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FYF Fest Day One, More Frustration Than Fun

Dear FYF fest I used to love you, but Sean Carlson’s little dream (he is the FYF fest founder) has grown a little out of control! First the festival had changed location this year, and was held at Exposition Park close to USC, and had four stages spread around the California Science Center and the L.A. Memorial Coliseum; it seemed a great idea at first, but one big problem hit me before even entering the festival!

The first musical act was at 2:30 pm, so I thought I had plenty of time if I was leaving the house a bit before 1 pm (it’s only 5-6 miles away) but I was so wrong! Very early in the afternoon, the line at the entrance was already unbelievable! Plus it was extremely inefficient and slow, they probably were victim of their success. As I was walking (and I did a LOT of walking that day) I could not see the end of the line, they made us walk and walk around some structure and a parking lot and it took me forever just to reach the end of the line. Then it took me again forever to reach the entrance gate, more than an hour to be exact! It’s not my first festival, I understand large crowds, but the organizers should have done something, more than one hour just to get in is simply not acceptable. I missed the first acts… I could hear the music of the Mariachi El Bronx blasting from their stage, but worst, I missed Angel Olsen who played around 3 pm!! I was pissed off. I could hear a lot of ‘WTF! My god! Where is the end of this!’ from people arriving, and I thought that at this snail speed, people will be entering all day long. I was close as I heard it took some people more than 3 hours to enter the festival. Didn’t they realize there would be so many people?? They sold the tickets right? The FYF fest took its Twitter account to reassure people ‘We know many of you are still in line trying to get in. Rest assured, scanning and searches are moving as quickly as possible. Thank you.’ Fuck you lots of people probably answered! As I was waiting on line, I also saw a lot of people trying to cut the line, and some got successful, making many people very angry. A guy was rightfully yelling at them, and since there was no control at all, I am sure a lot of people managed to avoid the long wait.

Then it wasn’t the only problem of the festival, the stages were spread out, yes but way too spread out, it was taking way too long to go to a stage to another one, something like a 15 minute walk? At the minimum, mid day I gave up trying to go from the Main stage to the Lawn stage, because it was at least 30 minutes lost walking through the large crowd. So I stayed around the Main Stage and the Trees stage, tried the Arena stage once (located inside the LA Sport Arena) but this one was crazy too! It was an indoor venue and you had to go down through a series of stairs and escalators, and I heard that it hit capacity very fast (6,000) as they were not allowing more people in for many acts.

Arriving on the new site was not an easy task, I had a lot of problems to find where everything was, and they run out of maps very fast!! I found one on the ground and a lot of people were asking me where to get one.

I don’t know if they over sold the FYF fest, but it was way more difficult just to move around and get close to any stage… during Julian Casablancas and Interpol’s sets, I just gave up, I could not get very close to the stage and watched the show from afar. But during the transition between both acts, as people were pushing to get to see Interpol, the Casablancas crowd could not leave and the security guards had to evacuate tons of people through the pit… it got a bit out of control and the faces of all these rescued girls were not happy ones, they looked exhausted, bruised and drenched in sweat.

It’s probably my last FYF fest, unless they move back to the original location in LA State Historic Park… but even if they do so, it has become way big now! I am exhausted from  the constant walking and fighting against the crowd all day long, while seeing very little by the end. A day at a festival has to be a great and fun day, they sell it as ‘the best weekend of the summer’, I just remember the frustrations today.


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