If you are old enough to remember when techno music was brand new, and it was originally referred to as “synth pop,” then you are probably not surprised that it has returned in a new and big way. The kids and young adults of Downtown L.A. have been attending secret raves with this kind of music for the last two decades, and it just recently emerged from “the underground” into mainstream culture.
Young event producers with sound business sense and a good eye for what the kids want backed and booked special events that promoted this music. Techno festivals and concert events emerged into public view, and grew into something much more than just music. Here is a closer look at this recent festival that occurs every year now in Downtown L.A..
Besides techno, you can hear other types of “underground” music. Many of these new types of music are frequently accompanied with techno laser light shows that perfectly keep time and rhythm with the music. A very large standing room only space in front of the stage doubles as both dance floor and concert arena. Dance or don’t; it is entirely up to you, but the music is often infectious enough that you may not be able to resist. (Yes, dubstep still rules here, so get ready to show your moves!
As these festivals grew into a lot more than just a two-hour, techno spin-rave-dance party-in a “invitation only” secret location, other street arts were added. In the last few years, street artists (a.k.a., graffiti artists) and mural painters were invited to join the scene. They literally set the stage with their art, and create the right vibe for these events.
Being a festival with technology roots, recent animated graffiti artists have been added to the mix. Some of the art moves like the light-up advertisements in Times Square, while the rest is a vibrant mix of personal expression and traditional stationary form and color. When the music’s not jumping, you can take in the art.
Street Dance Demos
L.A. has always been the place for new dance moves and new dance types to be born and develop into signature steps. That is no less true of the street dance demos and dance-offs you can see at this festival! Some tried and true dance types make an appearance, but new moves may emerge from different street dancers.
It is the stuff you don’t want to miss, unless you want to be completely out of the loop when it comes to evolving modern-day dance. Usually, the new stuff has its own stage and time to present, but you might even see some of the latest and greatest dance moves break out on the dance floor when just the right song begins playing and the crowd parts for these dancers.
The Food and Drink
Back when this all got started, you had to bring your own agua in a reusable bottle, or drop on the warehouse floor from dehydration. After two hours, you needed to rehydrate, and leaving the scene meant you probably would not be allowed back in again. That has certainly changed a lot.
Los Angeles’s biggest and best food trucks and specialty mobile wet bars are everywhere at this festival. If you leave the music scene, you can get something to eat, something to drink, something alcoholic to drink, and still return to the dancing, no problem. After all, when you take a secret rave from two hours long to a public festival two days long, you are going to have a lot of hungry, thirsty festival-goers!
The Carnival Attractions
Depending on the year, this techno festival may or may not have some carnival rides. People typically come for the art, music, and food, but the addition of carnival rides gives you something to do between music sets that you are interested in seeing. You really do not know what you will find until a few weeks before the start date of the festival, but it is still fun to wait and find out if there will or won’t be any ride attractions.