FYF Fest @ Los Angeles Sports Area/Expo Park
Show date: August 23 & 24, 2014
Supported by: Check out the full line-up here
FYF Fest went through major (and hopefully temporary) changes this year. Instead of returning to Los Angeles Historic Park, this year’s festival took place at LA Sports Arena and Expo Park due to the park’s undergoing renovations. The new venue seemed about double the size of the previous spot. And with a very populist-leaning lineup — The Strokes! Phoenix! Interpol! — the event attracted an even broader audience this time around. With a new venue and a new crowd of people, it brought a new set of additions not even the organizers in charge could fully handle.
When I first got to the festival grounds on Saturday, an enormous single-file crowd already snaked around and around the venue. The ridiculous line sluggishly dragged forward every 15 minutes or so. About 45 minutes in with little progress, I started to come to terms the fact I was most likely going to miss my first act of the day, Joyce Manor. Luckily, I stood near the VIP entrance where an organizer opened a new entry point to speed up the process.
Four stages stretched across the parking lot and lawns outside the sports arena. The Lawn stage sat right by the entrance, while the other three stages — The Trees, The Arena, Main Stage — were separated by a good walk away. Good luck getting to the Main Stage from the Lawn on time, especially with the constant rush of people going against where you’re heading out. It was not convenient to say the least. Once plopped on The Lawn, I had to think through whether I actually wanted to commit to the walk ahead — and this was me wondering if I should go see Haim.
The biggest letdown on the first day was definitely the closing of The Arena stage, the coliseum area where the festival housed all the dance acts. The arena quickly reached maximum capacity, and security shut the entrance by 6 p.m. That was the same time when The Arena began its triple-stacked lineup of Todd Terje, Caribou and Four Tet back to back in that order. Sad to say, I missed all of them due to the stage filling up way quicker than I predicted.
But overnight, FYF fixed those critical issues. More entry points opened. More seats became available for The Arena. The crowd of people never got smoother to navigate, but I got inside early enough to get my ID check with some time to chill before seeing Joanna Gruesome; I got to enjoy Kelela at The Arena without anxiety attacks, and I even got near the front!
And how can I complain with a lineup like FYF’s? Although I was hugely disappointed I didn’t get to dance to Todd Terje, right outside at The Trees were Killer Mike and El-P performing rap songs together as Run the Jewels. While my friend and I waited in line to get beer, Slowdive serenaded the field nearby at The Lawn. Throughout the weekend, I stood through only one full set (for Grimes), and that’s because I went in and out of many amazing sets by countless bands playing around the same time slot. Another fantastic act is just another walk away for the entire day. What more can I ask for?
Below is a more extensive overview of the weekend set by set, along with photos taken on my iPhone.
Here’s my FYF report for anyone interested. Some thoughts that didn’t make the cut: