Last year’s FYF was filled with logistical drama, including entrance lines spreading over three and a half hours long, fire marshals being called in to the indoor arena stage, complaints over the no refined sugar policy and a lack of access to the fest’s main stage. This year the festival seemed to fix the planning problems, and now that refined sugars were allowed people could buy themselves all the Coke they wanted. There was a scare though that the festival might be in for some backlash regarding the lineup’s constant state of flux leading up to the festival.
This began when nine days before the fest !!! replaced Deerhunter, then two days away Frank Ocean dropped out and Kanye West stepped in. And on festival eve, Bonobo and Flying Lotus DJ sets were added to the lineup after Ben UFO and Joy Orbison had visa issues.
There was a huge backlash from punks and music snobs who’ve been the fest’s primary demo since FYF was still the Fuck Yeah Fest over Kanye’s addition to the lineup, but Yeezus didn’t let that hold him down having perhaps one of his strongest fest sets of all time, and bringing out Travis Scott and Rhianna too. Kanye ended up drawing the largest crowd of the weekend while those that had hated on his presence enjoyed phenomenal sets from both Purity Ring and the Jesus And Mary Chain.
Day 1 also featured Run The Jewels offering up an especially playful set, filling it with more banter than usual as well as guests Travis Barker, Gangsta Boo and Zack de la Rocha. Melody’s Echo Chamber was particularly enchanting, most of the male population in the crowd declaring their love for Melody Prochet by the end of her set. Savages was one of the crowd favorite’s for the day though, with new songs hitting as hard as their older tracks. Although Bloc Party put on a decent set, Kele Okereke seemed to be less energetic then usual, and chewed gum while he sang, giving off the appearance of not really caring. !!!’s set began with some technical issues, but per usual frontman Nic Offer put on one of the highest energy sets of the weekend on day 1; then on day 2 you could spot him dancing his short shorts off in the pit for D’Angelo‘s set.
Speaking of D’Angelo, his set was definitely the biggest party of day 2. Earlier, both Girlpool and King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard started the day off with a punkish fervor that drew crowds in, and both Andrew Jackson Jihad and Title Fight kept the crowd surfing going until king of the current crowd surf, Mac DeMarco, took over in the evening. Neon Indian, Toro Y Moi and Flume definitely were the right choices for the day’s main stage lineup, drawing the largest crowds under the sun. On the Lawn Stage, both Solange and FKA Twigs were the bread to D’Angelo’s soul party sandwich. Both the ladies performed with a ferocity that had fans hooting and hollering.
With Morrissey headlining Sunday there was obviously the fear he might walk due to the fact that the festival was serving meat—they even had a Canter’s deli truck present. This is despite the fact that FYF continues to be one of the most vegan-friendly festivals, with Moon Juice offering raw organic snacks, Doomies serving up a vegan Big Mac, and Clara’s Cakes’ S’mores Bars—although if you are going to eat s’mores here you should’ve gone to Donut Friend for their vegan S’Morrissey doughnut. And a carnivorous friend swore there had to be pork in Pure Luck’s jackfruit taco. Actually while walking around the main stage photo pit with Pure Luck’s BBQ Sammie, a security guard tried to confiscate it thinking the meat smells would scare away the former Smiths front man, and I had to explain that the sandwich was vegan.
So, did Morrissey play? Of course he did, with his die-hard teenage Latino and hipster fan base singing along to every lyric. Two songs into Morrissey’s set, a girl rushed the stage and grabbed him before being lifted off stage by security.
As FYF finishes its 12th edition, it’s obviously hitting the growing pains of adolescence, and still figuring out its identity (anyone else notice how when looking at the GA admission’s palm tree upside down it looked like a marijuana leaf?). So when FYF turns 13, we shall see if it becomes a man or continues through some more angst-ridden teenage years. Still, like most teenagers, it’s full of creativity and vitality, and we can’t wait to see what happens next year.