FYF Fest is a music festival held every summer at the Los Angeles Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California. Its past rosters have boasted acts such as Kendrick Lamar, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Morrissey, and The Strokes. On May 6th, it was announced on FYF’s social media that the 2018 dates were cancelled. This is the festival’s first cancellation since its inception in 2004.
The festival was supposed to be held July 21-22, and was allegedly cancelled due to low ticket sales this year. Fans are blaming the festival for having a poor lineup this year for the unsatisfactory sales, which included Janet Jackson, St. Vincent, and Florence and the Machine. Luckily, anyone who bought a ticket will be reimbursed.
Alternatively, what does this mean for festival or live music culture? Is this an outlier, or the beginning of a trend of a downward spiral of dwindling ticket sales in the industry? At a time when artists can no longer just rely on record sales to support a living, one can only hope this is the exception. Live music constitutes a large portion of artists’ revenues, and a cancelled festival means disappointed fans.
Also, current and potential employees must remember the dangers of working in the live music industry. Events get cancelled all the time, so it is important to make sure that paychecks are received whether or not the show comes to fruition.
FYF Fest did announce that they would be hosting some local shows presumably in the place of the big festival. Maybe they will be able to recover some of the revenue they lost from the cancellation.