5 Reasons Why Fun Fun Fun Fest Lives Up To Its Name (PREVIEW)

Ahhh yes. Can you smell the delicious aroma of the taco cannon as it is readied to fire tasty egg and bacon filled tortillas upon the hungering, moshing masses? Fun Fun Fun Fest is upon us once again. This year Austin’s long-running debaucherous fall party celebrates a tenth anniversary, no small feat in a town that literally has at least one music festival basically every weekend of the year. But FFF Fest has always offered something that is completely in its own league when it comes to both the talent presented and the experience for attendees. Even as it has grown from humble beginnings at Waterloo Park to higher ticket prices, more acts, and the more expansive space offered by Auditorium Shores, FFF Fest has always stayed true to its mission as a destination event “custom booked for the most passionate, underground, and progressive musicians, comedians and fans around the world.” So, for a festival that boldly claims triple the fun, how does FFF Fest live up to its name? Here are five reasons why it definitely does…

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1.  Lineup

Admittedly, I’m not much of a fan of this year’s lineup. That being said, unlike other festivals of this size, the organizers of FFF Fest have always succeeded in presenting a roster of acts that are wildly eclectic, at times way out of left field, and, most importantly, would probably not work for any other festival. You need not look much further than the stage setup, which is essentially broken down by genre. Orange stage tends to feature indie rock and pop as well as many of the major headliners, the Blue stage is hip-hop and more electronic-based acts, the Black stage is punk, metal and everything in between, and the Yellow stage features comedy and more acoustically based acts. Though the festival has experienced some unfortunate cancellations in recent weeks – D’Angelo (replaced by Lauryn Hill) and Desaparecidos (replaced by Archers of Loaf) – this year’s lineup is still a fine cross-section of acts that are either hip, rarely perform live, or represent hipster nostalgia, and in many cases all of the above. FFF Fest has always been a champion of providing something appealing for every musical taste without getting hung up on booking the biggest hottest act as a headliner.

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2. Still feels like a local festival

Unlike corporate behemoths like South By Southwest and Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest has managed to hang on to its local vibe over the course of its 10 year history. While those fests both have their strongpoints, they also tend to attract similar crowds to those who have been moving to Austin in droves and filling up expensive condos most locals can’t afford, aka tech bros. There are certainly a few tech bros who find their way into FFF Fest, but for the most part the event is attended by a mix of people ranging from skinny jean wearing hipsters, hip-hop heads, black-clad metalheads, and everything in between. Transmission Events has long reigned over the Red River District – Austin’s last bastion of concentrated music venues – and has always succeeded in bringing the personality and vibe of venues like the Mohawk and Beerland to Auditorium Shores. At FFF Fest, stage diving, moshing and taco cannons take precedent over flag-waving blanket-layers just there to seize on the selfie moment. Raise a glass to that!

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3. Nice mix of folks

I touched on this in the last point, but one thing that sets FFF Fest apart from other fests is the wonderfully odd mix of people that all congregate for the weekend. Surely this comes as the result of the stage setup (also mentioned above), as each stage draws a totally different demographic of music fan. But sometimes it’s good to get out of your comfort zone and mingle with people from other scenes. One of my favorite memories at the fest was in 2013 when Slayer fans – a drunken, rowdy bunch to say the least – staked out spots on the main stage while MGMT was still playing. This, of course, led to some strange interactions, but it also spoke to the fest’s ability to bring fans from different walks of life outside of their comfort zones without killing each other. Other fests accomplish this to some extent, but FFF has it down to a science, and that’s pretty fucking cool.

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4. Lack of (less) corporate involvement

Let’s be honest, pretty much any festival that wants to turn a profit needs some sort of sponsorship. FFF Fest definitely has a few corporate “partners” who inject it with a healthy influx of cash, however, it’s far easier to tune them out when you’re actually on-site. One could argue that, in today’s marketing landscape, it’s far hipper for a brand to stealthily insert themselves into the lifestyles of their target demographics, but brands at FFF Fest rarely dominate the environment as they do at, say, Austin City Limits, Coachella, and Bonnaroo. To be fair, those fests are substantially larger, but you get the idea. This may not seem like a big deal to many of us who are used to being surrounded by brands everywhere we go and blocking them out as a form of instinct, but I’m a strong believer that the less corporate presence, the purer the music experience is.

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5. It’s in the fall!

Yeah yeah, preaching to the choir. I’m not the first guy to go on and on about how amazing the weather is in Austin this time of year, and certainly not the last (just check Instagram). Seriously though, the weather in Central Texas in November is fucking pristine – crisp, dry, and sunny. It’s quite possibly the most perfect weather for a music festival. Unless it rains, which it might. Yet, even with a slightly worrying forecast for this weekend, I can take solace knowing that FFF Fest has been blessed by the weather gods for the majority of its 10 year existence, so let’s just be hopeful that they will look gracefully upon us once again.

Fun Fun Fun Fest takes place November 6-8, 2015 at Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas. For tickets and more info check out funfunfunfest.com!

Check out our coverage of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014!

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