Fun Fun Fun Fest Moves! Is This a Good Thing?

Today, Transmission Entertainment announced they are moving Fun Fun Fun Fest, after five awesome years, from Waterloo Park to Auditorium Shores. I am not crazy thrilled about the move, frankly, and it isn’t because this past year I could walk to the park from my Central East Austin home (the walk will obviously be much farther this time around). No my complaint is intimacy. I don’t blame Transmission for wanting to earn more greenbacks; hell, a festival is a giant endeavor to partake. I really doubt the fest has turned a profit, even with a sold-out crowd last year. So selling more tickets (Waterloo Park’s full after 10,000 – Auditorium Shores can hold 30,000) will probably help turn the event out of the red.

And kudos to the FFF organizers for realizing the fest is growing and actually dealing with that. ACL is an overcrowded mess at Zilker Park, and will continue to be so until C3 does something about it. Auditorium Shores can accomodate for this smaller scale festival well.

But increased attendance is the problem. When I watched the Strokes play the Shores during SXSW, it was not an intimate experience. Simply put, there were too many fucking people there. And if that’s what Fun Fun Fun Fest is going to be like now, I’m afraid the festival’s best days are behind it. We all loved FFF because of a stellar lineup that we could actually see….we could get up close and watch the band and dance and hear the music, we could have quick access to bathroom facilities without walking a mile and a half. We could quickly grab a beer and get back to the show without falling over dickheads in patio chairs.

So I ask Transmission – is the new location gonna kill the Fun Fun Fun vibe? The fest I remember wasn’t even a smaller scale ACL (which is basically what a show at the Shores is like), it was an intimate experience with awesome bands on a completely different level. It was a stroll away from the afterparties on Red River. It was incredible. The Strokes show was fun, yeah, but, like ACL, I felt like I should have showed up an hour earlier if I wanted to actually see it without looking at the big screen. And if there’s a big screen, that means there’s likely little intimacy.

I’m not saying I won’t go. I go every year, and I’m curious to see what changes will be made in light of this location change. I’m just saying I’m not expecting much….and depending on how it goes this time around, this may be my last year at Fun Fun Fun. Maybe by then the Waller Creek Project will be taken care of and another fest can start up in Waterloo, where the real fun fun fun is.

And who knows? Maybe once November comes and goes, I will be eating these words/this post. I certainly hope so.

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