After 550 days, SoCal returned to festival grounds for Insomniac Events’ debut Day Trip Festival [Review]
In the midst of instability and uncertainty, 40,000 headliners headed to Southern California from July 3 –4 to take part in Insomniac Events sold-out, inaugural installation of its heady, house-centric Day Trip Festival.
After 18 months of prolonged, COVID-19-related festival and show shutdowns, venue restrictions, and the unexpected postponement of EDC Las Vegas, Insomniac founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella drew on the adaptability that he and his events brand—among others in the space—were repeatedly required to exercise during COVID-19’s evolution to steer Day Trip from its original location at the LA Waterfront in San Pedro to The Lot at Hollywood Park to the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino. As with all date, talent, and venue shifts of the past year-plus, the two-time site shift sparked concern among ticket holders, but Insomniac assuaged any trepidation with the caliber of the event’s production and its refund policy. Insomniac not only offered to refund all ticket holders who did not wish to attend the event after the announcement of its move to the NOS Events Center, not to mention reimbursing costs related to Airbnbs, flights, and other non-refundable accommodations. Later would come Insomniac’s extension of a free token to any of the brand’s 2021 festivals not yet sold-out.
The fan-friendly display embodied the “PLUR”-facing, experience-cognizant character of the Insomniac brand as Rotella ensured that all headliners had access to an option that best suited them while making sure that the show would go on for all able to attend. And, it did.
Satiating California music enthusiasts’ long-unmet need to dance and groove all night long, Day Trip claimed the historic title of being SoCal’s first music festival post-pandemic. The July fourth weekend event occupied the 180,000 square foot venue, transforming it into house music heaven with two stages that featured the sounds of MEDUZA, Tchami, Marshall Jefferson, Chromeo, AC Slater, SIDEPIECE, Wax Motif, Dombresky, Dancing Astronaut Artist to Watch in 2021 John Summit, as well as some of the genre’s leading female figures including Nora En Pure, Sofi Tukker, VNSSA, J. Worra, LP Giobbi, Nala, and Honeyluv.
Transitioning from a daytime-themed pool party to an underground night club, Insomniac’s unfeigned faithfuls left it all on the dance floor throughout the celebratory weekend as both the Deep End and High Tide stages proportioned each artist’s production to the two stages’ alluring backdrops. With less than four days to prepare, Insomniac turned the NOS Events Center into its signature wonderland by decorating Day Trip’s festival grounds with eye-catching neon decor, glittering disco balls, giant giraffes, a ferris wheel, and pink air-filled flamingos that could be found throughout crowds.
But, perhaps the most memorable instance of the fun-filled weekend came when 200 automated drones lit up the night sky, displaying the phrase “WE’RE BACK, BABY” and “House Music All Day Long” in sync above the two stages. Against some odds and shrouded in the shadow of doubt, Insomniac seamlessly pulled Day Trip together, giving headliners a much-needed moment of solace after nearly a year and a half of inactivity. A sanguine preview of all the brand will continue to do in the coming future as Insomniac looks ahead to HARD Summer, Beyond Wonderland, Nocturnal Wonderland, EDC Las Vegas, Escape Halloween, and more, headliners can take Day Trip LA as assurance that Insomniac is back and firing on all cylinders more dexterously than ever before.
Featured image: Ivan Meneses