FYFest Rocks for the Environment
With Los Angeles' National Park currently under the scrutiny of California's slim budget and multiple forest fires, FYF Festival is here to help raise awareness. Previously known as F*** Yeah Festival, a one of a kind, independently run production, brought in thousands of music junkies sporting cut off shorts, Ray Bans, and fedoras, this past Saturday, Sept. 5.The festival's objective has always been to showcase local bands that pursue music through the means of "D.I.Y." (Do It Yourself). Since 11 that morning there were dedicated fans lined up to get inside and buy their last minute tickets, with the doors opening at 1 p.m.
FYF Fest was started by Sean Carlson at the age of 18 in 2004. Six years later they grew out of their location in Echo Park and now relocated to China Town's Los Angeles Historic State Park. This year was the first time that FYF aligned itself with California State Parks Foundation and the Save Our State Parks organization. With each ticket purchased, $1 was donated directly to the California State Parks.
Talking to a volunteer for FYF, Chase Selby said, "Sean [Carlson] had asked me to work the past two years for F**** Yeah, this year I finally got the chance to help out." His reaction to working the festival for his first time, "Really tiring and stressful but in all one of the best experiences I could have had. Everything went perfect and I got to meet really cool people." His favorite experience, "Last night, Sean sent me to the airport to pick up the band F***** Up, that was pretty interesting."
Although there was a delay on the doors opening, people began flowing into the park and crowding the stage. The sun was directly above everyone's head with a skyline view of swarming smoke clouds, rising above the outline of the Los Angeles State Park. Avi Buffalo from Long Beach kicked off the day with their agreeable indie rock sound, showing hints of jazz and blues. Only 17, Avi ,singer and guitarist shows promising potential.
Still early in the afternoon, psychedelic sounds came from Darker My Love, playing on the Oak stage, gathering a well-informed crowd, swaying and nodding their heads in agreement with the music. Immediately after, swarms of crowds rushed to the Redwood stage to hear the lo-fi pop, skate punk vibrations from Wavves, produced by San Diego local, Nathan Williams who is accompanied by drummer Zach Hill, former drummer for Hella. The next notable and provocative performance on the Sequoia stage was the combining set of Brooklyn's noise rock band Japanthers and hip-hop group NinjaSonik. Together they made mass chaos with the crowd "jerk" dancing, pushing and chanting along with every song, including their cover of The Beach Boys, "Do you Wanna Dance."
After the set, Japanthers Matt Reilly and Ian Vanek spoke a little bit about their involvement with FYF. "We've known Sean since he was 17, and he's always asked us to play and we've always jumped to the call," Reilly said. They've played this show year after year in New York and L.A., "because we really care about supporting Sean. He has a lot of great people with him, and it's a really positive experience," Vanek said. Vanek held a personal concern to this year's cause, "I'm super into conserving the National Parks, because I'm from Washington State, it was the community I was raised in." Recognized for their enthusiastic live performance of breaking bottles and shouting obscenities, F***** Up hailing from America's hat, aka Canada, brought the DIY spirit alive. Their front man announced the band doesn't produce merchandise because they'd like fans to, "Make your own F***ed up t-shirt. Then send us between 10-15 dollars for the copyright, depending on how much you think it's worth."
By the end of the night, fans were separated by their delicate subgenres. The hardcore listeners watched Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan. For the people looking for some feel good dancing, Glass Candy headlined the Sequoia stage with their vibrating bass. Leaving the FYF's 6 year alumni is No Age, who finally made their noise rock set to a headlining position, following the comedic act of Tim & Eric. They took their punk crowd by surprise and pumped them up with a GG Allin cover of "Don't Talk to Me." Afterward, The Black Lips echoed sounds of "Flower punk," to their twangy guitar and emotionally involved singing. For the affordable price of $20, while directly donating to help save the California State Parks and supporting independent bands, FYF l seemed to be a tremendous success, with very few mishaps. For a group of hardworking volunteers and the vision of one determined man, FYF is here now and helping out Los Angeles' cultured community in every way possible.