On The Radar: Fun Fun Fun Fest


The 9th annual Fun Fun Fun Fest (FFF, F3F) in Austin, Texas is right around the corner and that means it is now time to get start getting stoked for everything this year will have to offer, (assuming your stokage hasn’t yet begun.)

Like ACL and SXSW, FFF also has a cool abbreviation. But for those who have yet to experience a FFF, the amenities and entertainment are, at times, staunchly different from the other well-known festivals in Austin. As one of my friends so elegantly put it, FunFunFun is a “less cluster-fucky ACL with better music and beer, and skateboarding.” So really, what’s not to be excited about? Here are just a few things you should know about F3F 2014:

  • You can still buy passes here! 1 Day, 3 Day, and Ultimate Smooth Passes are all still available.
  • Any pass grants you free admission to FFF NITES which includes over 100 performing artists and a selection of aftershow-only sets.
  • Food will be provided by over 20 vendors, including some of Austin’s most street-famous food trucks.
  • There is a taco cannon. A cannon that shoots tacos.
  • 250+ acts (many of which have yet to hit a national stage) across 4 more-or-less genre specific stages:
    • Orange Stage – folk/indie/alternative
    • Blue Stage – hip hop/R&B/electronica
    • Black Stage – metal/punk/hard rock
    • Yellow Stage – comedy
  • The Volcom skateboarding team will be there with a full roster skating the Volcom Super Collider, a course as ridiculous as the name entails. There will be tricks, and there will be blood.
  • You can start mentally preparing yourself now with the FFF app which offers all of the set times, maps, a Taco Locator, as well as the full NITES schedule.

But with all of this excitement to see, how can one possibly manage to get a full FFF experience!? Chill. Allow me to offer some perspective. Below is a short list of my FFF “must-sees” and small explanations as to why.

  • Atmosphere – This indie-rap duo just so happens to be my favorite thing of all time ever. So much so that I have a tattoo artist’s rendition of an Atmosphere album cover that takes up nearly all of my left ribcage. Bias aside, I can honestly attest to the fact that Atmosphere puts on one of the greatest live hip-hop shows ever (this will be my fourth one). This isn’t your average emcee rapping over a pre-recorded mp3 instrumental. This is a full live band playing a selection of emotionally driven tracks from a catalogue of over 300 songs. Given the underground following that emcee Slug and deejay Anthony Davis have garnered over the last decade and a half of work, you can bet your ass that this crowd will be one of the most energetic audiences at FFF this year. Atmosphere is widely credited with creating the American independent rap scene.
  • Nas –  The father of modern hip-hop. More than just the greatest of all time (GOAT), Nas is the GOAT’s GOAT, he’s your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. Since 1994, Nas has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and sold over 25 million records worldwide. His first album, 1994’s “Illmatic” is usually referred to as the hip-hop bible. When it comes to rapping over beats. Nas literally wrote the book.
  • King Diamond – Because of this scene from “Clerks 2” and because King Diamond is flat out the heaviest of metals. They should probably be handing out buckets to this show so people’s faces don’t melt off onto the ground.
  • Judas Priest – As a child, my dad would often violate traffic laws while I was in the car with him. Things like running red lights, not using a blinker, speeding, etc. Everytime he did, he would sing the chorus of Judas Priest’s ‘Breaking the Law,’ something he still does to this day. Judas Priest literally invented leather-metal. Listen to ‘Hell Bent for Leather’ or ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’ and try to tell me you don’t want to at least hear this legendary metal band from afar.
  • Modest Mouse – Do I even need to explain myself? ‘Float On’ will be forever be a staple of this generation. This band was indie before you or I even knew what indie was.
  • Dinosaur Jr. – This band is the bee’s knees, his legs and his arms. Feedback, distortion, classic rock influence, and lyrically angsty enough to get you through puberty again. This three-piece rock dynamic managed to make it out of the 80’s era of rock and continue to release solid albums, live and studio, as recent as 2012. You can’t deny the talent behind 20 years of making music and playing shows.

To be honest, my “must-see” list includes about 50 artists/bands. Consider the above as a backbone for any and all FFF attendees. Even if the music isn’t enough to shiver your timbers, events like the Air Sex Championship and Live Action Battle Rap (plot twist: definitely not what you think it is) are enough reanimate the dead.

To put it bluntly, you’d have to be Hellen Keller in a hazmat suit to find yourself not enjoying this year’s FunFunFun Fest.

You can listen to a Spotify playlist put together by FunFunFun Fest here to introduce yourself to some of the bands you might not know, and make sure you’re properly prepared for the ones you do know

Also, you can check out (and follow) my personal playlist updated on the weekly. No rules, just 13 tracks guaranteed to tickle your hear-holes in a good way: The Weekly Dyl


– Dylan Huddleston

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