About 20,000 music fans are expected to converge on L.A.’s State Historic Park this Labor Day Weekend for FYF Fest. In the decade since it was launched by organizers Sean Carlson and veteran L.A. punk musician Keith Morris, FYF has blossomed from a loosely-organized street event with a couple dozen bands into a two-day celebration of punk, indie rock and comedy.
The festival has evolved over the years to embrace a host of electronic, hip-hop and art rock acts. A look at Sunday night’s headliners alone illustrates the festival’s broad appeal: while trashy Scandinavian glam-punk band Turbonegro tears up the Hill St. Stage, neo-folk singer and ukulele player Zachary Condon will be leading his electric-brass ensemble Beirut through a more subdued set on the Main St. Stage.
Of course, it wouldn’t be FYF Fest without a healthy dose of bruising hardcore punk kicking up the dirt at L.A. State Historic Park (FYF Fest is known for its fabled mosh-pit dust storms. If you go, bring a bandana). Saturday’s bill is topped by recently reunited Swedish band the Refused. Its blend of hardcore punk, electronica and funk attained cult status years after the band disbanded.
The festival will also see performances by metallic hardcore lifers Converge and spazzy noise-punk duo Lightning Bolt. The band’s been known to abandon the stage entirely and blast their angular hardcore punk-meets-free jazz right in the middle of flailing mosh-pit.
FYF has once again partnered with concert organizers Goldenvoice, the promoter behind the more mainstream Coachella and Stagecoach Festivals. Critics may argued the move strips FYF of its indie cred, but it’s also led to overall improvements in the festival’s organization.
Prior festivals were marred by blowing dust, a lack of shade and eternal waits for food, water and beer. Those issues have since been addressed leading to a slightly more civilized but no less edgy musical experience.
FYF Fest happens from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Los Angeles State Historic Park, just north of Chinatown along the L.A. River.
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