St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival Singapore

Article by Sharaf Momen

Though people say Singapore is boring and limited in what it can provide, thousands had the opportunity to experience the fire Laneway Festival has brought into the small country. Starting at a small Melbourne bar, the ember has managed to rage into flames on an international level. Now an annual music event, Laneway Festival marks a gateway for some of the citizens in Singapore to witness well known Australian Bands. Though mostly Indie music, audiences can have their share of electronic music, instrumental bands and many more.

So how does a teenager fit into the all the fireworks and energy that burns through the Laneway Festival?

As I witnessed a few teachers (they came too, of course) drinking their spiced rum (on the rocks), I could hear the whispers of many of the thirteen to eighteen year olds cheering for only the Internet, 1975 and Flume band. Not painting shame on anyone’s faces, but I was one of them too – in fact, I was not even aware of, what’s this so called “Flume”.

For most people, the day started, “not so great”, as quoted by Kinari Adiarni. I would not phrase it that way – it was utterly scorching. Shade was a rare resource and heat choked every bit of moisture we had off our skins. It had rained a while back, so the mud had pooled and it necessitated the strategic placement of wooden planks for people to walk over. Shoes were dirtied and tears were shed, as heard in Carrie Jade’s sobbed complains of how ‘the shoes she bought just for this day had already ‘died”. There were many in the crowd that decided to take a drastic change in outfit to fit the theme of the entire Laneway environment – hipster wear, caps, flower crowns, bright and loose clothing and more.

The pace was slow and tedious as daylight burned savagely, as the majority of the crowds were bored of performances by bands barely anyone knew. The heat and congested sensation from too many people made everyone enervated and ravenous, so if the food that were there were not present, many would resort to cannibalism and murder… The food and drinks included amazing cheese fries, meatballs, sushi, cranberry juice (which we were limited to because we were underage at that point) and several cocktails named after exotic countries. Though often reasonably priced, the sushi served as an excellent buffer for hunger at a reasonable price (surprisingly), and everyone enjoyed them on the emerald grass as boys, girls, women and men bursted into laughter and surprise seeing more familiar faces under the clouded pain of the merciless and soon to be dying sun.

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(Photo from the Official Laneway Festival)

In the absence of the sun, the Internet ignited the mostly younger crowd of inactive wicks that went hungry for a long awaited fire, as their music released an intense shock that forced the people to scream. It was like a ripple of noise that grew larger from the point of tension – Kyd herself, her voice sprouting energy and their own fireworks in invisible bursts, responded by cheers, whistles and female screams that had their own deafening ripple effect. It was rather difficult to stay stable in one area of the crowd and rude children (teenagers, but they act so) pushed past us to get to the front. I was one of them, but for a good purpose! (to write this article) We danced and screamed, our voices blending into the sea of noise, like salt dissolving in water until you see no more. Intensity rose and hype quaked the floors under our feet as we jumped with each drop in beat, solo, chorus. Hearts abandoned their rhythm of 80 beats per minute to keep up with the sudden pace in time and the skies turned black without us noticing, while stars decided to come cheer for 1975 as the Internet finished transitioned off the stage, fighting against the latched strings forged by the audience’s desire for an encore. The desire soon died as 1975 filled the quick void in our hearts, while shouts and words were thrown about. Skies turned and the world spun as time stopped when they performed “Girls”. Not only that, but they also happened to give a few main lyrics to the crowd off a song unheard off, which happened to show up on their latest album! So naturally, all their heart, blood and sweat would go into making their last song their best, and you can feel everybody’s soul slowly gravitating towards the stage, a rush of energy and excitement, almost visible under the panicking lights of burning red, green and blinding white.

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(Photo from the Official Laneway Festival)

The day started slow, but ended with exhilarating passion. The food was great;, drinks, I can’t make a fair comment. It was definitely an opportunity nobody could resist (although some unfortunate people did_, and everyone was granted the chance to celebrate under the waves of music and excitement pulsating from their favourite bands and artists. Starting at 10am and ending at 2am, it was natural that the exhilarating event was also tremendously enervating, but if it keeps you from regretting nothing, then they have done a good job. So well done Laneway Festival. You have done a great job.

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