Laneway bound for Al­bert Park

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - STAFF RE­PORTER

St Jerome’s Laneway fes­ti­val is des­tined for Auck­land’s Al­bert Park, fes­ti­val pro­mot­ers con­firmed on Thurs­day.

De­scribed as ‘‘a dream lo­ca­tion’’ the one-day In­die mu­sic event will kick off in the heart of Auck­land city, with the Univer­sity of Auck­land and CBD a mere stone’s throw away.

Or­gan­is­ers said that the new space, de­scribed as Al­bert Park Precinct, was their orig­i­nal lo­ca­tion of choice, back in 2010 when the fes­ti­val launched in Auck­land’s Brit­o­mart.

‘‘Nine years ago, the coun­cil made it pretty clear (it wasn’t go­ing to hap­pen in Al­bert Part), but I think Laneway has be­come a more se­ri­ous en­tity,’’ fes­ti­val co-pro­moter Mark Knee­bone said.

‘‘There are about 4500 peo­ple that travel from out of town to the fes­ti­val, I don’t think they wanted it mov­ing to an­other city. It’s be­come a cul­tural land­mark for Auck­land,’’ he said.

For the past four con­sec­u­tive years, Laneway has been held in Silo Park, Wyn­yard Quar­ter, how­ever pro­mot­ers said the fes­ti­val sim­ply ‘‘out­grew’’ the space.

‘‘Laneway Fes­ti­val is as much about the en­vi­ron­ment as it is about the mu­sic and this new site al­lows us to de­liver ev­ery­thing we know our guests need for a great fes­ti­val ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ Knee­bone said.

The in­ner-city park, that will be ac­cessed by pun­ters on Jan­uary 30 via Princes St, will house four in­di­vid­ual stages.

‘‘It’s not go­ing to ef­fect Queen St at all,’’ he said. ‘‘The only street that will be closed is Princes St. I think the way we’ve de­signed the fes­ti­val means there will be min­i­mal dis­rup­tion.

‘‘The Univer­sity of Auck­land, and the Auck­land Art Gallery and other sur­round­ing busi­nesses have been fan­tas­tic. The Univer­sity wanted to be re­as­sured that stu­dents will have an un­in­ter­rupted day, the univer­sity will re­main open. Ob­vi­ously, there won’t be any lec­tures on the pub­lic hol­i­day.’’

Aside from pro­vid­ing mu­sic lovers with plenty more room to groove, the new site of­fers Laneway pun­ters a ‘‘big­ger range of be­spoke food and bar op­tions, and of course the abun­dant grass and shade that Al­bert Park of­fers.’’

‘‘The new site is 70 per cent big­ger. But de­spite the in­crease and for com­fort’s sake, we are keep­ing the crowd ca­pac­ity the same,’’ he said.

In Jan­uary, the event played host to 12,000 fes­ti­val-go­ers. Laneway Fes­ti­val will be on Auck­land An­niver­sary Day, Mon­day Jan­uary 30, 2017.

‘‘The new site is 70 per cent big­ger’’

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