Musical festivals are in high demand during the summer, and there’s no better way to close out the season than with one last outing at FYF music festival before the start of the fall semester. The highly anticipated FYF Fest, taking place Aug. 22 and 23, will attract musical tastemakers to the Los Angeles Sports Arena and Exposition Park, right in USC’s backyard. This year, the assorted lineup has quickly climbed in ranking among the nation’s most popular music festivals, garnering both well-known artists such as Frank Ocean, Morrissey and Solange, and rising musical acts, like USC’s very own KXSC Fest headliner, DJ Dodger Stadium and the Los Angeles born duo, Girlpool.
Founded by Sean Carlson in 2004, FYF started out with the punk rock scene in Echo Park. The event, however, quickly outgrew its former locations The Echo and Los Angeles Historic Park — starting in 2014, it moved next door to the USC campus.
Last year’s festival was hit with varying issues, including long wait time that created a chaotic, bottleneck entrance for event goers. Poorly planned pathways to and from each of the stages forced people to walk excessively on concrete throughout the day. The arena faced capacity issues, which barred excited patrons from enjoying highly anticipated acts. The festival, however, has learned from last year’s struggles and made improvements.
Max Miceli, a junior majoring in architecture, attended the festival last year and thought the layout was problematic.
“People would essentially crowd around these two doors to the arena and flooded inside as soon as they opened it. They
were trying to keep people from jumping over barriers, and overall it seemed like they weren’t ready for so many people.”
Miceli, however, said that they layout did not affect his overall enjoyment at the festival.
“I don’t think the specifics of my festival affected my overall experience. I missed half a musical act, but overall it was definitely a really fun and cool festival with some really good artists,” Miceli said.
This year’s festival features a revamped layout, with new pathways so audiences can attend the acts they want without hassle. Less travel on foot means more time to enjoy acts in their entirety, creating better engagement between the artist and the audience. An additional stage adds more excitement and variety to the lineup, while an extended closing time of 2 a.m. allows festival-goers to enjoy this two-day event late into the night. FYF also extended and relocated the food vendor lineup to a better location, meaning shorter wait times and happier stage-hoppers. With these improvements, attendees can expect a more efficient festival flow, and direct their attention toward this year’s impressive musical menagerie.
Veering away from its punk rock roots, FYF’s lineups, over the years, have broadened the festival to multiple genres and expanded their reach to more music enthusiasts. Whether it is electronica, rock or modern soul, FYF’s lineup caters to the city’s hodgepodge of musical tastes. Acts like Deerhunter, Thee Oh Sees, Belle & Sebastian and Spiritualized will entertain rock lovers in the crowd, providing a perfect soundtrack to accompany the skies of a typical sunset. Or, enjoy a bit of Mac DeMarco, but take fair warning: listening to him can lead to relaxation and lounging, in contrast to the festival’s hyped up vibes.
For those interested in music to dance along to, DJs including Jon Hopkins, Kaytranada and BADBADNOTGOOD inspire audiences to move around and shuffle to their sounds. Another highly anticipated act is Australian-born electronic musician, Flume, who is most well known for spinning tantalizing beats. Nicholas Jaar, well known as half of the duo forming Darkside, is set to play a DJ set that will be equally as compelling. For soul-crooning goodness and fiery vocals, artists such as Solange and D’Angelo & The Vanguard will be rolling out some smooth tunes. If not for the aforementioned musical acts, come for the critically acclaimed headliners. The first night’s main act, R&B singer and rapper Frank Ocean, has not released an album since 2012, but with a rumored new album on the way, perhaps he will give the crowd a sneak peak. The following night, Morrissey, the former lead singer of The Smiths, is a show that will reveal to audience members, if they don’t know already, the massive influence of the band on rock music.
With general admission tickets at $175, a much more budget friendly price than tickets to Coachella or Lollapalooza, FYF Fest presents an eclectic lineup that is sure to offer something for everyone. In addition to this year’s upgrades, this music festival will not disappoint.