Laneway Festival's First US Showing Set For Detroit

Worldwide alt rock festival coming to Detroit Sept. 14

The St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, which has grown from a Melbourne street party to a seven-city tour focused on independent rock acts, is coming to the U.S. this year.

During a Laneway day party at South By Southwest on Friday, organizers announced they’d stage an American version of their event Sept. 14 at the Meadow Brook Music Festival in suburban Detroit. Danny Rogers, who-co-founded Laneway with Jerome Borazio in 2004, tells Billboard that the show will feature 25-30 bands on four stages, along with food curated by an unnamed market in Brooklyn.

This year’s Australasian Laneway drew about 70,000 people for shows in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, according to Rogers. Alt-J, Bat For Lashes, Japandroids and Of Monsters and Men were among the acts who played. The U.S. show’s lineup and ticket details will be announced in May.

“It was never really a goal of ours to bring it outside Australia,” Rogers says. “We got approached by a number of promoters over here suggesting it could be an event (in the U.S.) but…Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York just didn’t make sense because we felt like they already had similar types of events.” The Laneway team was steered to metro Detroit about a year ago, according to Rogers, and after a three-day visit, decided it was “that kind of place that would be special to do something like Laneway Festival." He told Billboard, "I got the instinct the city is having a rebirth, and Laneway being a festival that has gone to place where we felt like there was change, it seemed like a great fit.”

Detroit is also hosting Metallica’s Orion Music + More Festival on June 8-9.

Rogers says he and Borazio hope the September show will be successful enough to expand Laneway even further into North America in coming years. “If it goes in the direction we hope, then, absolutely, we would love to feel like we could open up shop in other cities,” Rogers notes. “Our strong feeling is to get it right in Detroit first, not try to run before you walk. That’s our primary focus, but definitely we’ve already started thinking about other cities, maybe even a two-day event. We’re thinking about that stuff for sure.”

Updates will be posted on Laneway Festival's official site.