Q&A: Laneway Festival 2017 – Brisbane

Q&A: Laneway Festival 2017 – Brisbane

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Laneway Comics and Zines recently reached out to the Hot Chicks with Big Brains team to ask whether we’d like to be involved in their showcase at this year’s Laneway Festival in Brisbane. Before agreeing to take part, we wanted to ensure that the decision to hold the festival on the 26th of January was not one taken lightly. We went straight to the top, speaking with General Manager, Katie Stewart, about Laneway’s views on the date of the festival, overall safety on the day, and just how important and exciting it is that A. B. Original are this year’s MCs.

Bri and Anna are now looking forward to being a part of Laneway. They will be encouraging festival attendees to join them in writing letters to Malcolm Turnbull about the importance of changing the date, as well as repping Hot Chicks with Big Brains on the day.

Why is Laneway being held on the 26th in Brisbane this year?

It really all came down to boring logistics! We have 7 shows including Singapore and Auckland, so we brainstormed about 12 different scenarios for the 2017 run and this turned out to be the best for our acts who play across the three different countries. We need to avoid Chinese New Year in Singapore and take advantage of the Auckland Day Public Holiday to make the run of shows work.

We would have preferred not to have our show on January 26th and we fully support moving the public holiday to another date.

We’re stoked to hear that A. B. Original are the festival’s MCs, particularly because they’re outspoken, socially conscious, Indigenous artists. Can you tell us more about them, and how they help get across the message you’re hoping to convey?

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Image via musicfeeds.com.au

We’re really big fans of A.B. Original, they are one of the most exciting and important acts Australia has to offer. They’re the whole package really, incredible musicians creating an important dialogue around our country’s history and future, not to mention how humorous and switched on they are.

We know they’ll really engage the Laneway Festival audience during their set and also as MCs throughout the day. There is no set message we want them to convey, we’ve booked them to be themselves – there’s no script or guidelines.

Having them perform on January 26th at our Brisbane show will be a moment not to miss.

It’s going to be an emotional day but one we hope will help shine another spotlight on this crucial message – let’s change the date.

This year’s line-up is brilliant as ever. How important is it to you to keep things diverse and accessible to all?

Thank you! The overall line up has always been, and will always be, really important to Laneway Festival. We want to create a day where each punter can cram music into their day from gates open til close and experience a real range of unique artists.

We really value our festival’s culture and want the festival not only be accessible to everyone but also to be considered a safe space. Safety and respect for one another are two of our biggest priorities at the festival.

There’s a lot of talk in the media at the moment about safety at festivals, particularly of those who are female identifying. What measures are in place to ensure that everyone is kept safe during the festival?

We’ve been inspired by Camp Cope’s campaign #ittakesone and we want to create another platform to spread their message far and wide. We want to creative a positive message around promoting all punters to adopt a safe attitude when entering the festival environment.

We’ve created a hotline where patrons can report any unsafe behaviour and this goes directly to a festival staff member on the ground. They will then provide assistance with the issue, whether it be from a security, police or medical perspective. This hotline is 1800 LANEWAY and will be available at all Australian shows on event day.

We’re continuing to use the #ittakesone hashtag started by Camp Cope which embodies the phrase ‘It takes the behaviour of one person to ruin a show, but it also takes one person to stand up and make a difference.’ We’re also adding #musicforeveryone which we believe creates a positive slogan that promotes an all inclusive environment and reiterates the idea everyone should feel safe and respected while they are enjoying music.

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Image via facebook.com/campcopemusic

Any tips/advice for our readers who want to get the most out of their Laneway experience this year?

  • Consider the attitude you want to adopt on festival day as it will have an effect on your day and everyone else around you. You have the power to contribute to a culture of respect.
  • Protect yourself from the hash Australian summer elements – bring 50+ sunscreen, a hat, sensible shoes and clothing.
  • Keep hydrated, bring an empty water bottle (no glass) to refill throughout the day.
  • Download the App ahead of time (available to iOS and Android), the program planning function is excellent and really easy to use. There’s so much music to see!

Questions by Emma Kate Lewis

Answers by Katie Stewart, Laneway Festival General Manager

Featured Image via goldenerarecords.com.au 

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