The 2016 MTV Video Music Awards isn’t the only musical occurrence happening this weekend. From across the country, musical festival-goers are inhabiting Exposition Park in Los Angeles for the 12th annual FYF Fest.
The festival, which runs Aug. 27-28, was established in 2004 as a one-day concert in Echo Park. Twelve years later, FYF Fest now attracts some of the most accomplished musicians, ranging from Kanye West to Morrissey. This year, day one was headlined by both Kendrick Lamar and Tame Impala, who attracted a niche crowd dissimilar to its usual attendees. Still, fans from around the country traveled to L.A. for another year of the city’s biggest music festival.
Though a majority of the A-list musicians performed toward the day’s end, there was no shortage of patrons as the gates opened at 2 p.m. With the parameter dense with festival-goers, primarily fashionably-clad millennials, entrance to Exposition Park took as much as 90 minutes during peak hours. Through clouds of smoke and the smell of craft beer wafting the air, the early birds had the opportunity to see performances from DIIV, Jagwar Ma, Peter Bjorn and John, Alex G and Boogie, among others. With attendance well into the thousands, FYF Fest provides a golden chance for many of these up-and-coming performers to gain exposure, with many patrons apt at discovering new musicians to add to their respective playlists.
Though the daylight hours had it’s own laid back vibe, it wasn’t until the evening that the atmosphere shifted from moderate to gonzo enthusiasm, with sets from Air, Kelela, Grimes, Hot Chip and Explosions in the Sky.
Grimes easily attracted one of the biggest crowds for early in the evening, comprised both of diehard fans and passerbyers. Clad in red mesh, the singer endured multiple blunders through her set, from technical difficulties to a wardrobe malfunction.
“This is the most ridiculous wardrobe malfunction of all time,” she expressed to the crowd.
However, the Canadian singer didn’t let the mishaps affect her performance. The height of her passion was seen during her song “Scream,” in which the singer literally screams during the chorus. Though the song definitely has it’s own unique taste, she finished her set strong and left the audience more-or-less content.
As the first headliner, Tame Impala was one of the most well-received sets from the audience. The Australian band, known for their psychedelic rock genre, finished their set with a surprise appearance from Lady Gaga at the end of the song “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.” With the crowd going absolutely gaga for Gaga, she hugged frontman Kevin Parker before that band left the stage.
Kendrick Lamar closed the first day with a performance that was easily one of the most theatrical, with pyrotechnics a-blast as he entered the stage. Complete with black-and-white videos of Oprah and president Barack Obama, Lamar effused an intense yet powerful tone throughout with songs such as “King Kunta,” “m.A.A.d City” and “Alright.” Lamar, who is an LA native, seemed to have the time of his life performing in his hometown.
“I love you L.A.!” declared Lamar at the conclusion of his set.