On Aug. 23 and 24, F*ck Yeah Festival celebrated its 10th year since its conception back in 2004. The two-day festival, which was rebranded as FYF Fest in 2009, promised to be bigger than ever, and the promoters certainly delivered, most notably with a location change to the Exposition Park and an incredibly diverse lineup. Headlined by The Strokes and Phoenix, FYF Fest brought more than 50 musical acts to Los Angeles, with genres ranging from rock to house, and hip-hop to punk.
This year FYF Fest took a chance with these big changes, and the results were unanticipated, leaving attendees with mixed feelings. And for that, we have the “F*ck.” and the “Yeah!” moments of FYF Fest 2014.
If you wanted to show up early and on time to FYF Fest’s Day 1, you made a big mistake. For some reason, it took some festival goers almost two hours to get through the security and ticket checkpoints. The line was at a stand-still, causing people to miss some of the earlier acts. Upon entrance to the festival, there were more lines to be found at the food and drink vendors. Some of these lines spilled into the general walkways, causing a huge amount of commotion and traffic if you wanted to get from one place to the other.
The Arena Stage reached “maximum capacity” on Day 1.
FYF Fest’s electronic stage was stationed inside the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, and according to Wikipedia, the venue’s capacity holds over 14,000, depending on what kind of event is being held inside. Unfortunately for festival attendees, the Arena’s capacity was 10% (or less) of that number because only the floor was open, not the upper stadium levels. Even though many attendees tried to sneak past the blocked off areas, their plans were thwarted by curtains, which shielded view of the stage from the upper levels.
Did we mention that the Arena Stage reached “maximum capacity”?!
Chet Faker was foolishly placed in the Arena, and several festival goers were extremely upset that they couldn’t see the Australian singer. It’s implied that a festival pass grants you access to all the stages, and because of this security breach, several attendees took to social media at the end of the night, claiming that they wanted a refund. FYF Fest updated their Facebook saying that they removed the curtains and opened seating for Todd Terje, but because many attendees don’t check social media while at a festival, many didn’t get the memo.
The Strokes started 15 minutes late and ended 10 minutes early.
I understand that the pressure of closing out a festival must be so, so rough — but if you’re an immensely successful band who has thousands of adoring fans across the world, don’t you want to make them happy? Dedicated attendees had to sit through Haim’s set in order to get a good spot, and starting late and finishing early isn’t exactly the kind of high note people want to end on.
Tycho played a beautiful set that was both moving and magical.
The San Francisco band played an evening set that was breathtaking and stunning, with visuals that, according to the band’s frontman Scott Hansen, were orchestrated in a new set-up that had never been seen before. With splashes of Hansen’s mixed media art as the background, Tycho’s live performances have the ability break and mend your heart at the same time, and if they’re ever playing in a city near you, make the trip out to see them. You won’t be disappointed.
Run the Jewels delivered an amazing performance, in anticipation of Run the Jewels 2.
The Fool’s Gold Records signees have been on a performance kick lately, and they played a mid-afternoon set at the Trees stage which was appropriately named for its shady location. The duo got the crowd pumped up with attendees singing along, jumping around, and even crowd surfing. At the end of their set, El-P attempted to clear up rumors about their highly anticipated sophomore album, Run the Jewels 2, but only caused more confusion when he told the crowd that he doesn’t know what’s up, other than the fact that it’ll be out in October.
Flying Lotus’ set in its entirety.
The influential producer is set to drop a new album entitled You’re Dead! on Oct. 7, and in anticipation of the drop, he played several new tracks off the forthcoming release. The Brainfeeder founder played a few fun tracks as well, like “No Flex Zone” and “Low,” and performed as his rapper alter ego Captain Murphy for a bit. Complete with trippy visuals, Flying Lotus’ live show is a hypnotizing journey accompanied by amazing beats as the soundtrack.
The Arena allowed for greater capacity with an even better lineup than Day 1.
Once FYF Fest realized that attendees weren’t happy about the Arena closures, it was just in time for an amazing lineup that was better than that of the previous day. Take a ride on the escalator down into a dark basement that’s only lit by crazy lights, and you’d discover that the Arena was the ideal stage for electronic music lovers. Featuring a glittery disco ball and a seriously heavy sound system, the Arena lived up to its potential, especially with performances from artists like Darkside and Jamie XX.
We’ve come to the conclusion that FYF Fest is, and will continue to be, one of the best festivals out there on the market. The promoters were successfully able to work through the bumps and complaints, and the positives outweigh the negatives. FYF Fest is, without a doubt, the best Los Angeles festival out there, for a number of reasons–
Talk about variety! There were artists who reunited for the festival (Blood Brothers); artists with double dosed performances (Julian Casablancas with The Void and The Strokes); and artists whose reign was coming to a close (Darkside).
The two-day general admission price.
Public transportation friendly.
The festival’s new location at Exposition Park is situated right off the Metro Rail. Although taking public transportation in LA is pretty much unheard of, FYF made it easy to achieve the impossible.
Overall good energy and vibes.
Los Angeles’ reputation has been tarnished by the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, but FYF scales the attitude down in a relaxed atmosphere that is rounded by incredible live talent. Everyone is chill and relaxed, trying to just enjoy the last few moments of summer.