I have only gone to one music festival in my lifetime: Rothbury Music Festival 2009 in Rothbury, MI. Ostensibly, it was a "jam band" festival (a moniker which I equally loathe, yet feel apathetic toward). Nevertheless, it was a great time. Over the course of the four day festival, I saw The Dead, Bob Dylan, The Black Crows, guitar maestro Warren Haynes, as well as many other talented and highly recognizable acts. However, I couldn't help but feel that this was just one your cookie cutter music festivals that pop up in America more often than a franchised McDonald's: the same acts who make their way around the festival circuit, an alarmingly high number of people who, truth by told, probably hadn't touched a bar of soap in three weeks, and of course, any drug you could possibly imagine readily available for purchase (I actually saw one guy selling pot frosting...what a marvelous idea!)
It was, as I said, a great time. Nevertheless, after that experience I decided that I would only attend a music festival if it proved to me that it was there for a specific purpose other than the tired excuse of being "environmentally friendly." My car is environmentally friendly for God's sake. I yearned for something unique - something that basked in its own glorious originality. For the past year, I have searched for this elusive festival to no avail. But finally, late last night, I think I found what I had been looking for. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present to you the FYF Festival, taking place September 4th in sunny Los Angeles State Historic Park.
Everything about FYF is different than any other music festival out there, starting with its curious name being an acronym for Fuck Yeah! Fest. Sean Carlson, the event's founder and curator, has planned the festival every year since it's inception in 2004 from his bedroom in his parent's home in Torrance, CA with the help of only a few friends, among them Keith Morris of Black Flag, creating a truly independent music festival without the help of a greedy management company (I'm looking at you, Lollapalooza. Lady Gaga as a headliner - really!?).
You would think that with these primitive planning techniques, the festival's lineup would be second rate, but in terms of indie music, this festival is nothing short of world class. In one day, Carlson and his rag tag team of planners have managed to procure The Rapture, Panda Bear, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, The Mountain Goats, Delorean, School of Seven Bells, Best Coast, Titus Andronicus and many, many more, assembling a lineup of the virtual "who's who" on the indie music scene. And, for only $25, it sounds like this concert is too good to be true. Hell, I probably would pay $25 to see only The Mountain Goats. But it is true, and the only thing us music lovers have to do is thank Sean Carlson for being far too kind. I just hope he doesn't follow in the footsteps of so many other festivals and turn his brainchild into a heartbreaking, parodied version of itself.
The 2010 Lineup includes: THE RAPTURE, PANDA BEAR, !!!, UNBROKEN, THE MOUNTAIN GOATS, DEAD MAN'S BONES,SLEEP, TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS, MAN MAN, ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI, DELOREAN, COLD CAVE, 7SECONDS, THEE OH SEES, WASHED OUT, DAVILA 666, SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS, AA BONDY, THE BLOW, BEST COAST, TITUS ANDRONICUS, WAVVES, THE SOFT PACK, ABE VIGODA, WARPAINT, OFF!, VETIVER, CEREMONY, BIG FREEDIA, SCREAMING FEMALES, MAGIC KIDS, THE GROWLERS, LOWER DENS, LET'S WRESTLE, CULTS AND MORE
Check out the Spacelab Festival Guide for more information on music festivals