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Fun, Fun, Fun Fest 2013

 

 

 

by Seth Mattei

Fun, Fun, Fun Fest

Now in its eighth year, and third at the Auditorium Shores location, a park within walking distance of downtown Austin, Fun Fun Fun Fest has become one of the most popular music festivals in the US. This year’s event took place November 8-10, and did not disappoint.

 

Boasting a reliable, extensive line-up of up-and-coming talent mixed with reunions from legendary acts, FFF offers attendees tastes of hip hop, indie rock, punk rock, techno, comedy and extreme sports, as well as night shows in Austin’s downtown nightclub district, resulting in a dizzying entertainment experience that doesn’t let up for three days. This year, performers included Snoop Dogg, Lupe Fiasco, Flag, Descendents, Kurt Vile, Johnny Marr, Deerhunter, Twin Shadow, Tenacious D, comedians Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Craig Robinson and many, many more. In short, there is probably something for everyone there.

Fun, Fun, Fun Fest

Austin is a city famous for its food trucks, and there was no shortage of those at the fest, selling everything from hot dogs, to ice cream, to vegan food. Poster art booths were plentiful as well, giving festival-goers a variety of art choices for relatively low prices ($20 for an original print was the average cost at these tents). The festival was broken down into four stages: Yellow, Orange, Blue and Black (featuring comedy, indie rock, hip hop and punk rock/heavy metal, respectively) as well as an area with ramps set up for extreme sports professionals.

Fun, Fun, Fun Fest

The sound was consistently solid at this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest. During the day, crowds were pretty sparse and the volume was at a non-earsplitting level, while as attendance picked up and the throngs of people got thicker for the four stages’ headliners at the end of each night, the volume increased dramatically, charging people’s adrenaline as they packed in to see their favorite performers. Besides for the occasional blast of feedback, one of the only unfortunate audio occurrences was the bleed-through from the Orange Stage (featuring mostly pop-oriented indie rock and jam bands) into the Yellow Stage, located in a tent and featuring comedy throughout most of each day. Comedian Patton Oswalt turned this into an advantage by riffing over Kurt Vile’s set when it drifted into his performance, at one point singing, “Tie-dye tell me, what is soap?” When someone told him who was playing he stopped and said, “Oh (expletive), I like Kurt Vile. He sounds like he’s standing in a tub of soy milk right now, though,” making fun of Vile’s jam band-like, “hippie-ish” sound.

Fun, Fun, Fun Fest

Fun Fun Fun’s organizers couldn’t have picked a better time of year to hold a festival in Austin. With temperatures between 45 and 75 degrees fahrenheit, sweatshirts never had to be removed, but no one froze without one, either. The atmosphere was laid-back (unless Flag or Slayer were playing) and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Food and drinks were pricey ($12 for a hot dog and a beer), but that’s the case at most outdoor festivals. Free Twinkies were given away voraciously, so much that one comedian remarked, “I’ve been living off of Shiner Bock and free Twinkies for three days. It’s the weirdest hangover ever.” Overall, the festival deserves a four-star rating, and was worth the nine-hour drive from New Orleans.

 

 

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