While Afropunk shut Brooklyn down and the inaugural Hot 100 Fest took over Jones Beach State Park on the East Coast, FYF Fest kept Los Angeles buzzing well into both nights this weekend. After news that Frank Ocean would not be showing face for his highly anticipated performance, waters were looking murky for what has become one of the West Coast's biggest musical events of the year. Unbothered, tens of thousands of people flooded Exposition Park to watch Kanye West step up as Ocean's worthy replacement alongside acts like Morrissey, D'Angelo and the Vanguard, Run the Jewels, Purity Ring, Solange, and FKA twigs. The chatter about New Yorkers leaving en masse for Los Angeles (full disclosure: it me) to become a part of the "booming creative class" has, in part, to do with things like FYF. Cheaper rent and tighter beaches don't hurt either.
Now 11 years in, the festival—which stands for "Fuck Yeah Fest"—started as an experiment for a then 19-year-old promoter from Torrance. It was an underground thing. No Age was the most consistent name on the bill from 2004-2009 (they played in 2011 as well) when shows happened at the Echo, a converted space above an American Apparel up the block. Growing out of the venues it originated in, FYF built up a cult following and eventually seduced Coachella's super-promoter Goldenvoice to come on as a partner last summer.
In 2015 FYF is no Coachella by any means, which is great. Hip-hop and R&B made up a significant percentage of the best acts of the weekend—a first for the fest that made roots in rock, punk, hardcore, and later, electronic and pop music. Food was good (shout out the amazing falafel stand in the VIP compound), security was nice (shout out the dude that ran 200 yards to return my jacket after it dropped), and I didn't see a single headdress. (Honorable mention to the five white girls with cornrows I tallied over the two days. None of them were Kylie or Kendall, but that was pretty much the most sus things got all weekend.) From Ye's guest performances by Rihanna and Travi$ Scott, to BADBADNOTGOOD's afternoon jam, and finally a religious Solange-Nina Simone cover experience, here are the Five Best Things that Happened at FYF Fest.