Hey All

Super excited about the Laneway Festival line up and the array of changes that are happening this summer to our little event. We dug deep to deliver what we believe is a really superb line up and we've now got insanely great new sites in Melbourne andSydney,both of which we feel are very positive directions for the festival… So, its been loads of really hard work from so many people... The team behind the festival are all very committed and passionate about what they do and we hope that this will reflect in everything that is happening with the festival in 2010.

If you ever want to reach out to us, please feel free to join our twitter. Its pretty random but i will leak future line up, give people insights into things that are happening in our world etc. If you just want to email and ask a question, give us some feedback please direct your words to the promotors at promoter@lanewayfestival.com.au.

We hope you're as excited about the line up and changes to laneway as we are. Also, i was asked to answer some questions last week which were related to Melbourne site.... They're below if you want to take a read....

All the best

Danny Rogers

Melbourne Laneway 2010: we talk to co-promoter Danny Rogers about Melbourne Laneway's New Home

Melbourne's St Jerome's Laneway Festival is moving to a fantastic new site at Footscray Community Arts Centre. Between the Maribyrnong river and Footscray freight train line is a little known oasis of green, open spaces, and beautiful city views which is already home to the progressive arts community at Footscray Community Arts Centre who have welcomed the arrival of the Laneway Festival. Drawing on the successes of the hand-picked sites in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, as well as more than 150 conversations festival directors had with punters after the 2009 event, Melbourne Laneway has left it's birthplace in the back lanes of Melbourne's CBD and co-promotor Danny Rogers sees it as a great move.

* So, why the move? Laneway started in Caledonian Lane right in the city didn't it? Seems like a big change to move it away from it's roots?

DR: It is a big thing to move the festival and it wasn't something we've taken lightly. Obviously there's a lot of history for the Festival in those back laneways around the old St Jerome's bar, but the past six years have seen the city change and the festival's changed too; I guess they grew apart to some extent. In each of the other cities Laneway's moved to, we were able to scout the entire city region and find spaces that would fit the festival and that's what we've really done now for Melbourne.

* Ok, but why Footscray?

DR: Well, for one thing, Footscray's got a unique and authentic arts culture both established and emerging and that's something that really fits with the Laneway Festival ethos and with laneway punters. There aren't too many places in Melbourne where you can find such a high density of artists and where the arts community seems so well established, yet so understated. The idea that there is still so much for non-Footscray locals to discover and fall in love with was something that really excited us when we thought about inviting a few thousand great music and art loving humans to cross the river. At the same time too, having teamed up with the Footscray Community Arts Centre and seeing what they do and who their community is, we're also really looking forward to sharing Laneway with people who may not have been before when it was in the CBD.

Aside from all of this though is the site, it fits every single criteria we set for ourselves when we set about looking for a new space. It's still based on the idea of unique urban spaces but it's also beautiful, it's completely contained - so there's no going in and out of it. It's spacious and has three separate spaces for three stages which don't impinge on each other in any way and the main stage is big enough to get everyone in front of it. It's also really close to public transport and only two train stops out of the city. The support of key stakeholders such as Footscray Community Arts Centre is just so key to this move too and we're thrilled that they've been so welcoming.

* There are a lot of us out there who haven't spent much time in Footscray, will we like it?

DR: I really think so. As I said, there's so much going on there from a creative perspective and so much that's unique and interesting. We're going to try and showcase some of what Footscray and the west has to offer by running an emerging musicians program in conjunction with the Footscray Community Arts Centre, hosting local food stalls and sourcing this year's markets from local shops, markets and makers. Obviously we'll just scratch the surface, but hopefully give people a bit of a head start to find their way around Footscray, if they're not already. Also, its multi-cultured like no other part of the country and usually within these incredible demographics worldwide, creative enterprising and forward thinking people emerge. Recent examples of areas to have done something similar are places like Prenslauberg in Berlin, Hackney in East London and Williamsburg in Brookyln, NYC.... We imagine Footscray could embody this in Melbourne in the future.

* Tell us a bit about the new site - is there a Laneway? How does it measure up to some of the other beautiful Laneway sites around the country?

DR: We decided it was a bit hard to do justice with words, so we've taken some shots and made a 'guided tour' video which should help explain why we're so excited about this spot. It's definitely up there with the others now. 

* What about the neighbours - what's Footscray Community Arts Centre like?

DR: They're just great - fantastic people doing really exceptional things, as you can see by their range of programs on the website for a start. Also, you've only got to sit around the Happy River Cafe for a bit - and we've been doing plenty of that lately - and you realise that there's such a refreshing sense of genuine community throughout the whole place. I guess that makes it all the more wonderful for Laneway Festival to be teaming up with them.

* How will people get to the new site?

DR: We're hoping that it will be pretty much all public transport for the 2010 event. We're working on some exciting ideas with the guys from Metlink to try and make that easier too and we'll keep you posted on all of these developments.


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