Thumbs Up For New Laneway NZ Venue

It took Australia’s Laneway Festival 2.5 years to get permission from Auckland Council to stage its New Zealand show at Albert Park. But after being staged for the first time Jan. 30, promoters and punters agreed the wait was worth it.

– Albert Park
New Zealand. Site of the country

“Albert Park’s trees were the real star of Laneway,” said one review. Albert Park, 3 kilometers from the city centre, is its fourth site since expanding to New Zealand eight years ago. Its last home, at the industrial Silo Park on the waterfront, was criticised for being too cramped and noise issues due to the novelty of the stage being in a silo.

Albert Park, which is 50 percent larger although the crowd remained capped at 12,000, meant the four stages could be set far apart without noise spillage issues.

Hundreds of native trees provided shade for the punters, another previous criticism. “Laneway Festival is as much about the environment as it is about the music,” said NZ co-promoter Mark Kneebone, who added that

“It’s harder to stage but the experience is overwhelming.” The festival will stay at the location for five years.

This year’s 30-strong bill, headlined by Australia’s Tame Impala before the Perth-based band goes on a lengthy hiatus, included its usual mix of established and new acts from the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Sweden and Norway. Artists included White Lung, Whitney, Car Seat Headrest, Cut Off Your Hands, Nick Murphy (formerly Chet Faker), Refused, The Veils and Alabama rapper Mick Jenkins who stepped in at the last minute for