Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Laneway Festival: Fazerdaze preps for main stage graduation

Four years ago, Amelia Murray worked the doors at Laneway Festival just to nab a free ticket.

Today, she gets an upgrade: she's performing on the festival's main stage.

"I couldn't afford to go and I really wanted to go," says Murray, an Auckland-based singer-songwriter who performs dreamy grunge-pop under the name Fazerdaze.

"I started off volunteering at the festival. I was the person who put wristbands on people."

Fazerdaze will today open the main Princes Street stage on the festival's new site at Albert Park Precinct, where more than 12,000 fans will gather for the 30-odd acts set to perform across four stages over 11 hours.

The festival's co-promoter Mark Kneebone told the Herald the event was set to sell out, a promising sign after moving from Silo Park, its home on Auckland's waterfront for the past few years.

"We're about to sell out, so we're really happy. I can't complain. It's our eighth year and Aucklanders keep coming ... we're going to put on a great show," he said.

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Kneebone's promising much more shade on the new site, which is 50 per cent larger than its Silo Park home, as well as new food and drink options, like wine and craft beer gardens.

"We're in one of the most perfect spots in Auckland," he says. "Laneway's about the best music in the most unique location."

Other acts scheduled to perform include Kiwi acts The Chills and The Veils, hip-hop artists Mick Jenkins and Clams Casino, alt-rockers Refused and Tame Impala, and upbeat dance stars Glass Animals and What's So Not.

Murray is gearing up for the release of her debut album in May and plans to perform much of it during her opening slot at 12.25pm, as well as favourites from her acclaimed Fazerdaze EP from 2015.

She's looking forward to performing then soaking up the rest of the day - unlike in 2013, when she had to check wristbands and bags at the festival's main gates.

"It's the dream slot ... we were like, 'It's so cool, we're opening the stage for Tame Impala, who are at the other end of the day'," she jokes.

"We're on first on that stage. We can play our set and enjoy the rest of the day. We can get it over with and have fun."

Who: Amelia Murray, aka Fazerdaze
What: Laneway Festival in its new home at Albert Park Precinct
Where and when: Fazerdaze perform at 12.25pm on the Princes Street Stage
Other acts: More than 30 artists including Tame Impala, Refused, Mick Jenkins, Clams Casino, Aurora, Glass Animals and The Veils.
Times: Gates open at 11.30am, and the last act finishes at 10.30pm. Entrance is via Wellesley Street.
More information: auckland.lanewayfestival.com

- NZ Herald

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