While Austin City Limits and South By Southwest may get the lion’s share of press when it comes to events in Austin, but there’s a festival that is the best kept secret in live entertainment. All of that is about to change this year. Ladies and Gentlemen of the wide world, that festival is Fun Fun Fun Fest. Starting in 2006 in Waterloo Park in downtown Austin, Texas, the festival has grown by leaps and bounds each year, becoming one of the best festivals of underground and independent music in the country.
For the past 5 years Waterloo Park has been the home of the festival, but this year the fun has been moved to Auditorium Shores on Town Lake, which is popular for the free concerts hosted there during SxSW, such as the Strokes and Bright Eyes shows this year. It will be interesting to see how this venue change affects the festival and its functionality, but the area is used to concert so it should go off without a hitch. Notable events at festival that aren’t music are a scavenger hunt, veggie hot dog eating contest, the “Fun Fun Fun Olympics,” “air sex competition,” and “Anarchy Championship Wrestling.”
Austin has a fantastic and unique culinary and retail culture of its own and likes to keep things local. Food for the event will be provided by Austin favorites such as Austin’s Pizza, Frank gourmet hotdogs, Hey Cupcake! and Kebabalicious. Retail includes Austin Facial Hair Club, Love Nail Tree, Peoples Rx and 420 Spot. There are also several non-profit organizations in attendance such as Action for Animals and AustinMusicPeople. Event posters will be provided by many excellent designers including Mexican Chocolate Design, Decoder Ring and Empire Press.
Fun Fun Fun from Far Away
If you don’t live in Austin or aren’t able to make here for the festivities, you have a chance to take part in the fun from the comfort of your home! Thanks to a last-minute announcement of a partnership with Pitchfork, much of the festival will be broadcast for the very first time. All four stages will have acts streamed on four separate channels on Pitchfork.com, so head over there this weekend to catch what is sure to be some amazing music, even if you can’t be there in person.
The following is a list of highly recommended acts to check out, whether in person or on webcast this weekend, divided up by day and stage. These are acts you don’t want to miss! Full lineup can be found here.
Orange Stage: TV Torso, Jim Ward (from Sparta/At The Drive In), Heartless Bastards, Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears, Okkervil River, Passion Pit
Black Stage: Doomriders, D Generation, Russian Circles, Murder City Devils, Danzig Legacy
Note: Danzig Legacy is what this journalist is looking forward to the most. Watch a metal legend play songs that he hasn’t dusted off in decades as he plays tracks from his cult favorite bands Misfits and Samhain, as well as the songs you know and love from Danzig. This will be a show to remember.
Blue Stage: Car Stereo (Wars), Black Milk, Omar Soleyman, Four Tet, Public Enemy
Yellow Stage: Unpright Citizens Brigade National Touring Company, Reggie Watts
Orange Stage: Joe Lally (of Fugazi), tUnE-yArDs, M83, Lykke Li
Black Stage: Touche Amore, Dead Horse, Hot Snakes, The Damned
Note: Hot Snakes’ appearance is a rare thing. Disbanded since 2005, this is one of the only “reunion” shows they’re doing. Their sound is where garage, indie and punk collide in the most head rush-inducing way. If you’ve never seen them, this is possibly your last chance. This is a DO NOT MISS opportunity!
Blue Stage: T Bird and The Breaks, Cecil Otter (of Doomtree), Dan Deacon, Rakim, Neon Indian, Major Lazer
Yellow Stage: Anarchy Championship Wrestling, Neal Brennan (Chappelle Show & Half Baked co-creator)
Orange Stage: Les Butherettes, Asobi Seksu, Mates of State, Slayer
Black Stage: NoBunny, Cannibal Corpse, Boris, Black Lips, Blonde Redhead
Blue Stage: Del the Funky Homosapien, Flying Lotus, Diplo, Odd Future
Yellow Stage: What The Hell: Magic Stunt Show, Veggie Hot Dog Eating Content, Henry Rollins
Certainly 3 full days of music isn’t enough for those avid festival-goers this weekend. That’s why the festival has created “FFF Nites,” a completely new take on the concept of aftershows. Instead charging fans for individual after shows, the Nites shows are an extension of the festival, and anyone with a 3-Day Pass can get into any of these events for FREE. No strings attached.
Here’s some of the bands included in “FFF Nites:”
The Felice Brothers, Glass Candy, Dead Confederate, Kool Keith, The Thermals, Ty Segall, Dom, Royal Bangs, Grimes, Syd The Kyd DJing (OFWGKTA), Andre Williams, Earth Crisis, Sleepercar, Jesse Malin, Underground Railroad to Candyland, Toxic Holocaust, Coathangers, Babies (2/3 of Vivian Girls), Widowspeak, Cobra Skulls, Nothington, Memoryhouse, Passion Pit DJ set, Inepsy, Hull, The Fucking Wrath, Canon Blue, Old Man Markley, Delicate Steve, ANR, Yellow Ostrich, Pat Jordache, Deafheaven, Tera Melos, Generationals, The Front Bottoms, Cowboy and Indian, Future Rock, DJ Thibault, Bearhands, Pujol, Barreracudas, Ch. 24, Neon Indian DJ set, Check Yo Ponytail party, Learning Secrets, Powertrip, Mammoth Grinder, Ghost Knife, Ancient VVisdom, Gill Landry (Old Crowe Medicine Show), David Liebe Hart Band (of Tim and Eric Awesome Show), Ume, Boris, Ceremony, Russian Circles, Cold Cave, Doomriders, Mates Of State, Thee Oh Sees, Zero Boys, Purity Ring, Total Control, Keep Shelly In Athens, Lemuria, Touche Amore, Big Freedia, Budos Band, Austra DJ set, Trash Talk, Deathgrips and many more…
For updates live from the festival follow @matulaj on Twitter. Look for a full review with plenty of great photos next week.