FYF Fest started, with a slightly different name, in 2004 as a scrappy little music festival. It almost always falls on what seems to be the hottest weekend of the year, and its roots reach back to Echo Park when it was a rougher neighborhood.
These elements just add to its appeal. It's a Goldenvoice venture now, and it's moved away from its original location to bigger digs (Exposition Park this year, on Aug. 27 and 28), but it's still got that sense of music-world legitimacy to it. Rough around the edges and such. And as of this year, the food vendors are as impressive as the music acts.
It's a safe bet that there are people buying tickets for FYF Fest more for the food than the music. (Which is not to disparage the bands. Everyone's got their interests and hobbies.) It's a relatively small list of restaurants, but it is expertly curated. Yeastie Boys make their own practically perfect bagels, and fill them with luxe ingredients like bacon and smoked salmon. Easy's is a new burger pop-up — it's not open to the public just yet, but Alvin Cailan is involved, so it will be good. Sunny Blue will have rice balls and other Japanese treats on hand, and Beer Belly's Korean-inspired snacks are high-quality and perfect party food.
Salt & Straw will be on hand for when you want to switch from savory to ice cream. Genghis Cohen will be repping that East Coast–style, Chinese Jewish food. It's not trendy or hipster-driven like the other food vendors at FYF Fest, but its presence is appreciated. Very unexpected, very punk rock.