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International rock festival coming to Meadow Brook

For Journal Register Newspapers

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Australia, New Zealand, Singapore….and now Rochester Hills.

The St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, a a rock event that started as a street party nine years ago in Melbourne and has grown to seven cities, will make its first-ever U.S. appearance on Sept.14 at the Meadow Brook Music Festival. Ticket details and an artist lineup will be announced in May.

“It was never a big goal of ours to bring it outside Australia,” Laneway co-founder Danny Rogers explained at the South By Southwest Music + Media Conference, where the show was formally announced on Friday. “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.”

Detroit was broached by the Paradigm Talent Agency, whose Sam Gores is Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment owner Tom Gores’ brother. After a visit last spring, Rogers and his partner Jerome Borazio were hooked.

“We spent three days there meeting various people,” including PS&E officials and principals at Paxahau, which produces the Movement Electronic Festival, “and I was really convinced that kind of place would be special to do something like Laneway Festival. 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.”

It’s the third major summer music festival to be announced for southeastern Michigan, following Metallica’s Orion Music + More Festival June 8-9 on Belle Isle and the Faster Horses country festival July 19-21 at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

This year’s Laneway has already taken place in seven locations, drawing an estimated 70,000 fans total for acts such as Alt-J, Bat For Lashes, Japandroids and Of Monsters and Men, according to Rogers.

He says the Meadow Brook show will feature four stages and 25-30 bands, with a Detroit-based promoter co-curating one stage and a London promoter handling one of the others. Laneway plans to bring in a Brooklyn market to help oversee the festival’s food offerings, but Rogers says that “it will work really closely with a couple of people locally to program the food.

“The idea is to come in and have a bunch of interesting people doing different things and put their stamp on it as well,” Parker adds. “I think it could create a real international feel very quickly.”

If Laneway’s Meadow Brook stop is successful, Parker says the festival may add other locations in North America and might consider making Detroit a multi-day stop.

More information and updates about Laneway will be available at www.lanewayfestival.com.au and www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.lanewayfestival.com.au

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