The underground festival scene brings bass music, live painters, and performance art to downtown LA.
At the Globe Theater on Broadway, a different breed of party animal welcomed the night. Men and women seemingly dipped in essential oils donned capes, crystals, and sequins, looking as if they just wandered off of Ken Kesey’s merry bus.
The Grateful Generation hosted their first ABunDance event of 2017 as a pre-party for the Gem and Jam Festival, which takes place in Tucson, Arizona every February. Created by festival and Burning Man regulars, these parties echo Lightning in a Bottle’s aesthetics delivered on a much smaller scale. Offering the attractions of a five-day music festival in one night allows for a wider audience to join in on the experience.
From its skeletal form, the old theater transformed to a surreal three-story wonderland. The patrons were as much a part of the decor as the gold relief and intricate molding that embellished the venue. A rainbow of lights illuminated the walls and ceilings bringing a touch of psychedelia to the Globe’s classic Hollywood glamour.
A visual feast awaited attendees at the main stage, which hosted various types of performance art – from hoop dancers and contortionists to the live painting of visionary artists Alex and Allyson Grey. This was the stage where bass lovers dipped and swayed like the weightless dance of kelp undulating in the surf. Kaminanda, Govinda, Soulular, and Stylust Beats brought the bass while The Floozies brought the funk featuring live drums that never quit.
Traversing further down the rabbit hole into the depths of the basement, drifters discover a neon garden living off of UV light. Under dark lighting hung from low ceilings, the dance floor hummed with the steady pulse of house music. The downstairs stage displaced itself into a dimension of its own; A dimension where the house, disco and techno lovers got their fix, stomping and hopping to DJs such as Gigamesh, Josh Billings & Nonfiction, Galen, Shiny Objects, and Loboman. This room was hypnotic, making it easy to get lost in the beats and forget that it was almost 4am.
For those looking to take a piece of the night home with them, each floor hosted an array of hand-crafted wares sold by independent vendors. Wire-wrapped crystal pendants sparkled while sensual fabrics beckoned to be bought. Applying Burning Man’s environmental ethos of “leaving no trace,” many of these artisans crafted their goods from recycled and upcycled materials in an attempt to reduce waste. Supporting these vendors supports individuals rather than corporations, a concept many of these neo-hippie party-goers get behind.
Emerging from the immersion, patrons were greeted by the rain as they returned to reality. The strong sense of community shared among strangers highlighted the night, marking a warm, sensory overload to The Grateful Generation’s year of upcoming events.
After all, this was just the pregame.