After poor ticket sales this year, festival owners Goldenvoice and AEG Live decided to cancel the annual FYF Festival in Los Angeles this summer, announcing the decision over the weekend. The FYF Festival, which was supposed to take place from July 21 to 22, was due for its 15th anniversary this year. FYF released the following statement on their website:
“Our team of many women and men have worked tirelessly on this event for many years but felt unable to present an experience on par with the expectations of our loyal fans and the Los Angeles music community this year.”
They also noted that some “special local shows” will take place soon, featuring artists from this year’s lineup. Additionally, ticket buyers will automatically receive refunds, including service charges, starting today. Fans that bought tickets will receive an email notification.
Billboard reports that the cancellation was due to poor ticket sales this April. The summer festival season has just begun, and many upcoming shows are competing with one another. Rumors reportedly began last week of pulling the plug on the festival, even though this year seemed to be a positive run for the brand; the lineup featured a diverse group of artists, including 20 acts led by a female singer or featuring a female band member. Headlining acts included St. Vincent and Florence and the Machine.
The festival, which was originally founded by Sean Carlson in 2004, operated in Echo Park and featured dozens of punk and indie bands, as well as many comedians. Past performers include Kendrick Lamar, Carly Rae Jepsen, Father John Misty, Vince Staples, and Nine Inch Nails. This year’s acts helped the festival stand apart from others this summer because of its high representation of women on the lineup. Yet now, it just seems like a setback.
This year also marked the year AEG and Goldenvoice held the festival without Carlson; they bought out Carlson’s share and replaced him with Goldenvoice’s talent buyer Jenn Yacoubian after “graphic accounts” of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior made news last year. During an interview with Billboard on April 6, Yacoubian said that she didn’t want people to think the festival was changing since they “love the show for as many reasons as our fans love the show.”
“This wasn’t something that we were consciously tallying,” Yacoubian said. “When we laid out everything, this is what made sense for the festival and this is what we thought was going to be the best booking.”
“We’re super happy to have so many talented women and men on the festival — it wasn’t like there was any sort of criteria,” she added.
However, despite Yacoubian’s idea of the women-led lineup, the Los Angeles Times makes a good point that FYF didn’t exactly brand itself as a must-see event in 2018. Artists like Janet Jackson and St. Vincent are slated to play at other festivals this summer, leading fans to be disinterested.
Concertgoers took to Twitter, asking the festival why they booked this specific lineup, after a great set of acts last year. One person tweeted, “Maybe if you had bands like Interpol or The Strokes again y’all would sell…Janet Jackson? Get outta here..” Many fans complained about the lineup, as well as the festival’s involvement with Carlson.
“It’s time to let this fest pass away and also get rid of the name FYF all together,” another concertgoer tweeted. “Sean’s reputation and actions will forever taint the name, period. Better to move on for all involved. It’s a shame it’s come to this but the writing is on the wall and everyone knows it.”
It’s unclear whether the festival will return in the future. For email updates and information, visit FYF’s official website.