Danny Rogers, co-founder, St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival
Good things don’t happen overnight ...
The Temper Trap. Gotye. CHVRCHES. D.D Dumbo. What do they all have in common? They are all managed by music-manager superstar Danny Rogers. There’s no denying that Danny has a keen ear for musical talent – as well as having some of our favourite bands on his roster with Lunatic Entertainment, he’s also one of the heroes that created St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival. The festival, which he co-founded with Melbourne bar tsar and best friend Jerome Borazio, started out the back of the now defunct St. Jerome’s bar, and has since grown to tour seven cities with some of the best national and international acts around. The 2017 Laneway Festival will be hitting Brisbane Showgrounds on Thursday January 26, presenting acts including Glass Animals, Tame Impala, Gang of Youths, Nick Murphy, D.D Dumbo and more. Ahead of the festival, we sat down with Danny to chat breaking into the industry, dream line-ups and must-see acts at this year’s Laneway.
What was the pivotal experience that made you want to pursue a career in the music industry?
After trying various things in my early 20s and realising that none of them were bringing me the satisfaction that I hoped to have from work, I decided to channel my energies into something I was super passionate about. I landed a job working at a music venue called The Living Room in New York City and from that was able to make early connections to get started. While at The Living Room one night, I met Australian producer Wayne Connolly who was playing a gig there. Afterwards we had a few drinks and talked all things music. I was well aware that he had made some of my favourite Aussie albums – I was a little bit in awe of him, inspired to meet such a humble and genuinely passionate person from music, and that really encouraged me to just jump in and go for it.
We are very excited for St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival to come back our way at the end of January – in your opinion what makes Laneway special?
If there was one thing that separates Laneway Festival from other events, I would say that it’s the story of how it started – two close friends wanting to start a block party-style event and program music that was often overlooked by other festivals. Thirteen years later it has obviously grown far beyond a block party, but the spirit and friendship and programming remain firmly the source of our passion.
We love that about the festival, it always feels like a big party. Where did the idea begin?
Laneway Festival began over a few beers at St. Jerome’s (a now defunct bar in Melbourne) in 2005.
Who would you say is a must-see act on the 2017 line-up?
I wouldn’t miss D.D Dumbo or Camp Cope.
Have any new ideas or features been implemented to the festival this year?
Our Hottest 100 Backyard Party in Brisbane is set to be a real highlight. It’ll be hosted by Mel Buttle and Patience Hodgson (The Grates) and we’ve got loads of special guests planned. Oh and cocktails from our favourite Brissy bar The Bowery and a monster barbecue!
When piecing together the Laneway line-up or weighing up management opportunities, is there a particular trait that you look for in prospective selections?
When it comes to the festival it’s always about how good an artist or band performs live.
What is one piece of industry advice you love to give to your management roster?
Good things don’t happen overnight – follow your instincts always and respect those around you even when they’re being super annoying.
What was the most memorable gig you’ve ever attended?
Roger Waters at last year’s Desert Trip festival with my entire family and some of my best friends. Unbelievable highlight.
Which three artists or bands – living or dead – would you pick to headline your dream festival?
David Bowie, A Tribe Called Quest with Phife Dawg and Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett.
St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival comes to Brisbane on Thursday January 26. The musical line-up include artists such as Tame Impala, Nick Murphy (formerly known as Chet Faker), Camp Cope, Car Seat Headrest, Glass Animals, Tash Sultana, The Julie Ruin, Sampa The Great and many more.