Festival Review: Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012
At around 4:15 a.m. Saturday morning, the official Fun Fun Fun Fest app sent a push notification, which is weird because usually there are two things that happen that late over cell phones: emergencies or regrettable judgment calls. I guess you could say this was both. It read, “Hey girl can I com over? I been drinkin bout you. Hollr.” It’s one of the best booty-texts I’ve heard in a minute — and it went out to thousands of people.
If it was real, that’s awesome. I hope that guy/girl found love in a hopeless place. But I’m willing to entertain the slight possibility that it was fake and just a really great joke set up by their social media person. The attendees at Fun Fun Fun Fest don’t care, and certainly aren’t going to get up in arms about it and take it up with the big wigs. I mean, it probably was a big wig, which is all the funnier.
In its seventh year filling up most of Auditorium Shores in Austin, TX, FFFF managed to keep the feel of an epic impromptu summer party set up in your friend’s backyard while elevating the logistics and amenities just enough to accomodate its thousands of ticket-holders. There’s no branding on the stages (which are designated as Black, Blue, Orange, and Yellow, each roughly focusing on metal, electronic/hip-hop, top-tier indie, and a grab-bag of comedy and music, respectively), local vendors (Frank’s was out of this world), and the only way I can describe the numbers was “appropriately attended”: never claustrophobic, rarely tumble-weed worthy.
In addition to the high-profile reunions like Refused and Run DMC, the most metal-friendly lineup of any mainstream festival, and a grip of the best comedians working today, one of the best parts about my time there was that FFFF played host to ersatz skate park and Anarchy Championship Wrestling matches placed right in the the middle of the grounds, not tucked away in the corner somewhere. Taking in some sweet vert ramps and rickety suplexes was the perfect transition between watching Tanlines’ daytime cocktail dance vibe and Seaweed’s ’90s Sub Pop.
I shot the photos, and David Von Bader and Paul de Revere put the pen to the paper (or the finger to the smart phone) and grabbed notes on several acts throughout the weekend. (With such a stacked lineup, we wish we could’ve been in several places at once.) By most accounts, Fun Fun Fun Fest closed out the “festival season” in the U.S., and they did it by crowd surfing through the weekend, lifting everyone’s spirits with the exception of the occasional kick to the skull.
-Jeremy D. Larson
Against Me!, Brendan Benson, Converge, Cult of Youth, Deerhoof, Diamond Rings, Fucked Up, Hannibal Buress, Japandroids, Napalm Death, Nicky Da B, Nite Jewel, Public Image Ltd., Refused, Run DMC, Seaweed, Tanlines, The Black Angels, The Helio Sequence, The Promise Ring, The Sword, Torche, Turbonegro, Valient Thorr, Why?, Wyatt Cenac, X