The Growing and Shrinking Pains of Fun Fun Fun Fest
A report and photos from the uber-popular downtown Austin music festival.
The size hits you first. Instead of the sprawling, elongated festival grounds that took up the whole of Auditorium Shores in Austin, Fun Fun Fun Fest (11/7-11/9) done went compact, stuffing the same amount of talent (lots) in a much different space (smaller) adjacent to the previous. The relatively cramped nature of the uber-popular FFF Fest in 2014 was reflected in the well documented lines to entry, which some blame on the convenient timing of an overhaul of Auditorium Shores funded by FFF Fest competitor C3 Presents. But besides the lines that troubled the crowds on the first day of the festival, FFF Fest was otherwise similar and just as popular as years prior, featuring an overstuffed helping of everything from pro BMX demos to band reunions to comedians to the hottest of the hot in music right now. And yes, it was amazing.
Featuring headlining performances from a one-two punch of heavy metal legends, Judas Priest and King Diamond, the musical portion of the festival (read: the bulk of) also featured Queensbridge rap legend Nas (performing his classic Illmatic), chart-topping MCs 2Chainz and Wiz Khalifa, indie rock icons Neutral Milk Hotel and Modest Mouse, the UK's indie-electronic kids Alt-J, punk favorites Murder City Devils, and Rocket from the Crypt. And what's a fest without a little drama, like an El-P/Mark Kozelek beef or a missing Sky Ferriera (who played a FFF Nites club show to make up for missing her set earlier in the day). Considering the all-star lineup, it was a hard to choose the ones to sail ahead of the pack, but it was 2Chainz, Ginuwine and Judas Priest on night one, Iceage, Tinariwen and King Diamond on night two, and Chelsea Wolfe, Freddie Gibbs/Madlib, Deafheaven, Rocket from the Crypt, and Murder City Devils on the third night who all proved to he the highlights of the day. Standout night shows mainly took place on night two, including the jam-packed Noisey show at Red7 with Rocket from the Crypt/7 Seconds and the Chaos in Tejas show with Forward/Long Knife/World Burns to Death/Power Trip.
Check out photos from the wild weekend courtesy of Steven Michael Ruud.