FYF Fest 2014: The 15 Must-See Bands

From the baroque pop of Blood Orange to the soulful Swedish electro-pop of Little Dragon, the little festival that could boasts bands with lots of buzz

FYF Fest has seen its share of changes and growth since launching in 2004; it has been held at different venues, showcased different lineups, and grown by leaps and bounds. Originally based at various Echo Park indie institutions (the Echo, Sea Level Records, Jensen Rec Center), the festival soon outgrew those digs and has been held at the Los Angeles State Historic Park since 2011. This year while the Chinatown park is being renovated, FYF Fest will move indoors and outdoors to the LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park on August 23-24.

What started out as a festival built on local talent now boasts bands with worldwide fanbases (many of them have played the Holy Grail of all music festivals, Coachella). With more than 50 bands, this year’s lineup, announced on Friday, continues the trend. Here are our must-see bands. 


  • Little Dragon – The soulful Swedish electro-pop darlings are riding high on the heels of their just released album Nabuma Rubberband, which is already topping Best Of lists.
  • Phoenix – Listen for ethereal delights from the French quartet.
  • Interpol – Even though their last release was four years ago, the group known for its mood rock stylings still attracts the masses
  • Albert Hammond Jr. – Like his Strokes bandmate Julian Casablancas, Hammond is pulling double duty by playing a solo set. His most recent solo EP, AHJ, proved he has the chops to rock on his own.
  • Todd Terje – The Norwegian DJ and producer is known for pumping out the jams on collaborations with the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Bryan Ferry.
  • Man Man – The Philly-based band plays impressive sets anchored by piano playing lead singer Honus Honus. Expect a full-on jam with an array of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink instruments.
  • Chet Faker – The Australian electronica groover has been on a hot sold-out tour of America. He collaborated with Flume on Lockjaw, a sultry EP that came out in December.
  • Mariachi El Bronx – The punk/mariachi band will also play this year’s fest twice. Catch their soulful side on Saturday and their more punk songs the next day


  • The Strokes – Witness the long anticipated return of the Strokes to the live stage live. Most fans are hoping that this is the beginning of the tour that never happened when the band released its last album.
  • Haim – The Haim sisters have been enjoying critical acclaim and comparisons to all sorts of retro rockers, most notably Fleetwood Mac.
  • Flying Lotus – Warning: You may be transported to space during this set. The experimental DJ and producer’s genre-mixing sounds should go well with the festival vibes.
  • Blood Orange – Dev Hynes is a jack-of-all-trades whose sound has been called everything from post-hardcore to baroque pop.
  • Jessy Lanza – Canadian-born Jessy Lanza has been trained in jazz and piano. If you’re a fan of Quadron, you should enjoy the electronic pop elements of her set.
  • Kelela – Kelela’s momentum continues to build. Her soul vocals even inspired Bjork to come to her show.
  • Thundercat – Bassist extraordinaire Thundercat has worked with Flying Lotus on many projects; don’t be surprised if the two conspire with one another for a live collaboration.

Tickets go on sale on this Thursday, May 22 and cost $89 – $229.