An impressive line-up, good vibes and delicious food all round
“Look at the ones in the crowd – that shit is barnacles, huh? They thought I wasn’t fair until I threw a carnival, huh?“- Tyler, the Creator, ‘Rusty’ (2013)
No one could ever fault Tyler, the Creator‘s relentless sense of ambition – certainly not since the Odd Future founder instigated that first riotous wave of hype and often controversial debauchery that captured the imagination of a generation (and more than a few curious onlookers) at the beginning of this decade. Six years later, a Tyler empire very much exists – consider the music, the thought-provoking videos, the pricey merch, the exuberant live shows, the Yeezy-esque fashion shows – but perhaps the pinnacle of his grassroots success lies in his annual festival, Camp Flog Gnaw.
Held in the grounds of the twice Olympic-hosting Los Angeles Memorial Colosseum, Flog Gnaw (an inversion of ‘Golf Wang’ – itself an inversion of ‘Wolf Gang’, which formed part of Odd Future’s once-far-too-long name that genuinely held the acronym OFWGKTADGAFLLBBLSBFBN) was first put on by Tyler in 2012 in his home city. Its premise: to celebrate music, skating, togetherness, freedom of expression and, essentially, all things Tyler in one package. Oh, and there’s a ton of fairground rides to while away the time between sets on, too.
Previous years have seen the likes of Pharrell, Kanye West and Frank Ocean grace the festival’s grand stage, but this year’s event – held over two days for the first time ever – looked like a particularly amazing affair. While us unlucky souls on the other side of the pond had to contend with some serious FOMO this past weekend, thankfully there was plenty of coverage of the 2016 Flog Gnaw Festival for us to indulge in to heal the gaping wounds of geographically-cut disappointment. Here’s some of this year’s highlights.
A whole host of brilliant acts played
That’s a mighty fine line-up, right there: Chance The Rapper, Death Grips, Lil Wayne, Kaytranada, Anderson .Paak, A$AP Rocky, Sleigh Bells, Kilo Kish, Joey Bada$$ – the list goes on. And so do the mountains of clips that have emerged from the numerous sets from the festival. Spoiler: contains plenty of moshpits.
Tyler and Earl Sweatshirt – EarlWolf – reunited on stage
The bromance between Tyler and the once-absent Earl became something of Odd Future legend when the group first exploded into the mainstream consciousness six years ago. Their musical chemistry on their debut solo projects (2009’s ‘Bastard’ and 2010 ‘EARL’) strengthened the duo’s symbiosis in the eyes of fans, and Earl’s return from Samoan reform school in 2012 fuelled speculation that the pair might record together under their moniker, EarlWolf.
Sign up for the newsletter
While a full album never arrived, further collaborations on one another’s solo projects led to a world tour in 2013 – but the impact of that global jaunt appeared to reveal that the pair were growing apart. Tyler said in an interview with The Fader in early 2015 that he and Earl “just aren’t as close as we were. It’s kind of weird, but I’m aware and smart enough to know, okay, shit changes.”
However, OF fans were elated at the news that they pair had reunited on stage in September for a special appearance at One Love Festival in Calgary, and they had even more reason to be cheerful this weekend when EarlWolf were revealed as the secret set (previously rumoured to be reserved for either Frank Ocean or Kanye). Footage of the joyful performance demonstrated that both artists and fans had an appetite to resurrect the good times, so maybe it’s not all over just yet?
Action Bronson made delicious food for everyone
The gregarious Fuck, That’s Delicious host and chef – and sometime rapper, let’s not forget – brought a food truck to the festival to serve crispy chicken, a delicacy that drew almost as big a crowd as his actual performance did on Sunday afternoon. So much so, in fact, that the police had to shut it down. Spoilsports.
Some festivalgoers got to play mini golf with Tyler
Can you imagine a mini golf course at Glastonbury? No, the ball just wouldn’t course through the Somerset mud, would it?
And, most importantly of all, the host encouraged good festival behaviour
If only these words could be emblazoned on every festival gate, then we’d surely all be a lot happier. Anyone else fancy booking flights to LA for next November’s festival?