In November, 2017, FYF Fest founder Sean Carlson was accused of sexual misconduct by four different women in a SPIN magazine report. Now the festival has been canceled nearly two months before its 2018 date, reportedly due to poor ticket sales.
Billboard reports that this year’s FYF Fest—which boasted headliners like Janet Jackson, Future, and Florence + the Machine and was set for July 21-22—has been canceled. “Rumors of FYF’s problems started last week as booking agents began to quietly call up talent buyers and inquire about possible replacement dates as word of FYF’s poor ticket sales began to trickle out,” the article reads. The festival is now in the process of reaching out to customers for refunds.
Festivals have become an increasingly difficult market to stand out in, with event lineups growing more and more similar each year. FYF’s spot at the end of July may not have helped with sales this year, especially after a particularly stellar Coachella. Festival tickets are expensive, after all, and only a third of festival goers attend more than one a year.
But the controversy surrounding FYF this year can’t be understated: Right before the allegations against Carlson came out, Goldenvoice—FYF’s promoter and the company behind Coachella and Stagecoach—severed ties with the founder. Goldenvoice then bought Carlson’s stake in the company and replaced him with booker Jennifer Yacoubian. But whether FYF Festival’s struggle to attract ticket buyers was due to this year’s line-up (many publications are too quick to blame the female headliners), overall festival fatigue, or the irreparable damage Carlson’s behavior brought up on the FYF name, is as of now unclear.