The skies cleared to make way for what was arguably the annual Laneway Festival’s most subdued, yet genre-bending line up of artists yet. We take you through the highlights of the event’s eighth edition on our shores.
R&B and hip-hop reigned supreme at Laneway Festival Singapore 2018. And it was a long time coming for ardent fans of the genres, considering Laneway’s previous focus on acts ranging from the hard-hitting Japandroids, electronic Flume to even mainstream radio-hitters The 1975. While this year still saw a mixed bag of rising indie names alongside industry veterans, it was acts like Loyle Carner, The Internet and Anderson .Paak that drew the loudest crowds with their hard beats and smooth jams.
The Show Must Go On
Even with a technical glitch right as Anderson .Paak took the stage threatened to put a damp in spirits, the rapper and his backing band The Free Nationals bounced back swiftly and launched into crowd favourites like ‘Heart Don’t Stand A Chance’ and ‘Am I Wrong’ off his stellar album Malibu. His on-stage comeback elicited cheers from many, who were clearly present to catch the buzz-worthy act.
Besides the festival blessing the 10,000-strong turnout with non-stop tunes throughout the day, the weather was also surprisingly clear despite dark, looming clouds and a scatter of drizzle that passed as quickly as it came in the evening. Considering the wet weather conditions of both last year and the festival’s first inception – that many dubbed “Rainway” – the disposition of everyone were firmly kept as sunny as the skies with every other act performing without delays or a hitch.
Earlier in the day, early birds who joined in the festivities since noon were rewarded with thrilling performances to set the day off on a right note. Australian songstress Amy Shark, fresh off her overwhelming acclaim in her home country, dazzled the crowd with her laid-back pop tunes. Regional pride was also represented, with Indonesian shoegaze outfit HEALS and Malaysia’s pop prodigy alextbh kickstarting things off across the various stages. Kudos to the organisers for also not segregating local acts to a designated stage and slotting them on the main stages as well, with Obedient Wives Club making their anticipated live comeback on the Garden Stage.
Music’s next-big-thing Billie Eilish was met with the warmest reception from the younger audiences, as the predominantly teen attendees flocked to her set with their phones high up in the air. Decked in an oversized sports attire, the sharp-tongued wunderkind proved her mettle as an artist with her addictive tracks including Bellyache’ and ‘Ocean Eyes’. If it’s not enough a sign that bigger things are to come from the young talent, our previous interview with her will further prove that sentiment.
The Full Monty
What’s a music fest without other complementary highlights? Elsewhere, a visit to the H&M booth saw patrons scoring free makeup products by playing an interactive game. The Strongbow booth was decked out with beds to lie on while sipping on ciders. You could even craft your own fragrance at the Ooh La Lab pop-up space!
But this year also saw reduced lines for F&B, thanks to the seamless incorporation of Uber Eats. A bevy of gastronomical fare lined the Uber Eats Village, which was fully decorated with Instagram-worthy structures and sufficient seating, and was only made better by having the option of ordering from a wide array of options from the phone, and having it delivered to one of three collection points. This dismissed the need for queuing and waiting around, which allowed for greater space in the food village and for many to enjoy the music until their food was notified to have arrived for collection. We’re all for new innovative ways that concert-goers experience a festival, especially when it’s one as effective as this!
With Laneway’s steady evolution in terms of line-up picks, crowd service and accessibility to a fully immersive experience (did we mention there was a super cool Meet and Greet booth too?), it’s safe to say that it’s proven its mainstay as the best festival that Singapore has to offer, and it doesn’t look like that’ll be changing any time soon. Bring on 2019!
Featured image credit: Alvin Ho / Laneway Festival Singapore