government earlier this year, requiring the festival to adhere to strict (and highly criticised) new licensing rules in 2020. These regulation amendments are the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, but it's unclear if this — or the status of the site, which has now been vacated by the University of Sydney — has anything to do with the decision to move.
The change in location will no doubt affect the vibe of the festival in some way. While the festival underwent a big shift when it moved from its CBD location to the College of the Arts, it was still able to retain its laneway feel due to the unique layout of the site that saw the main stage supplemented with smaller ones tucked between buildings and in courtyards. It will be interesting to see how (and if) the organisers recreate this intimacy in The Domain.
With a heap of festivals being cancelled this year, we're relieved to know Laneway has found a new home. Further details and, most importantly, the lineup for the 2020 festival are set to be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
Image: Maclay Heriot.
Published on September 10, 2019 by Lauren Vadnjal