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FYF Fest 2015 Starts Without A Hitch, And Loses Part Of Its Soul

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Festivals are really the worst thing that could happen for music lovers, I continue to attend some of them, but the biggest they get, the less practical they are, you keep running from one stage to the other and never get to see an entire set, at a few exceptions, and you suddenly become a bulimic expert, trying to catch every single act, but forced to stay in the back, way too far to see anything, because the crowd has become immense.

The FYF fest this year, was way more organized than last year, at 1:30 pm, there was no wait at all to get in, no endless lines, but a much more controlling person who didn’t let me in with my camera! For five years in a row, I was able to take my camera, explaining I was covering the event for Rock NYC, but this year it was a different story. After attempting to talk to three different persons, It wasn’t possible. ‘Last year was last year, this year it’s different,’ I was told .The FYF fest takes itself very seriously and the logistics are now those of a big and professional festival, something I regret, and not only because I was camera-free during the whole day, but also because the festival seems to have make a complete U-turn against some of its first core values. In the first years, it had a very local and familial feeling, I miss the days when the festival was held at the very dusty LA State Historic Park when the biggest names were Panda Bear, Thee Oh Sees, Broken Social Scene, Descendants or OFF!… Now we have to deal with Kanye West crowds, and some of the fun is gone.

I also noticed many more food and drink booths, and less label and music-related booths, the days when people were complaining they could not get food or water are over, with free refill water stations. There was also a ‘new improved shortcut’ between the Coliseum lawn and the main stage, which decreased the walking time between stages, but the walk from the main entrance to the main stage is still a pain in the feet, and mine are hurting this morning because I didn’t sit for a second from 1 pm to 1 am….

I managed to see the partial sets of 16 acts, including JUNK, Kevin Morby, Broncho, Mikal Cronin, Alvvays, La Femme, Joyce Manor, METZ, Dinosaur Jr., The Drums, Chet Faker, !!!, Savages, Bloc Party and of course Kanye West, but I was too exhausted to stay for The Jesus and Mary Chain and I missed Run The Jewels, and Cold Cave….

There were a lot of Kanye-FYF fest t-shirts, probably printed at the last minute, another proof of the professionalism of the organizers, who were very prompt at replacing Frank Ocean’s last minute cancellation with a very big act, may be the biggest act of all? Still this addition was not pleasing everyone, as this guy above was not the only one wearing a ‘Fuck Kanye’ shirt. I didn’t see any bad vibe during his performance though, I was very far from the stage, looking at this sea of people drawn to the main stage to see the rapper, who even brought Rihanna on stage. Can you go more mainstream than a Kanye-Rihanna duo? I guess not! Need I remind you that FYF stands for Fuck Yeah Fest and used to be an indie rebellion against mainstream? Not anymore, the FYF fest has officially sold out and has lost part of its soul.

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