Danny Rogers: How Laneway Is Combating The Festival Market

13 January 2012 | 9:19 pm | Scott Fitzsimons

One of Australia's leading boutique festivals, Laneway is set to kick off Saturday 28 January in Brisbane before making its way around the rest of the country and to Auckland and Singapore.

Despite the fact that, uncharacteristically, tickets are still available for every date Rogers told Your Daily SPA today that at the moment, “The vibe of the festival is phenomenal.”

With a reputation for blooding emerging festival acts, Rogers – who didn't shy away from the fact that everyone knows it's been a tough year – believes that this year's program is a “Pretty eclectic line-up. A lot of the acts are starting to get a hold in the Australian psyche.

“The favourite thing for me about putting on the festival is the programming… We've tried to build a reputation for having new and exciting artists.”

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Rogers, who's lived in London for the past four years, prides himself on being able to pluck bands from relative obscurity (“beyond NME” he calls it) for the festival, a tactic he hopes punters will recognise in the constricted market.

He is, however, aware of being too underground and alienating the festival's attendees. “I don't want to get too smart for myself and have bands that are worth 40 tickets… some are already there but not the whole way through!”

As far as ticket sales are concerned, Adelaide and Perth need a “push along to get them home” but Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney are strong and the international dates, Auckland and Singapore, have almost sold out.

The first Australian festival to move into the Asian market, Rogers says it's been a highly succesful venture so far.

“It took a while to get it off the ground, we started by running branded events… I didn't really have a sense of what would happen. I had this fantasy of eating noodles watching bands, something to tell the kids. But it was great, press came from all over Asia and the feel was that it was something new and exciting.

“Singapore is English speaking and you think it's going to be Western – and it is Western – but there's the underlying Asian culture and it's really interesting putting on an event where you're still getting to know the culture of the city.”

Danny Rogers's three favourite bands on the line-up

Twin Shadow
“The depth in the songwriting both musically and lyrically for a debut is quite extraordinary. When this album came out 15 months ago I was deeply, deeply in love wtih it annd it remains high on my list of albums of the past five years. Live they've gotten really great. At the Laneway-curated stage at Field Day in London this year they were a definite highlight.”


“When I heard California I simply lost my shit. Wow, what a song. The intensity and darkness and hope in EMA makes her one of the most compelling underground artists to emerge over the past year.”


“Girls were all hype and buzz a few years ago and I admire the way they made no illusions moving forward to being a band that should be taken very seriously. The songs are honest, raw and heartfelt. They write pop tunes for people that are skewered behind rubbish bins on the other side of town. They hit you in the heart because songs like Alex, Vomit and Ma just break your heart into a million pieces. And they are amazing live.”

He admits that the above three are perhaps not his absolutely favourite three bands on the line-up, but he “just always go[es] back to those albums” and thinks they're three that “people will come out of the festival really excited about.”

In December Laneway introduced fans to the women of the festival.