Now in its 11th year, FYF Fest performed to sold out crowds on Saturday and Sunday. The major Los Angeles festivals featured a new home at the LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park where it featured four packed stages and a lot of walking. With crowds, the walk from the entrance to the main stage area could take you as long as 20 minutes; though once Saturday and Sunday headliners Phoenix and The Strokes (respectively) took main stage, you’d be lucky enough to even get close.
The view from the VIP area was a good one, but it showed a much different side of the festival. Fans during The Strokes were rowdy and rough, and the crowd was packed tight as sardines. Some unfortunate souls even had to resort to crowdsurfing in order to escape the mass of fans. Likewise, the Arena stage, where most of the EDM was being housed — including Chet Faker, DJ Harvey, and one of my Sunday favorites Les Sins — was [reportedly] closed early on Saturday due to an abundance of attendees inside the arena area.
All in all, the festival seemed to go off smoothly, though. At just an hour after gates opened, I made it through security and check-in and onto the main festival floor in perhaps 5 minutes. Despite only attending for Sunday, it was easy to get a feel for the festival as a whole and the vibes it brought were friendly and wholesome. Hundreds of people running around wearing identical “The Strokes” t-shirts and Tycho shirts showed what people were really there for – the music. It’s a feeling that I’ve missed at many EDM events where I too often hear people running around looking for their friend molly or trading kandi. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a part of our culture and I would never forsake it. I just liked seeing people on blankets on the grass, vibing to the music. It was nice.
The abundance of vendors and food trucks were also a nice sight. I regret not being able to remember the name of the hot dog truck I visited in the beer garden next to the “The Lawn” stage, because it was downright scrumptious. (For a delicious hot dog, use an all-beef dog, smother the bun in avocado and basil aioli, top with chopped tomatoes, arugula, and friend onions. MMMmmmmmmm…) Beer prices were what you would expect at a festival, ranging from $8 for Bud Light to $13 for the more fancy stuff. I stuck with my Shock Top for $9. The “Vendor Village” sported a great variety of clothing, apparel, and trinket shops representing Los Angeles and what it is we stand for. The actual “Food Truck Village” also seemed to gain a lot of foot traffic, especially closer to dinner time.
Special shout out to my favorite set of Sunday – Ryan Hemsworth. I admit, I had never listened to any of his stuff before seeing him at 4:30 at the stage just inside the entrance, but he played an amazing set that kept listeners intrigued, dancing and grooving. While I don’t know yet whether I will be attending next year or not, I have major respect for what FYF has pulled off and I tip my hat to them. Until next time.