This past weekend, I made the spontaneous decision to go to Tyler, The Creator’s sixth annual Camp Flog Gnaw carnival.
And let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I have made so far this year.
I heard about CFG through my roommate, who is a long-time Odd Future fan. She was especially freaking out about this year’s lineup, because it featured a “special guest” who she wholeheartedly believed would be the one and only Frank Ocean.
So off we went, bright and early on Saturday morning, to the City of Angels.
I only had a small sense of what to expect. I knew that the majority of Tyler and Odd Future fanbase consists of young, hip, dedicated skaters. I also knew that the festival vibes weren’t as extra as Coachella, where people drop loads of money for the perfect outfits; it was considerably more chill. The lineup was pretty good, in my personal opinion; I was definitely excited to see artists such as 6lack, Lana Del Rey, and A$AP Rocky.
When we arrived, I could already feel the happiness that was radiating from the event itself. It was sunflowers, primary colors, amusement park attractions galore. You could practically get secondhand high from the amount of weed that was being smoked throughout the venue.
I know that with events like these, intake of alcohol and drugs is obviously common, but I wanted to be able to enjoy the music and not end up being the girl getting carried out on a stretcher. That definitely was not a mindset for many Camp Flog Gnaw concertgoers. I saw a few people that were “rolling” on the popular festival drug, ecstasy, who could barely hold their heads up during Brockhampton’s insane set. Speaking of Brockhampton, his intense mosh pit resulted in my roommate losing not one, but BOTH of her shoes.
The Brockhampton mosh pit was the first one I had ever experienced. I can’t say I enjoyed it very much, considering it felt like I was about to suffocate and die. The wild swaying of the crowd, the random elbows that would dig into your chest, the hands pulling the crap out of your hair–yep, not for me. It also didn't help that the dude in front of me reeked of pee, and the dude to the left of me was puking his guts out in a tiny circle of onlookers. That mosh pit experience ensured that I would not be in the front for many artists for the rest of the day, for fear that the crowd would spontaneously go crazy.
Sunset arrived and the crew we had acquired throughout the day (a random group of guys from Las Vegas who seemed pretty trustworthy) rushed to see who the special guest was. It turned out to be indie singer Mac DeMarco. This was a pleasant surprise for many, but quite a disappointment for my expectant roommate. I, of course, was just happy about the sunset.
I indeed ended up staying in the back of the crowd most of the first day; but when Day 2 came around, my roommate and I were determined to be in the front for Bay Area native and popular artist, Kehlani. We stayed at the stage she was supposed to play at, Camp Stage (basically, the main stage), standing through artists like Domo Genesis, whose music I didn't really listen to. But it was definitely worth it, because once people left to see other acts at the Flog Stage, the crowd pushed forward, and I found myself literally 5 feet away from Kehlani.
We ended the second night with an amazing set by rapper A$AP Rocky. He brought out a plethora of artists, including rapper G-Eazy and the festival's founder, Tyler, the Creator himself. In addition to that, A$AP decided to premiere a snippet of a brand new untitled track. It was unbelievable.
I'm for sure planning to attend next year's Camp Flog Gnaw, and maybe this time I'll actually stand in line to go on the Ferris wheel. And maybe next year's special guest will actually be Frank Ocean.
P.S. Lana Del Rey is an absolute angel sent from heaven.