North Texas Daily

Review: downtown Austin festival delivers triple the fun

Review: downtown Austin festival delivers triple the fun

Review: downtown Austin festival delivers triple the fun
November 12
12:25 2013

Christina Ulsh / Senior Staff Writer

Fun Fun Fun Fest exceeded the standards of typical music festivals. The lineup was versatile, the beer was Texas favorite Shiner and the glorious factor of fun was incorporated in various ways.

FFF is an 8-year-old, 3-day music festival that takes place in downtown Austin. This year’s festival was last weekend and delivered on its name in the manner of music, food, comedy, BMX, skateboarding and art.

It also provided attendees with haircuts, wrestling matches, arcade games, beanbag seating as well as free water and Twinkies—the daylong meal of frugal champions.

FFF did not lose sight of its target audience, which is damn near everyone. The music ranged from chill synth-pop with Washed Out to legendary rapper Snoop Dogg (who only reverted to Snoop Lion for the first song) to heavy thrash metal band Slayer.

The musical sets were strategically split between three main stages and in a nice surprise, Dallas rapper Killer Mike performed on a skate ramp.

The black stage was home to the rockers and the blue stage to the hip-hoppers. The orange stage was the largest of the three and hosted the big name acts, such as psychedelic rockers MGMT and the second most famous member of The Smiths, Johnny Marr.

The outdoor setting allowed for thousands of guests to sprawl out on the lawn or squeeze together close to the front row. Hula hoopers flowed through their hoops to DJ Shlohmo’s beats, random clusters of people danced in a ritualistic manner to Sri-Lankan rapper M.I.A. and fans sang along to the reverb-ridden lyrics of lo-fi rockers Beach Fossils.

Another stage was dedicated to comedy. Austin comedy groups were followed by well-known comedians, such as the self-deprecating Patton Oswalt and rock-and-roll duo Tenacious D.

Comedy sets were confined to a tent. While the air outside was slightly chilly, the air inside was heavy and warm from the hundreds of bodies pressed together within. People spilled out from both entrances just to hear humorous anecdotes from Craig Robinson and Sarah Silverman. Riotous laughter ensued.

Sets at the festival ran from noon to 10 p.m., but wristband holders got to continue the party afterward. Nites, which are evening shows held at surrounding bars and theaters, showcased FFF artists as well as Austin’s own musicians.

Most Nites venues reached capacity for the evening performances. The large-scale crowd sprawl of the festival was reduced to close-quarter intimacy between fans and artists.

FFF’s largest accomplishment was providing a cohesive jumble of musicians and comedians that people of all ages and backgrounds could appreciate and let loose to.

The art of performance was coupled with the art of brush and spray can as well as the art of athletic mastery.

If the vendor tents weren’t dedicated to sponsors or food, they were dedicated to poster proprietors. Empty canvases lined up between tents and a lone graffiti booth invited passersby to leave their mark.

SprATX, a collective of Austin street artists who come together to expand their reach in the art market, had a four-walled prism that the artists painted and updated each day. The group had a scavenger hunt complete with Instagram hints, spray can search and free art for successful hunters.

“We’re trying to start a revolution of street art and just get people to appreciate art, not just music, in the city of Austin. There’s a lot of creative people here,” sprATX artist Severiano Garza said while spraying his stenciled work onto cardboard.

Skaters and bikers took to the ramps and half pipes between the blue stage and the black stage. Pro riders defied gravity for audiences. Free rides allowed all ages of unregistered riders to have their own vertical fun.

Anarchy Championship Wrestling, a professional wrestling promotion based in Austin, held various matches in a lone wrestling ring.

Not only did the festival have interactive and live art, but  also shows dedicated to athletes. Music, comedy, art and sports—if that doesn’t cover the primary areas of entertainment, then the idea of fun must be an enigma.

The food trucks at the festival covered all forms of cravings. Tamales, juice, barbecue, vegan Frito pie, grilled cheese, crepes, cupcakes and espresso were a few of the options made available for fest-goers.

The most memorable of the meals at the festival came from ALC Steaks, a restaurant in Austin that was present with its own food truck. Considering most festival food started at $8, $11 for succulent New York steak strips and a basket of skinny fries was the tastiest deal in many ways.

The only beer on-site was Shiner, one of the main sponsors, which drew no complaints.

Quality food and drink is often an overlooked purveyor of fun that FFF embraced. The crowds were satiated by the options of viewing entertainment as well as gastronomical choices.

Fun Fun Fun Fest is not only the title of a music festival but also a banner of the festival’s simultaneous foundation and goal: fun, fun and more fun.

Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

Craig Robinson performs at the yellow stage at Fun Fun Fun fest Saturday evening in Austin TX. Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

Festival attendees take photos of Large lit up F’s at at Fun Fun Fun Fest Saturday night. Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

Bmx rider does a trick on the half pipe on Sunday. The festival offered other main attractions aside from the music where festival goers and pros could skate or bmx on the giant half pipe. Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

Mat Fitchett takes down Pierre Abernathy at Fun Fun Fun Fest Sunday night on the Orange stage. Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

The Band Washed Out performs at Fun Fun Fun Fest Sunday night on the Orange stage. Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

Fans of the band Washed out enjoy to the music at Fun Fun Fun Fest Sunday night on the Orange stage. Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer

Feature photo: Rapper M.I.A. performs at Fun Fun Fun Fest Saturday night on the Orange stage in Austin TX. Photo by James Coreas / Contributing Photographer 

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