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First City Festival - A Recap to the Musical Bliss in Monterey California

By Meagan Sargent

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The Generationals-WHAT! Courtesy Photo

An Impeccable Lineup! Courtesy Photo

Live music AND a full carnival-what a dream come true. Making its mark and indefinitely raising the bar for festivals worldwide was First City Festival (FCF). FCF took place in Monterey, California this past weekend and was the place to be! Conceived by the musical brains and talented hopefuls from ‘live-event’ gurus at Goldenvoice, a company that has a craft to develop the perfect scenery that delivers an incomparable festival experience, has done it once again!

In the heart of Montgomery, a city with a small town mentality was FCF. Guests were able to let loose and engage their inner child! This is one of the first festivals that had a FULL carnival. Of course, the Ferris wheel has been a ‘must-have’ at music festivals as it lets you ‘take in’ the festival at a glance. But, why stop there. Run a muck through the festival grounds and try to ‘woo’ your sweetheart by winning that someone special some abnormally huge stuffed animal that will undeniably score you bonus points!

Purity Ring! Photo Credit: Paige K. Parsons

This highly anticipated festival had a nicely-curated range of bands that were sure to get your pallet wet and wanting more. The perfect mix of indie and mainstream the talent range that was put on display is incomparable and was a nice alternative to other summer festivals.

The gates opened at noon, and were immediately filled with hopefuls excited to see if ‘FCF’ would live up to its high expectations. Saturday’s lineup consisted of: Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed, Jeffertitti’s Nile, Delta Rae, Guy Blakeslee, Blitzen Trapper, The Black Angeles, Guards, The Hold Steady,  Civil Twilight, Quadron, Okkervil River, Father John Misty, Beach House, Tennis, Delta Spirit, MGMT, Washed Out, and Passion Pit.

Unleash Your Inner Child at the FCF Carnival! Photo Credit: Paige K. Parsons

Passion Pit of course set the bar as they delivered a performance filled with swanky beats, high energy, and not to mention tons of neon lights. The crowd got ‘Carried Away’ during ‘Constant Conversations’ as they performed some of the old favorites and some new tunes!

Dancers and Performers Were Everywhere!

Day two slowly wound down, with: Neko Case, Deerhunter, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, Lucero, Electric Guest, The Antlers, Light Fantastic, Bleached, Dr. Dog, Pitchfork, Akron/Family, Bleached, The Dodos, Toro y Moi, Purity Ring, and more. A culminating  show from the much-loved Modest Mouse was put on. Living up to the hype was the spunky duo, Capital Cities, which put on one heck of a show. Despite them meeting randomly through Craigslist this duo sure does ‘pack a punch’! The charm, goofiness, and not to mention highly skilled dance moves made this performance an all time favorite for many! Big props to the trumpet player-boy does he have some lungs! Check out the video below to see their performance of ‘Safe and Sound.’

Partners of the festival this year include: Bud Light, Global .Inheritance, Do 415, Amoeba Music, and The Bay Bridged. FCF is also teaming up with ‘The Offset Project’ to develop a zero waste initiative and reduce the carbon footprint. As described by Billings himself, FCF was, “Nor Cal's latest boutique music festival [which featured] a trio of intimate performance stages and a full old school carnival with rides and games.”


The Crowd at FCF! Photo Credit: Paige K. Parsons


Delta Rae! Courtesy Photo

In its very first year, FCF is already off to a powerful start. Guests were able to experience a weekend of music, food and fresh ocean air at the site of the iconic Monterey Pop Festival. FCF, named after Monterey’s claim as the official “first capital” of California. Don't be surprised as this festival is sure to become one of the most 'sought out' festivals on the west coast. FCF hit the ground running and is giving its 'competitors' a run for their money. See you next year in Monterey!


For additional information regarding FCF, stay tuned to: www.firstcityfestival.com


Published on Aug 29, 2013

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