FYF Fest Canceled, Two-Day Event Was To Feature Florence + The Machine, Janet Jackson, Future
Rich Fury / Getty Images for FYF) – FYF Fest 2017
A General View Of FYF 2017 LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 23: Festivalgoers during day 3 of FYF 2017 on July 23, 2017 at Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California.
This year’s FYF Festival, the major Los Angeles music fest put on by Goldenvoice with a bill topped by Florence + The Machine, Janet Jackson and Future, has been canceled with a statement saying organizers “felt unable to present an experience on par with the expectations of our loyal fans and the Los Angeles music community this year.”
“After much consideration, we have made the difficult decision to cancel FYF Fest 2018.” the statement begins. “We will be announcing some special local shows soon, featuring some of the amazing artists from the 2018 line up.”
It says ticket purchasers will automatically receive full refunds including all service charges beginning Monday, “with no action necessary on your end to receive a refund.”
The event, to take place at Exposition Park July 21-22, was to also feature The xx, St. Vincent, Kali Uchis, Skepta, U.S. Girls, My Bloody Valentine, Daniel Caesar, The Breeders and many others.
Although FYF has a strong reputation as a popular event and a solid track record of major lineups, this year’s event had some controversy as Goldenvoice severed ties with co-founder Sean Carlson in November following allegations of his sexual misconduct. At the time, he addressed accusations in general in a Facebook post, writing, “Several years ago, I was a part of the problem. I behaved inappropriately towards women and these actions were unacceptable.
“I am genuinely, unequivocally sorry. I lay fault at no one’s feet but my own. I am ashamed by how I acted and feel terrible for the pain that I have caused.”
Goldenvoice ended its relationship with Carlson, and stated it was “evaluating our path forward as it relates to FYF Fest.” This year;s FYF was announced as a standalone Goldenvoice event just at the end of March, as a two-day event as opposed to last year’s three.
No reason was given for the cancellation, with the statement saying only “After much consideration, we have made the difficult decision to cancel FYF Fest 2018.” On the festival’s announcement on its social media pages, many users left comments complaining of weekend passes costing close to $300 after fees.
Another major California festival — Outside Lands partnered by Another Planet Entertainment, Superfly and Starr Hill Presents — takes place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park just a couple weeks after FYF was scheduled, on Aug. 10-12, with some of the same artists such as Florence + The Machine, Janet Jackson, Future, The Internet, and Daniel Caesar. While two clear separate markets, the drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles is only about 5 and a half hours while music festivals have become destination events.
Paradigm Talent Agency’s Sam Hunt, who represents The xx, told Pollstar, “It is a great festival and I’m sorry to see its cancellation.” He also represents Flying Lotus, who debuted his 3D set at FYF last year before launching a full 3D tour.
As for some of the major artists on this year’s FYF lineup, Janet Jackson kicks off a tour leg in July and, although FYF was her only West Coast date on the routing, she played four sold-out or near sold-out California arena shows toward the end of last year on a longer tour leg that saw her sell out venues including Phillips Arena in Atlanta, according to Pollstar data. She’s playing Essence Music Festival in New Orleans and Panorama in New York.
Florence + The Machine is playing the new Grandoozy festival in Denver as well as Osheaga in Montreal and European festivals this year. The group hasn’t played California since 2016 according to Pollstar’s records.
St. Vincent just played Coachella in April and as well as a date at the Orpheum. She has other festivals on her routing in both the U.S. and overseas as her headline tour wraps up.
Future is also playing Outside Lands in California this year, along with festivals on the opposite coast including Rolling Loud in Florida and 515 Alive in Des Moines, Iowa.
Kali Uchis, who just released her debut LP Isolation in April, is playing Governors Ball in New York, Bonnaroo in Tennessee and Osheaga, Lollapalooza and many European festivals after opening for Lana Del Rey’s recent arena tour and as fans await her first major headline run.
Last year’s FYF included Missy Elliott, Bjork, Nine Inch Nails, Solange, Frank Ocean, A Tribe Called Quest and many others over three days.
FYF – or Fuck Yeah Fest – was founded by Carlson in 2004 and initially took place at a banquet hall that is now EchoPlex in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles. It quickly took off and moved to Los Angeles State Historic Park in 2009 where it remained until construction at the site forced a move to Exposition Park.
Goldenvoice and parent AEG Live partnered with Carlson to produce the festival beginning in 2011, and remained collaborators until 2017. A press announcement for 2018 event says Goldenvoice is now the sole owner of the festival. The team working on the festival is led by Jennifer Yacoubian and Goldenvoice CEO Paul Tollett, along with former FYF Presents team Dave Peterson and Emily Twombly.
Reached for comment, Goldenvoice referred Pollstar to the statement on its website.