Tyler, the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival Delivers Emotional Performances and Surprise Sets

Over this past weekend, the ultimate adult playground came to life in the annual celebration of art, fashion and of course, music. From Oct. 28-29, L.A.’s Exposition Park hosted Tyler, the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival. In what the local rapper/designer/showrunner does best, the weekend was full of plenty of colorful treats including surprise guests, free merch and hot dog rides. The unofficial kick off to Tyler’s Golf Wang-weekend came just days before with the opening party to the brand’s flagship store on Fairfax. This allowed fans to gear-up, in more ways than one, for the weekend ahead.

Day one brought plenty of heat by way of early evening acts like Mac Demarco, whose performance was a complete surprise up until the point when he physically took the stage just after sunset. Screams ensued from most, while those who expected Frank Ocean were at first disappointed. Unrealistic expectations on their part perhaps as Frank Ocean was celebrating his birthday over the weekend. With a beer in hand, Demarco sang “One More Love Song” from his latest album “This Old Dog,” among others. Later on the Camp Stage, rapper Mac Miller dropped by to sing a plethora of fan-favorites from his extensive catalogue of albums and mixtapes including the single “Diablo.” This prior to LA’s favorite bassist Thundercat joining the Pittsburgh rapper on stage to perform his tune “Them Changes” while Miller turned the crowd into a frenzy. Closing out the night on the same stage was the man of the hour, Tyler, the Creator. His lively set boosted fans’ spirits even higher with renditions of his latest successful single “911/Mr. Lonely” and the sweetly dramatized “See You Again.” Following Tyler’s 9:40pm set came a nice break from the melee sets put forth by Vince Staples, Justice and Migos earlier in the day. Lana Del Rey took to the main stage in an all-black dress shortly after 11pm to croon hits like “Off to the Races” and The Weeknd featured “Lust for Life” before singing an emotional version of her breakout single “Video Games.” After praising the fans she spoke candidly about the moment by saying “This is my favorite festival lineup of all-time. I can’t believe I just played after fucking Tyler.”

The following day saw more fans donned in Golf’s donut-motif bucket hats and the new GOLF le FLEUR x Converse shoes that they’d purchased the day before, all prepared for sets by The Internet, Earl Sweatshirt, 2 Chainz and Australian DJ Alison Wonderland. Sunday’s headlines were stolen by A$AP Rocky who kicked off the main stage’s epic night of hip-hop and R&B. Among other songs, Flocko premiered a new fashion-focused track from his highly-anticipated upcoming album, though provided no name for the new cut. He also brought out G-Eazy for a performance of their collab track “No Limit,” which also features rising star Cardi B. Tyler, the Creator and fellow Flog Gnaw performer Playboi Carti joined A$AP on stage as well, running through a wild delivery of “Telephone Calls.” Speaking of which, Carti’s equally lively set earlier in the day saw a slam-packed crowd at the Flog Stage climbing trees and during “Yah Mean,” even crowd-surfing a wheelchair-ed fan to the front of the stage. Lastly, and in true comeback fashion, Kid Cudi took to the main stage to deliver an emotionally-charged set featuring “Father Stretch My Hands” from Kanye’s “Life of Pablo” – which saw the fans singing every bit of Yeezy’s verse – and “Marijuana” from his “Man on the Moon II” album. Cudi gave a heartfelt monologue meant to address his recent bout of depression which found the rapper on the mend over the past year. “I just want to let you know that I’m here, I’m happy, I’m good” he said before thanking the fans directly for their “love and support.”

In summation, one of the main things taken away from this year’s Golf Wang Carnival is Tyler’s unbelievable determination to not only embolden his brand but to provide an utterly unique and outlandishly creative event where fans of all-ages can have the experience of a lifetime. From the eclectic lineup-curation, to the brightly-colored merch, to the create-your-own grilled cheese sandwich truck, Camp Flog Gnaw never seizes to amaze and delight.  

Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival took place from Oct. 28-19 at L.A.’s Exposition Park.