Now in its third year, Odd Future’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, which took place Saturday, November 8, was yet another success for the young Los Angeles collective. Taking over Exposition Park, which lays on the outskirts of USC’s main campus in South LA, Tyler, the Creator added his personal flair on what could have been just another visit to your local county fair. Building upon the carnival classics, Tyler mixed in a skatepark to his one-day only gathering, as well as a lineup of performers to hit a pair of stages throughout the day. In addition to OF members The Internet, Earl Sweatshirt and himself, Tyler created a list of performers which included, Action Bronson, Vince Staples, Mac Miller, Rick Ross, special guest Diplo and headliner Pharrell. As if all those things weren’t enough, there was even a chance for those in attendance to win a custom-built BMW, courtesy of Flog Gnaw Motors. The LA carnival continues to outdo its previous every year, setting the bar higher and higher for itself. Don’t be a surprised if this local event turns into a traveling show on par with some of the big-named annual music festivals in the years to come.
The great thing about this year’s Camp Flog Gnaw was the variety of activities taking place throughout the day at all times. If you weren’t particularly into a certain performance, you could go ride the ferris wheel. If you were on the verge of spending all your money trying to win at whack-a-mole, then you could go slow things down and watch some pro skateboarders do their thing to pass time. Even walking around seeing other Odd Future fans provided some enjoyment, as you could try to determine whose outfit out “Supreme’d” who with each passing devotee. The size of Exposition Park was perfect for this year’s event, as stages were spaced out enough that you weren’t hearing two performances at the same time, yet you could walk directly from one stage to the other without missing an entire song. Set times were also spaced out well enough that fans could enjoy a quality amount of music from all the artists. Those who got to the park early and staked out prime positions for enjoying Tyler and Pharrell’s late performances most likely had a hard time stay in their places with all the surrounding entertainment, but it was well worth it once the night fell and the two artists went on.
Prior to Tyler’s set, the OF frontman made a guest appearance during Earl’s show to perform some of their early collaborations, then he took some time to “turn up” in the photo pit during Rick Ross’ performance. When it came time for him to take the stage, T came equipped with an oversized bedroom, which included a bed, dresser and chair. With a LED-lit window backdrop, Tyler proceeded to give his fans a run through of classics which included songs such as “Yonkers,” “She” and “IFHY,” and he even showed members in the crowd how he could make a bottle of water disappear. While the crowd was sync’d up with Tyler word for word during his set, the words spoken to the audience when the music was off, is what really stuck out. Speaking on how believing in himself lead him to where he is today, he encouraged everyone to pursue their dreams regardless of what anyone else may say. The saying has been said time and time again, and to further validate its importance he asked everyone to look at the billboard featuring his face that overlooked the show as his example.
As a musician who stirred away from the paved path, Tyler’s unique sound and fashion sense wasn’t so typical when he burst onto the scene, and another artist who faced similar challenges and overcame them to find success was the carnival’s headliner, Pharrell. As Odd Future represents today’s rebellious musical youth group, Pharrell really got things going when he reunited with Shay Haley to perform N.E.R.D jams, in ode to P’s group who faced similar struggles of acceptance early on. A key highlight during Pharrell’s time on stage had to be when he was joined by Tyler on stage, and the two danced on stage while performing “Spaz.” The crowd’s energy definitely peaked during Tyler’s set, and it stayed at high level when Pharrell closed it out. Whether it was playing some of his memorable Neptunes-produced singles, or him reciting a featured verse, fans didn’t leave feeling happier than they came. It was another great turn out for the event, Jesus even paid a visit to the carnival giving those in need his blessings and forgiveness. Check out our photo recap of the event up above, as we await next year’s show.