We have just gotten word that AEG and Goldenvoice have bought out FYF Fest’s founder Sean Carlson’s stake from his festival and will carry on the torch without him. This move stems following a number of sexual harassment allegations against Carlson that first began back in November.
After quietly distancing itself, AEG activated a buyout clause in Goldenvoice’s six-year-old deal with Carlson and acquired his remaining 50 percent stake in the festival. The multi-day event is now being booked by Goldenvoice’s Jennifer Yacoubian, who books the Shrine Auditorium, the company’s Splash House series in Palm Springs and the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. FYF co-producer Dave Peterson will also remain in the company and continue to help make the event a possibility.
In November, just as the #MeToo movement was picking up momentum four women stepped forward and accused Carlson between 2010 and 2015. A number of women spoke to Spin about the allegations, including former freelance music photographer Natasha Ryan, who said she met Carlson at a late night VIP after-party where she and others got into a hot tub.
“This guy kept coming up to me and trying to take my bra off and I had to keep batting him away,” she said. After repeated attempts, Carlson allegedly approached her and “started grabbing me and trying to kiss me” while attempting to pull her into the bathroom to make out. Another woman accused Carlson of barging in on her in a bathroom at a party and demanding oral sex, later pinning her down on a couch and trying to make out with her. The four accounts told to Spin allege a pattern of behavior that included aggression while intoxicated and crossing many personal lines of conduct.
Carlson later admitted some of the incidents were true, while others “contain serious misstatements and omissions.” He also said, “I acted inappropriately and shamefully, and deeply regret my actions.”
Created by Carlson in 2004, FYF Fest has grown from a small festival staged at The Echo in L.A. to a large multiday event. While the festival began with mostly independent and unsigned bands, the 2017 event included performances by Missy Elliott, Björk, Frank Ocean, A Tribe Called Quest, Nine Inch Nails and Iggy Pop. We look forward to seeing this festival evolve and thrive.