Fun Fun Fun Fest: know before you go

As if the name weren’t indicative enough, Austin‘s annual Fun Fun Fun Fest has quickly become one of the city’s prided yearly music festivals. Each year, it seems, the festival draws more and bigger name acts. The festival is becoming so much fun, in fact, that its location moves this year to Auditorium Shores instead of the measurably smaller and less aesthetically pleasing Waterloo Park. And, no one can resist the joke, we’re all hoping the change will make this year’s festival even more Fun Fun Fun. But let’s spare ourselves the redundant F’s and refer to the festival with the abbreviation FFF. With acts like Slayer, Lykke Li, Spoon, Passion Pit, Public Enemy, and Murder City Devils, this year’s FFF will be raking in travelers from across the globe, pulling them into Austin’s city limits. Whether you’re traveling to FFF from your home in Austin or from your home much farther away, here’s some ‘Know Before You Go’ type information that will help you have a smooth-sailing (and fun!) FFF experience.About Fun Fun Fun Festival

Before you go to a festival, it’s good to know a little bit of the festival’s background story. So here are some fun facts. FFF started only five years ago in 2006. The very first festival pulled in acts like Spoon, The Black Angels, and Peaches and I suspect the ability to reel big names into the first festival helped the festival to be successful in the following years. FFF focuses on the genres of: Indie Rock, Punk Rock/Hardcore, and Hip Hop/DJ. The festival divides its music guests onto three stages, each of which roughly represents one of the above genres. And then, for laughter’s sake, there’s a fourth stage which features comedy which will be featuring Henry Rollins and Reggie Watts this year among others. The festival takes place November 4th-6th this year at Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas.

Fun Fun Fun 2011 Artists

If you’re looking for an excuse to partake in these fun-tivities, here are some artists from said genres that will be rocking the stages this weekend:

Indie Rock
Spoon, Passion Pit, Lykke Li, Blonde Redhead, M83, Girls, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Okkervil River, Ra Ra Riot, Mates of State, The Joy Formidable.

Punk Rock/Hardcore
Slayer, The Damned, Danzig Legacy, Hot Snakes, Murder City Devils, Black Lips, Boris, Kid Dynamite, Cave In, Cannibal Corpse.

Hip Hop/DJ
Public Enemy, Odd Future, Major Lazer, Neon Indian, Four Tet, Spank Rock, Wugazi, Flying Lotus, Purity Ring.

Tickets
Tickets for FFF are still available. You can buy single day passes for $55 per day or a 3 day pass for $135 on the Fun Fun Fun Festival website.

What’s OK To Bring

  • Empty non-glass water bottle
  • Backpack
  • Hat
  • Sun Block
  • Lighter/Cigarettes
  • Cell Phone
  • Small Beach Towel
  • Strollers
  • Fanny Packs
  • Non-professional digital, film, and disposable cameras

What’s NOT OK To Bring

  • Instruments
  • Knives/Weapons
  • Chains/Chain Wallets
  • Blankets
  • Camelpacks
  • Outside food or beverages
  • Tents
  • Flags
  • Chairs
  • Video Cameras
  • Bota Bags
  • Audio Recording Devices
  • Professional Cameras
  • Pets
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Drugs/Drug Paraphernalia

Transportation

Parking near FFF will not be easy. For this reason, the FFF crew is strongly encouraging attendees to rely on a bike, taxi, bus, train, pedicab, carpooling system, pair of legs, or shuttle to get to the festival.

Most importantly? Have some fun.

How Local Radio Stations Help Keep Austin Weird

Austin no longer live music destination

Although widely respected and regarded as the live music capital of the world, some Austinites are pushing to move the city in another direction. After a series of headline-making SXSW crimes spanning from a failed arson attempt at the Capital to the mass killing of 170 of the city’s black birds at a death metal concert that took place on Red River Street, Austinites seem to have finally had it.

City Council members presented a bill yesterday that will, if passed, slowly fade out the city’s focus on and support of live music, particularly in the downtown area.

Council member Arthur Miller, age 42, thinks the emphasis on live music in Austin has gone “too far” and is beginning to “deteriorate” the city from the inside out. “This has become madness,” he said yesterday afternoon when I was able to catch up with him briefly to discuss the bill. “I like live music, of course, but there’s a difference between supporting live music and encouraging widespread belligerence.”

The bill proposes that the city of Austin approach the live music in town, in general, with more scrutiny. “We don’t need 2,000 bands playing every year for SXSW,” Miller points out. “What’s wrong with, say, 100 bands? 100 really good bands who don’t start trouble, don’t punch club owners in the face, don’t pee in our streets, don’t vomit on legally parked cars? We propose that the bands invited to play in our city are subjected to a sort of background check. We’re no idiots, we know musicians drink alcohol, but if they think they can smoke pot in our streets or play cover songs without proper licensing, for instance, we want to show them that they have another think comin’.”Miller’s co-council member, Mary Ellen Lang, age 47, thinks Miller is, perhaps, too liberal on the subject of Austin vs. Live Music.

