Pearl Jam Announces Festival Details: F**king Circus!

by John Reynolds , Jessica Letkemann , Kathy Davis on April 1, 2011

F**king Circus

Update: We couldn’t resist this topic for our 2011 April Fool’s Joke ;)

Tease, tease, tease … that’s all this rumored Pearl Jam Festival has been. Since Kelly Curtis hinted at a multi-day “I didn’t Say ‘Festival’” Festival, fans have been clamoring for more information.  Even when we talked to Jeff in March, he mentioned that three locations were still being discussed and we’d know all the details in April.

Well, it’s April! Although we don’t know the venue yet (I know, sorry!), we spoke to Elan Pavelily, a music promoter at, who has spearheaded large festivals in the U.S. and Brazil. Here are the details as we have them:

And the name of the festival is … “F**king Circus”

That’s right, with Vs. being commemorated this year as part of the Vs. / Vitalogy re-issue, the line (a dig on Circus Magazine) “F**king Circus” will not only be the name of the festival, but will provide the weekend-long concert with a much-needed theme. “The band really wanted to go over the top”, said Pavelily from his home in Tausin, TX, “and they only real way to do that is to create the appearance of a big F**KING CIRCUS“.

We’d Rather Be with an Animal

Instead of having traditional stages, F**king Circus will be set up as Three Rings!

The first ring will feature Pearl Jam, legends Soundgarden and Temple of the Dog – uniting to play their self-titled album in its entirety to mark its own 20th anniversary (TOTD20?). Each night will feature full sets from each of these three bands. After the second night, Matt Cameron will formally announce his retirement from drumming after performing what would amount to 10-hours of hard-rock drumming per night.

The Second Ring will be all-acoustic area scaled down to ~1000 seats to create intimacy. Rumored artists from Fremont, CA, Brooklyn, NY and Cream Ridge, NJ, are scheduled to perform. During these intimate acoustic sets, fans are encouraged to yell and scream mercilessly at the artist while they’re trying to address the crowd. Also, during songs, the artists are hoping that fans will whistle and shriek their names to get their attention. Prior to each of these sets, an iPhone app “PJ20 Requester” will allow hipster concert-goers to request songs that there’s no way in hell the artist would ever play. After the show, fans are encouraged to post their awful cell-phone photos on Facebook and comment about how all the professional photographers with their “big fancy lenses” kept getting in the way of their fuzzy shots.

The Third Ring of F**king Circus will not feature any bands, but in the spirit of the circus will features animals that have influenced Pearl Jam. Acts include “Music For Rhinos“, featuring a trio of Rhinoceri marching to the beat of “Not For You”.  From Nebraska, a herd of pigs known as the “Dirty Franks” will squeal tunes such as “Lukin”, “Undone” and “Olympic Platinum”. Other acts, ehem … “species” … to be announced.

Spin Me Round, Roll Me Over

It wouldn’t be a circus without a ringmaster, and Elan tells us that the shortlist includes such luminaries as Jack White (Look for the setlist picture, is that No Code notepaper? why yes!), Sean Penn, Just BDonny Anderson and Mr. Lifto.

The fun doesn’t stop there. The festival’s gonna run a couple of days, right – so what’s to eat? Chefs and caterers from all over the world will be brought in and have been instructed to “be creative” with the PJ20 theme. Some unique selections will include Funnel Cake molded in the form of the Stickman and a frozen-fruit non-dairy slushy known as “The McCreamy”.

With these details, F**king Circus is sure to be the premiere festival early next winter. Wait, did we say next winter?

Do these details get you psyched for F**king Circus??

John Reynolds ( Twitter: @jjjrrr )
A New Jersey based programmer, John handles TFT’s programming and technical aspects. He also conceives and writes his share of TFT’s articles and sections. John’s first Pearl Jam show was at Lollapalooza on August 12, 1992.
Jessica Letkemann ( Twitter: @Letkemann )
TFT co-editor Jessica Letkemann is a New York based digital music journalist & editor. She's currently VP & Editor-In-Chief of Digital at Fuse Media ( and was previously managing editor of She has also been on staff at Spin and Premiere magazines. Her first Pearl Jam show was at Lollapalooza on August 2, 1992.
Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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