words by Jacqui Wonder

You know it’s a good line up when you’re wrangling with 20+ must-see acts split across 4 stages and not nearly enough time to do all of them justice, and whilst I came away from Sunday’s Laneway Festival in Sydney thoroughly stoked with countless standout performances, I was left with the nagging question – has one of our favourite festivals outgrown itself?

Sunday involved manic running from stage to stage (just FYI that PIP walkway was a stroke of genius, more shortcuts in future please!) and gobbling down Mary’s and Messina in between. A lunchtime billing for Aussie favourite Andy Bull set a party tone for the day, followed closely by a roaring performance from Benjamin Booker.

Awkward positioning of the Future Classic stage was overcome by explosive sets from SOHN and Seekae but the main action was to be had down the rolling lawn to the Garden and Park stages where we bounced from Little Dragon, Jungle, BANKS, FKA Twigs to St. Vincent and finally Flight Facilities. The Swedish troop from Little Dragon brought their A-game (as usual) getting a crowd lazing about on the picnic lawns on their feet and dancing to hits from their 2014 album Nabuma Rubberband.

Jungle was a treat to see live and for me a surprise highlight, the energy, the disco, the percussion and the good vibes was my jump-start for the rest of the night and I will definitely be back to see them when they hit our shores again.

The show-stopper though? FKA Twigs. Everyone in that crowd on Sunday was jaw-to-the-floor mesmerised. Whilst her songs aren’t exactly sing-along friendly, the way the Brit professional-dancer-now-singer owned that stage with writhing dance moves and lust-heavy vocals had the entire crowd captivated. Flight Facilities were a BINGO moment to close the stage with their brand of fun, disco electronic and mates like Owl Eyes joining for the fun, but a total sound shutdown during closing track ‘Foreign Language’ was a disappointing end to the night.

Over on the Mistletone stage audio was also a sore-point, with tinny and low-volume sound marring otherwise faultless performances from Caribou and Flying Lotus. Props to both acts for soldiering through with less-than-happy crowds but with sound problems across multiple stages, awkward positioning making for difficult traffic from stage-to-stage, is it time to rethink logistics at Sydney Laneway?

Whilst we in Sydney keep our fingers crossed for 2016, Adelaide, Melbourne & Fremantle brace yourselves for the onslaught of Laneway‘s massive lineup this weekend to finish this year’s festival strong.

Rating: ★★★

You can check out the full Laneway Sydney photo gallery right through here, but before you go anywhere, here’s some footage of Vic Mensa jumping up on stage with Flight Facilities.