The ten year anniversary of Fun Fun Fun Fest proved to be one of the best weekends of 2015. What makes Fun Fun Fun Fest stand out from other festivals? The answer is simple: the organizers march to their own beat.
The festival scene has become expansive, but also repetitive. The Fun Fun Fun Fest lineup breaks the mold, catering to a unique range of musical tastes from metal, r&b, pop and rock, resulting in a turnout of pretty legitimate music fans. The energy for the bands feels amplified, the audience is eclectic – and so are the offerings. Beyond music, there’s comedy, skateboarding, crafts and more.
While plenty went down, here’s 10 highlights from Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015:
10. Eric Andre
One word: mangina. Comedian Eric Andre gave an eye-opening performance, dropping trou in order to perform “the tuck.” Not sure how many people saw that coming, but I wasn’t one of them. He also literally dropped his mic (and broke it), which seemed to punctuate the set appropriately.
9. People Watching
While ‘festival fashion’ can be pretty contrived, the attendees at Fun Fun Fun Fest show up with creative and bold choices. Since the festival falls on the first weekend of November, you see an interesting mix of summer-meets-fall pairings.
8. Cheap trick
70’s legends Cheap Trick performed with raucous energy. Getting to hear “I want You To Want Me” in the flesh was pretty epic, and gave me flashbacks to 10 Things I Hate About You, when I first discovered (and became obsessed with) the song. I was a tween at the time, don’t judge me.
7. Twerking lessons with Big Freedia
In addition to performing, the Queen of Bounce gave an instructional twerking class to eager students and spectators. Big Freedia showed the crowd how to do moves like the Peter Pan, The Shoulder Hustle, and the Kick Out (“like stomping a cockroach”). My biggest takeaway? This derrière has a lot to learn when it comes to the art of twerking.
6. Motivational speech by Andrew W.K.
Party animal and sage Andrew W.K. gave a motivational speech at the Yellow Stage before performing at the Mohawk later that night. For Andrew W.K. preaching to “party hard” really means being the best version of yourself you can be, every single day. The more we work on ourselves, the better humanity will grow and thrive as a whole. It’s simple advice that makes a lot of sense.
5. Neon Indian
The Texas native (whom I interviewed at the fest) returned to his stomping grounds and gave an electrifying performance, playing songs from his latest release, Vega Intl. Night School. Dancing all around the stage, and later stage-diving, Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo had everyone moving as he summoned nightfall.
4. Wedding Proposal at Peaches / Stage Costumes
I’ve seen plenty of viral videos and romantic comedies with impromptu proposals. Seeing one in person, in the midst of a gyrating Peaches performance – that was pretty spectacular, and extremely touching. The guy asking was so nervous and his boyfriend seemed legitimately surprised and excited (he said yes). Cue the champagne and roars of cheering. #Lovewins
As for the stage costumes: picture glitzed out vagina leotards. Plus an inflatable larger-than-life penis that Peaches crawled inside of and performed from. This was one of the most memorable and outrageous sets of the weekend in the best way possible.
Canadian sweetheart Clair Boucher, aka Grimes, dropped her new album Art Angels the day before her set at Fun Fun Fun Fest. She was excited to be playing her first show since its release, and performed a number of new songs off the album including: “Kill V Maim,” “Realiti” and “Scream.” The set was complete with fishing nets decorating the stage and ribbon dancers. Grimes went all out, and in an effort to connect with the locals, told everyone she’s trying to say “y’all more.” Rock on, y’all.
2. Future Islands’ Dance Moves
Future Islands frontman Samuel T. Herring moves like a graceful speed skater meets Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Cascading across the stage, he would suddenly pull on his chin as if he was trying to remove his face and reveal another identity underneath. A true performer, Herring was exquisitely captivating. From his voice, command of the stage, and his interaction with the audience, one could sense Herring’s excitement for playing Fun Fun Fun Fest. The singer actually performed as part of Fun Fun Fun Fest’s lineup in 2011, and told the crowd that it was the first festival to give them a shot. His gratitude was evident, and highlighted the special impact this festival has on the artists and the attendees alike.
1. Ms. Lauryn Hill
Living legend, Ms. Lauryn Hill, started the first half of her incredible set seated on a love-seat and strumming a guitar before moving to standing centerstage. Joined by a full band, and backup singers, Ms. Hill didn’t miss a beat as she showcased her phenomenal rapping and singing abilities. It was a rare treat to see such an icon perform in such a beautiful, and I would argue fairly intimate, setting.
She performed all her masterpieces including “Everything Is Everything” and “Ex-Factor” as well as Fugees hits like “Ready or Not” and “Killing Me Softly,” plus a cover of Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved.” For the finale Hill performed “Doo Wop (That Thing)” to a roaring crowd. Though her mic was cut at 10:00 pm sharp (due to Austin noise curfews), the festival audience belted out the words, helping Hill finish out the song. It was one of those exceptional moments where it felt as if everyone was truly united for one brief moment.
There couldn’t have been a more transcendent way to close out Fun Fun Fun Fest’s 10th anniversary.
Thanks again for the memories. Now let’s fast forward to next year so we can do this all over again.
Featured image: Ellie Alonzo