Beneath a hot, smoky November sky, tens of thousands of fans descended upon Dodger Stadium on Saturday for the first of two sold-out days at the eighth annual Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival.
Curated by hip-hop star and fashion icon Tyler, the Creator, the festival assembles some of hip-hop’s biggest names amid classic carnival rides. Saturday’s performers included 21 Savage, the Internet, Yuna and fan-favorite Solange. Sunday is scheduled to feature YG, Da Baby, Brockhampton, H.E.R., Earl Sweatshirt and an unannounced guest headliner.
While Solange occupied the final slot on the Camp Stage on Saturday, festival-goers were, not surprisingly, most excited to see 28-year-old Tyler, the Creator himself. Many of the fans in attendance wore the colorful, avant-garde clothes and accessories from his successful clothing line Golf Wang (Flog Gnaw is Golf Wang, backward), in tribute to the native Angeleno’s entrepreneurship as well as his attuned streetwear sensibility.
L.A. native Drew Alavi, 21, told The Times he is inspired by Tyler, the Creator in a deeply personal way. “His life reminds me of mine. He grew up without a father as well, and it says to everybody that even without having two parents in your household, you can still do anything.”
The struggle was real for Yoalli Rodriguez, left, and Andrea Diaz, both from L.A. Their attempt to start their Golf collections was thwarted by “Cash Only” booths on Saturday. “I was trying to get all of them,” Rodriguez, 20, said with a sigh.
Diaz, like Rodriguez, couldn’t wait to see Tyler, the Creator perform that day. To her, he embodies “everything that is the urban community,” said the 21-year-old. “He started from nothing and worked his way up, and that means a lot to many people, not just people in the music industry.”
Katelin Maatz, 22, who’s originally from Austin but now lives in San Diego, says that Tyler, the Creator has “really influenced the fashion [in L.A.]. Everybody I know is wearing something from Golf or something they’ve seen on him or his friends.”
Twenty-three-year-old Don Wilburn, right, of South L.A., said that Tyler has taught her “that you don’t have to have a certain amount of clout or look a certain way. If you want to do something, just believe in yourself.”
James June, 22, echoed his friend’s sentiment, but the L.A. resident relates to the rapper more personally: “Tyler, the Creator being a gay black man, I see him as inspiration to be unapologetically yourself.”
“Tyler, 100 percent! Oh my God, I love Tyler so much,” said L.A. native Jackson Lang about whom he was most excited to see during the music festival. Lang paused to count the number of Golf Wang merchandise items he owns. “I’d say at least six or seven,” including a pair of shoes, pins and the wig he was wearing.
Nick Canivez, left, and Tony Gore, both Georgetown, Texas, natives, joked that they “rode in on the steeds” on Saturday morning from San Diego, where they currently live, to see FKA Twigs (Sunday) and Solange perform.
“It’s cool that I get to come out here right after the new album is out,” said Canivez, 28, of FKA Twigs’ new record “Magdalene,” which dropped on Friday.
For Gore, 27, witnessing Houston native Solange on the stage is a dream. “I’ve never seen her perform, which is apparently blasphemous if you’re from Texas. She’s the shining star.”