L.A.’s FYF Fest celebrated its tenth anniversary this weekend at Los Angeles State Historic Park with two days of left-of-the-dial live music, local vendors and more. Though it had its share of typical festival complaints—ubiquitous dust, long food and bathroom lines, sound problems —FYF Fest was particularly well executed this year. Check out some of our favorite moments and observations:
Best band you can catch in Vegas soon: Washed Out
FYF Fest spillover continues in Las Vegas this week, with gigs by MGMT, Baroness, Lemuria and Washed Out. We highly recommend the latter, whose sparkling, synth-laden chillwave came to life Sunday night with the help of a full backing band, who drenched the massive crowd in throbbing bass and lights like a bizarro My Bloody Valentine. Check them out at Beauty Bar Tuesday night.
Best idea Life Is Beautiful should borrow from FYF: Arts and crafts tent
Festival-goers had the chance to escape the heat and get creative at the festival’s awesome arts and crafts tent, where fans could make pin buttons, decorate cell phone cases, make jewelry, design postcards (which they’d send for you) and more. Far from hokey, the tent made for a great way to recharge and mingle with other attendees while making festival souvenirs that are decidedly cooler than an overpriced band t-shirt.
Best eco-friendly festival fix: Recycling swap
With their heaping amounts of trash and mass energy consumption, music festivals are notoriously bad for the environment—which is why it was refreshing to see FYF’s recycle swap booth, another move that LIB may want to crib. Fans could bring in bottles, cans and other recyclable festival detritus that would normally end up on the ground or in the trash and trade it for points that would add up to cool prizes like vouchers, tote bags, t-shirts and even a pair of Doc Martens.
Best dance party/DJs Vegas should import: Horse Meat Disco, Classixx, Nosaj Thing and more
The festival flexed its dance music muscles in the Samantha Tent all weekend with a slate of on-the-rise DJs and dance acts who kept the floor packed and bumping at all hours. But one need not be a dance music aficionado to let loose and get down: Be it the underground disco madness of Horse Meat Disco, the space age hip-hop beats of Nosaj Thing or the synth-thumping gold of Classixx, artists drew as many curious passersby as they did fans. Their sets refreshingly deviated from the untz-untz ubiquity of Strip nightclubs while still delivering big, sleek sounds and visuals that would have no trouble packing a dance floor at any Vegas club—and perhaps even make a few converts.
Best act we really, really wish would play Life Is Beautiful: Solange
The younger Knowles stepped out of her sister’s shadow Sunday night, proving that her chops go well beyond “Losing You” and the smattering of singles and EPs she’s put out in recent years (and that there’s a lot to look forward to on her upcoming full-length). Grooving all over the stage in a short skirt and hot pink animal print sweater, the singer proved her star power with a gobsmacking vocal range paired with some seriously funky dance moves that you couldn’t help but try to imitate. Her backing band, meanwhile, delivered her signature blend of funk, Motown, Afropop and ’80s R&B with raw, organic gusto. By the end of the short but sweet set, the crowd had doubled in size, with Solange imploring fans to join her in one big grind session—a request everyone was more than happy to oblige.