PHOTOS BY CRISHA ALBAY, CHEEKIE ALBAY, BRIX BAYUGA
I’m a simple gal. I shop at the ukay, I relish McDonald’s Value Meals, and vegging out on the couch watching downloaded flicks is my idea of a good weekend. But when I hear that my favorite foreign acts are nearby, I whip out my wallet with an immediacy that would shame the proverbial speeding bullet.
Case in point: the Singapore leg of Australia’s touring festival, St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival, held on February 12, 2012.
Anyone who has been to a music congregation abroad will tell you that there’s more to festivals than awesome bands, crowd singalongs, and drunken white chicks. To clue festival virgins in on the delights and discomforts that await at such glorious arenas of aural appreciation, I present to you the five stages that marked my Laneway sojourn earlier this year.
Stage 1: Anticipation
As soon as the Singapore lineup was announced, I did the math: festival ticket plus accommodations plus pocket money plus airfare plus travel tax plus the mind-boggling fees they wring out of you at airports equals one broke girl.
Thanks to sheer willpower coupled with an astonishing ability to stalk pertinent websites for discounts, I scored a promo flight and an early bird cut on my festival ticket. And since I had a sister living in Singapore, I was spared the effort of having to harass SG-based friends into saving a space on their couch for me.
The night before Laneway day came, I barely slept. In my head was a steady parade of all the phenomenal performances I would catch, all the beautiful strangers I would ogle, all the embellished tales I would tell upon my return home.
Stage 2: Thrill
At noon on February 12, I excitedly marched into the festival grounds at Singapore’s Fort Canning Park. The massive platform that stood imposing in front was split into two stages, between which 14 acts would alternate. I scanned my playbill: New York fuzz pop act Cults would open the show on Stage 1, followed by British alterna-indie outfit Yuck on Stage 2. Cue excitement butterflies in the stomach.
Soon, the space filled up with festival-goers of all shapes, races, and hipster posturings. As Cults sauntered onstage and kicked off the festival just before two in the afternoon, heartbeats quickened, grins widened, and cheers erupted in a deafening chorus. It was on like Donkey Kong.
Cults kicked off the show, a team of hippies with long, dark hair. Someone at the back is feeling left out.
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