Each year, FYF Fest seems to move further away from a local rock festival, into a mini-Coachella. That's not necessarily a bad thing. In May, many were shocked and delighted to hear that super-big-deal bands the Strokes and Phoenix would be headlining.
However, the move from L.A. State Historic Park to Exposition Park (along with the larger crowds) came with some growing pains. This past weekend, there were times when FYF just didn't feel ready for all the changes. Below, the worst aspects of the festival.
See also: Best of FYF 2014
Logistically, it was a mess. Some attendees missed sets because they were waiting in a three hour line to get in. Then, inside, the distance between the stages was often very far — more than a half mile from the Lawn Stage to the Main Stage. So, if you had any plans to bounce between stages, you were pretty much guaranteed to miss 20 minutes of something. Also, they appeared to have run out of maps of the labyrinth-like grounds by about 6 pm on the first day. -Artemis Thomas-Hansard
The Sports Arena
At most big festivals, everyone can see the headlining acts — even if it's from a mile away. But the Sports Arena only holds 6,000 people, so if you didn't get in you were out of luck. Because of this, many had to miss acts including Slint, Four Tet, and Darkside. To their credit, the organizers opened up the balcony seats for the second day. -Artemis Thomas-Hansard
Samuel T. Herring
Samuel T. Herring, the frontman of Baltimore synthpop band Future Islands, was dressed like a banker. With his blue collared shirt tucked into his black pants, he proceeded to dance around like a dad embarrassing himself at a wedding, circa 1985. Then, with his hands pointed toward the sky like a method actor doing Shakespeare (occasionally whacking himself in the face for good measure), Herring belted out demonic growls like a possessed frog, while making faces that looked like he was begging the audience for empathy. -Art Tavana
Joyce Manor is an "emo revival" band from Torrance. Opening up the main stage on day one, they sounded like bands you avoided at the Vans Warped Tour, circa 1999; a derivative of Taking Back Sunday, Saves the Day, and all the emotional melodrama of getting dumped in high school. The only justification for booking this band is that they're wildly popular right now. -Art Tavana
Look, I can appreciate a nice butt just as much as the next person, but when you're bombarded by thousands of girls wearing shorts hiked up so high that you get a wedgie just by looking at them, it makes you wonder if the entire experience isn't just a giant fashion "Don't." -Artemis Thomas-Hansard
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In the end, KROQ dance-pop band Phoenix is probably a bit too Coachella for FYF Fest, which was apparent from the start. Sure, they're professionals, but they also need to evolve their set; we've heard "Lasso" way too many times to care—choreographed lighting doesn't make it more interesting.
Also, how many more times can frontman Thomas Mars walk into the crowd and sing? Too polished, too predictable. -Art Tavana
See also: Best of FYF 2014