“Arthur means well, and I agree with him on a lot of points, but his efforts to compromise with these debauchery-inclined barbarians is idiotic”, says Lang. “I grew up in Austin. My parents and their parents grew up in Austin, too. There was a time when this town was a good old fashioned town that didn’t encourage blatant sin on every street corner. I wish it weren’t true, but this obsession with live music in Austin is hurting just about everything in Austin except for the economy. And yes, the city is booming financially in respect to profits from the music industry, but why should we focus on worldly success like this when all of these musicians are going straight to Hell and they’re taking the entire city of Austin with them?”

Other members of City Council disagree. Robert Williams, age 38, a long-time advocate of arts funding in Austin, says he suffered from “dangerously” high blood pressure yesterday afternoon during a doctor’s appointment that happened to follow the unveiling of this “anti-art” plan. “I kid you not, my doctor advised me to consider leaving politics over this,” said Williams, clearly enraged. “And I said to him, why should I leave politics? Maybe I should just leave this backwards town instead.” I pressed Williams for his thoughts on why the bill was created in the first place.

“Why was it created? It was created because a bunch of fun-hating jerks got elected into City Council and now we have to listen to their party-pooping opinions”.

Meanwhile on Congress Street, thousands of Austin residents began rallying at 10am to protest the bill.

“This is a joke, right?” asked Martha Steinberg, a harpist who recently moved to Austin from Brooklyn, New York to pursue her music career. “If I’d moved to Hollywood to become an actress three weeks before the City Council there announced they were proposing to do away with the movie business, that wouldn’t be any different than what they’re doing here. But that would never happen in California. Only in Texas. God. Why did I move to Texas?”

Marcia Garcia, a 63 year old resident from the Clarksville neighborhood of Austin, was spotted protesting the protesters at the Capital this morning, pumping a neon poster-board sign reading “Starving Musicians: Go Starve Elsewhere!”

“You know what? I don’t care if they are starving,” she shouted at me. “The only thing between these mindless self-absorbed drunks and a stable career is ego. As long as we continue encouraging these jobless diluted twenty-somethings to ‘make it’ here in Austin, we’re asking for all of the trouble we’re getting. It’s time we cut back funds for musicians. This is out of control,” said Garcia.

“Did you know that musicians in Austin receive health care benefits?” she asked me, wild-eyed. “They do! My son has a lucrative contract debris removal business. He wakes up every day at 6am to work and he is still uninsured. And yet the musicians in Austin sleep in until the afternoon and they are rewarded medical benefits! I mean, it’s like, why should they ever snap out of it and get a real job? They don’t have a reason to with our city giving them everything they need to slack off, even health care.”

Garcia’s comments didn’t go unnoticed and Belinda Rovinsky, a 55 year old mother of 3 twenty-somethings, all of whom play music in Austin, was clearly upset by Garcia.

“Lady, watch your mouth. You’re talking about my kids and I’ll be damned if they don’t deserve health benefits,” snapped Rovinsky, who was wearing a t-shirt for her eldest son’s band, Memorable Lines from Lost.

Without warning, Garcia dropped her sign to the ground and slapped Rovinsky across the face. A crowd of spectators gathered around the two women.

“You think the musicians here are belligerent? And you just go around hitting people?” exclaimed Rovinsky. “This is insane!”

Garcia was restrained by a few large men in the audience, members of the local Alternative/Country/Punk/Fusion band, Big Britches Unite!, until the police arrived and arrested the silver-haired conservative.

Arthur Miller, when informed of this scene at the Capital, had a few words to spare.

“Hey, look. Austin is a weird town. But what’s weird is that people like her [Rovinsky] endorse badness and are ok with their children participating in the kind of negative lifestyle prevalent among the musicians in Austin. They cover themselves in tattoos and piercings. Hardly any of the men shave–ever. The girls are on stage rolling around, actually rolling around, in skirts, showing everyone their underpants. Austin has a reputation for being weird, but it’s because other respectable Texan cities, like Dallas, view us as a brothel. This place is like one giant dive bar. Do you think I want my children growing up around this nonsense?” Miller asked.

As I began to answer Miller’s rhetorical question with a simple, “Of course not, sir,” we were interrupted by a throng of punk-rockers and their roller-derby girlfriends wearing t-shirts depicting Miller’s 13 year old son, Justin, playing air guitar.

“He wants to be just like us when he grows up!” one of the mohawked strangers, Johnny Blamethem, shouted. Blamethem owns an online Cafe Press store and later said that ripping the photo of Miller’s son off of his son’s public Facebook profile and making the shirts was “a cinch”.

And with that, Miller pushed through the crowd, walking at first, and then, eventually, running back to his car where onlookers reported he sat for the next 3 and a half hours, staring off into the distance at the “ethically decrepit” Austin skyline.

The city of Austin will host an open discussion with residents looking to engage in civil dispute regarding the bill on Monday evening at 7pm at the Annex on Trinity.