The trickiest aspect of attending Fun Fun Fun Fest is conserving enough energy during the day to attend the Nites performances, which take place at venues speckled across downtown Austin. This is only the second year that I have mustered the courage, energy, and other necessary components to attend one evening of programming.
It’s Friday, and I watch my energetic shadow bound down sidewalks at the tail-end of Snoop’s set. I land at the Belmont. On the outdoor stage, producer Larry Gus unfurls a wave of ambient tunes to an intimate crowd, drowning out their sleepiness with dizzying mixes. Bodies trickle in through the vine-wreathed entrance until the courtyard is packed for Star Slinger’s nighttime set. The DJ sips champagne during interludes and never lets the energy drop.
As easy as it would have been for me to stay planted at the foot of the stage and dance until I could no longer bear it, I instead traipse down to Holy Mountain to catch Fat Tony and Antwon perform two of the most punk-minded rap sets of recent memory. The crowd swirls, shouting up lyrics to the stage. Fat Tony has every body moving, and Antwon—every fist clenched. The short-breathed aggression is an intoxicating diversion from the rest of the weekend.
Earlier in the evening I found out that Dallas rapper -topic had made it down to the festival on a mission to prove himself to Lupe Fiasco. (You can read Kiernan Maletsky’s chronicling of that fancifully orchestrated journey here.) I could only assume that it all went favorably when I found him after Antwon’s set, spitting lyrics from the a tabletop on the front patio.
Ultimately, if you had what it took to attend both day and night programming all weekend, you deserve a trophy. And a nap. Striking the perfect balance between the two is an art form of caffeine mixology and sleep scheduling that very few will master.
Personal highlights from the daytime events include the myriad crowd-surfers over at the black stage; the back-to-back performances—including an inevitable taco cannon intermezzo —of Johnny Jewel with Chromatics and Glass Candy; and the numbing compression of my internal organs when the Slayer’s amps were kicked on. Photos of those moments and more are below:
All photos by Andi Harman.