Laneway 2020 in Sydney took place in an upgraded venue from the previous year- making home in the Domain, Sydney with four stages and a whopping 26 acts across these, the 16+ festival caused quite a stir.
Starting the day with competition winners: 100, the heat didn’t keep people away. Opening the Garden Stage, the four-piece, Sydney band had a large crowd of people moshing at 12pm. Followed by crowd favourites- Spacey Jane, residents of the latest Triple J Hottest 100, their distinct style and notable lyrics created a large sing along by the thousands of people who headed into the festival early.
Oliver Tree’s stage presence, combined with iconic outfits and projections created roar in the heat, blessing the Park Stage. Festival goers on the barrier of the pit begged the security guards to be sprayed with the hose from the pit, due to the excessive heat. Heading across to the smaller stages of the festival- Pist Idiots, The Lazy Eyes and The Chats strummed away at the Future Classic Stage, gaining strong crowds of moshers.
Notable acts of the day included Tones and I, Hockey Dad, Ruel and King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard.
Opening her set with slow piano ballad- ‘Jimmy’, Toni Watson (Tones and I) shed a tear after the conclusion, before heading into Number 15 of the Hottest 100- ‘Never Seen The Rain’. Though we cannot completely identify what Toni was crying about, I believe that the overwhelming smiles and support from the crowd after being slandered over social media for her success may have had quite a large part in the tears.
Australian favourites- Hockey Dad, now accompanied by a bassist (initially just Guitar and Drums), brought out the best in the audiences. With some of the most iconic Australia-pub sing-alongs, no one was surprised when the audiences screamed the lyrics of ‘Join the Club’, ‘I Missed Out’ and ‘I Wanna Be Everybody’.
Quite possibly one of the most surprising acts of the day was young star- Ruel. Some may write him off for being a ‘poppy teen sweetheart’, but his talent, voice and stage presence claims all of that and so much more. Without a doubt, his set was one of the most energetic and refined sets of the day. In such a short time, Ruel has created an image for himself that embraces everything that Australia is missing- a true superstar.
Torrential rain began pouring throughout Ruel’s set, initially providing relief of the horrendous heat of the day, however, the rain began to pour heavier and heavier, with no relief. The crowds didn’t seem to mind for the first few hours, with the artists giving their performances an extra 10% of energy in each of their sets.
The talent of the acts didn’t stop throughout the day, with King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard giving their set so much more energy than almost any other act Australia has ever seen. With a whopping 7 members, including two very synchronised drummers. If there’s one act to check out- make it King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.
However, many didn’t last in the rain. Audiences began leaving after King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard’s set, before headliners. Unfortunately, these members of the crowd missed performances by Charli XCX, The 1975 and Earl Sweatshirt. Those who stayed, witnessed the strange, but wonderful performance of Matty Healy, lead singer of The 1975. After cancelling the Brisbane show the night before due to sickness, he staggered onto stage with an IV and Dusk Mask as a parody of sickness.
All-in-all, the weather caused large hardship for the audiences on the day. Going from overwhelming heat to some of the heaviest rain Sydney has seen in months. Those who embraced it can certainly say that it was Laneway Festival that will not be forgotten for many reasons.