Fun Fun Fun Fest | So Close, Yet So Far Out

Fun Fun Fun Fest is an incredible festival located in the heart of Austin, Texas. With a lineup catered to please a broad range of festival goers, FFF Fest seamlessly blends together indie, electronic, hip hop, rock, metal, and comedy into one super fun fun fun experience. Located at Auditorium Shores Park with the backdrop of the Austin skyline, FFF promotes creativity, frolicking, and a wee bit of debauchery. FFF fest is the ultimate “anti” festival focusing on celebrating the uniqueness and individuality of both artist and attendees alike.

Color-coded stages make it easy for attendees to see the type of music they want. The Orange Stage boasts the hippest indie rock music, while the Blue Stage is all about shaking that booty with hip hop and electronic sounds, and the Black stage is all about hardcore rock and metal. When the festival is over around 10:00 pm, FFF Nites begin. Local music venues open up to host both well-known and up-and-coming musicians and comedians in SXSW fashion.

Friday

Friday kicked off with lots of fun, fun, and more fun. Although the line to get in was a little long for those who had will call tickets, mostly everyone was in good spirits. Volcom had a skate showcase that featured professional skateboards flying high in the sky with the skyline as their backdrop.

Ginuwine came out wearing very tight white pants and a tight white shirt, and proceeded to do push-ups while playing old school hip hop favorites and even some Michael Jackson. The crowd went wild when he ended his set with his original song "Pony." It was a fantastic way to start the fest.

Wildcat! Wildcat! played right after Ginuwine in the Yellow Stage tent. It was an intimate and beautiful set just as the sun was about to set. They played their hit song "Hero." And the crowd was excited to see the different vibes they would brought to their FFF Nites set at Empire Control Room later in the night. Dinosaur Jr. got the crowd dancing as the sun went down and it started to get a little chilly.

Atmosphere was up next on the Blue Stage and people seemed to be having almost religious experiences. His positive messages and poetic flow transfixed the crowd. His set was definitely one of the best of the weekend. Judas Priest played the Black Stage and they rocked just as hard as they did 40 years ago.

Alt-J closed down the Orange Stage. Despite coming out with a brand new album, Alt-J did the fans a favor by playing all of their old hits. Singing and dancing was had by all until it was time to get down with 2 Chainz on the Blue Stage. Three completely different headliners closed down the first day of the festival.

After the festival was closed, fans flooded into the streets and venues of Austin to track down their favorite underground acts. The Red River District was booming with festival goers bar-hopping from one place to the next to see who was playing where. Wildcat! Wildcat! played at Empire Control Room along with SOHN who also had played at the festival earlier in the day, bringing their soulful slow sound.

Saturday

Although the festival kicked off at 10:30 on Saturday morning, things didn't really get going till later (thanks to all the late Nite fun had the night before).

Volcom hosted a free skate for anyone who wanted to try their luck on the triple half-pipe. Next to the half-pipe was some hilarious old school wrestling happening, complete with neon costumes and muscle men hitting each other with folding chairs.

Comedian Fred Armisen playfully made fun of festivals goers with his full band and silly gray-haired wig. With silly lines like, “I want to take you to a festival so we can make out!” and, “How much does this beer cost?” Portlandia fans were having a blast poking fun at each other.  

Z-Trip was a nice change of pace and wooed the crowd by playing a crazy metal remix of Ginuwine's "Pony." . Z-Trip was particularly badass because he incorporated the three main music genres of FFF Fest into his set: hip hop, rock, and electronic. The Presets brought some electronic funk to the Blue Stage, while the New Pornographers brought an indie upbeat sound to the Orange Stage.

Little known Tinariwen, a band from the West African country Mali, was hands down the grooviest act of the weekend. Although none of their songs are in English, they have a sound that is straight out of the '70s. In full Middle Eastern attire, they make music that sounds like it could come from The Doors if they had made a belly dancing album. They also played a funky set at West Sixth's Belmont.

Nas played the Blue Stage next and the crowd got down to some heartfelt hip hop. Later, it was easy to spot the diehard King Diamond fans, rocking the band's iconic face paint. The metal gods got the crowd riled up and there was a lot of moshing and good spirited debaruchery being had by those in the crowd.

Modest Mouse closed down the Orange Stage and the Festival, with a pretty enchanting ending. Fans sung along to their old favorite songs and danced under the bright stars. Half-way through their set a magical comet lit up the sky flying directly over the stage and afront the skyline. To say it was a perfect moment is an understatement.

Later in the night fans again scurried around the city hoping to find the next cool band. Those who followed Tinariwen to the Belmont got the biggest surprise of the night. Although rumored to have died that morning, Macaulay Culkin and his band The Pizza Underground, played a hilarious set covering the love songs of The Velvet Underground, but instead of being about people...all the songs were about pizza. Free pizza was passed around and the Home Alone fans rejoicde that their beloved Macaulay Culkin was alive and well—and rocking.

Sunday

The last day of FFF Fest was absolutely beautiful. The weather was what Texans dream about after a long, hot summer. The Air Sex Championships started the day off, which had people in stitches with their air-humping and imaginary orgies. Cashmere Cat played some happy, funky beats at the Blue Stage, followed by Ryan Hemsworth, whose visuals were something out of a middle school girl's notebook.

While the Dum Dum Girls brought the girl power to their set, rocking out in their funky outfits, the Flying Lotus set was from another world and, by far, the most unique stage design of the weekend. He played behind a white screen that had fractals and incredible images projected on it. All you could see was his light up glasses. 

The was a lot of hype about Neutral Milk Hotel. The crowd loved the slow melodic songs and the die hard fans knew every word. As Neutral Milk was slowly playing away, The Murder City Devils were tearing up the Black Stage with full force. This crowd vastly differed from the folks at the Orange Stage. They were jumping, shove-dancing, and playing around with everyone next to them. Jumping over to the Blue Stage, Wiz Khalifa tore it up with his mainstream hip hop, and the youthful crowd ate it up and danced till close.

Afterwards the FFF Nites went on and most were hyped about the Garden and Villas show at Red 7. They were everything the crowd had hope for, playing their fan favorites "Black Hills" and "Chemtrails." 

All in all, Fun Fun Fun Fest was a festival that truly embodies the spirit of Austin, Texas. The weather cooperated, the music, across all genres, was on point, and the Modest Mouse meteor is one that'll certainly go down in history as one of the band's (and fans') most magical moments. Till next year, festival goers. 

By Maranda Corbin