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With FYF's plug pulled, what does it take for a music festival to make it?




Music fans attend Day 1 of FYF Fest 2013 at Los Angeles State Historic Park
Music fans attend Day 1 of FYF Fest 2013 at Los Angeles State Historic Park
Trixie Textor/Getty Images

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Listen up, music fans. FYF Fest won’t be happening this year. The L.A.-based music festival would have been headlined Janet Jackson, Florence and the Machine and Future.

The culprit for FYF’s cancellation could be poor ticket sales in April. Refunds will be given to patrons who already bought tickets, according to a statement from Goldenvoice, the company behind FYF Fest.

And with so many multi-day music festivals taking place near L.A. and across the country, it’s getting tougher for festival companies to compete.

Dave Brooks is a senior correspondent for Billboard who has some thoughts on why FYF Fest just couldn’t make it happen this year. 

When did problems start for this year's FYF Fest?

Late last year, the founder of the festival, Sean Carlson, got in serious trouble once allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct came out. In 2011, he had sold half the festival to Goldenvoice. After those allegations emerged last year, he sold the entire thing to Goldenvoice. So Goldenvoice put the lineup out in April and fans did not respond with their wallets. Ticket sales never took off.

But it still had more than two months to go to increase ticket sales, and it was praised for its largely female artist lineup. Why did they make this decision now?

I'm sure they were up against some deadlines. In the festival world, you have to pay certain deposits and pay up-front for vendors. It was likely a deadline issue.

So this summer we have Coachella, Stagecoach, Electric Daisy--and those are just music festivals within driving distance of L.A. Is the festival scene just too saturated for FYF?

There's a lot of festivals and a lot of competition for the consumer dollar. Fans only have so much money to spend on these festivals that can cost up to $300 to $400.

What does it take to compete in today's festival landscape?

You just have to really have an event and lineup that appeals to fans. You have to have an event that people feel like they can't miss. And that can be tricky when there are so many festivals out there.