Last year’s FYF Fest should have taught promoters one guiding principle: don’t hold a punk rock festival on a dusty field.

L.A.’s continuously growing FYF Fest (previously the smaller Fuck Yeah Fest) took place at the Los Angeles State Historic Park in Downtown Los Angeles last year (just above and to the right of where it says “Chinatown” on that map up there).  While that area might sound like a beautiful landscape with grass and trees, it’s not.  It’s basically a desert, and the festival’s rambunctious crowd served as a catalyst for a mini dust storm.

The lineup for FYF Fest was one of the best in the city last year.  There were hardcore punk legends like 7Seconds as well as younger modern punks Wavves and indie favorites Cults and !!!.  The problem with the more aggressive end of that line up is that those bands’ fans like to run around and push each other.  The result isn’t so great when that takes place on a dusty field.  Tons of people were literally covering their mouths with their shirts and shielding their eyes in order to stop the dust from irritating them.

To make things even worse, there were only about three food vendors at the festival, which took place on a scorching hot fall day.  The lines stretched for what might as well have been miles.  There were also two food trucks located near one of the stages, and I waited in line for one of those before ultimately giving up after an hour.  I walked out of the festival because I was so hungry and so dusty.  Many others did the same.

A few months ago, the lineup for this year’s FYF Fest was revealed.  Again, it’s an attractive lineup.  Hardcore legends the Descendents are headlining with recently resurrected Death From Above 1979, as well as indie supergroup Broken Social Scene and post-rock phenomenons Explosions In The Sky.

This already impressive lineup was made further appealing when the festival promoters announced that they’d teamed up with Goldenvoice and relocated to a huge block’s worth of space in Downtown Los Angeles.  That meant no dust and more opportunity to provide food and bathrooms.  Due to the combination of the new location and the new lineup (but mostly the former), I immediately purchased a ticket.

A few days ago, I checked the festival website and discovered the following message: “We are happy to announce that FYF Fest will be returning to The Los Angeles State Historic Park in Downtown L.A. The park at 1245 N. Spring St. Los Angeles, CA.”

My initial thought was something along the lines of WHAT THE HELL?! I WANT A REFUND!  I AM NOT GOING BACK TO THAT DUSTBOWL.

As I read further I noticed that the promoters added some reassurance, saying, “The venue has made improvements to the entrance area allowing for a swifter entry into the festival. Upgrades have also been made to expand the grass areas and to offer more shade throughout the park.
There will also be an expanded and affordable selection of food vendors, more bars and portable toilets ensuring that lines will be minimal.”

Although the old location is still a questionable call, the fact that the promoters chose to acknowledge their past mistakes comforts me.  It shows that they recognize what went wrong last year and are making an effort to improve it.  Although I was initially skeptical and offended at the re-relocation, I sincerely hope that those behind FYF Fest can figure out a way to improve things.  The lineup is great and the idea behind the festival is as well, but it takes more than just those qualities to provide an entertaining and satisfying day for thousands of people.  FYF Fest is still young, so hopefully it can have time to work out its kinks and become one of L.A.’s premier festivals.


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