Safe in Sound Festival
October 18, 2014
On Saturday night, the first annual traveling Safe in Sound Festival drew hundreds of bassheads to L.A.'s Hollywood Palladium. Presented by Bassrush (an Insomniac brand), the newest show on the EDM circuit caters to fans who love bass.
The L.A. stop of the tour featured artists Terravita, Caked Up, Destroid, Adventure Club, and Flux Pavilion. The festival's producers partnered with PK Sound, which debuted a 150,000 watt sound system for the tour. They promised "quality, precision, intensity and a feeling of immersion in the experience," according to Insomniac.
They did not disappoint.
The giant speakers that framed each side of the stage were powerful enough to make sure the crowd felt the bass; the soundwaves literally hit the audience in the face, and vibrations tickled whole bodies. The overwhelming majority of attendees loved it — though understandably, over the course of the night, some had to migrate further from the speakers or plug their ears for a bit (our favorite method was DIY earplugs made from toilet paper). As one fan put casually, "You're not going to be able to hear tomorrow."
The Palladium was packed, in part because a second Thursday date was canceled two days before the event. We couldn't confirm a reason for the cancellation, but the speculation among fans was that it was probably a result of poor planning; when a second date was added (Saturday), the producers realized that they couldn't sell enough tickets for two shows, so they canceled the original weeknight date in favor of the new weekend date.
Many fans were upset about this, especially since some came from outside of L.A. to see the tour. But the festival producers honored Thursday tickets at the Saturday show, and anyone who couldn't make the new date was entitled to a full refund through the point of purchase.
Despite frustratingly long ticket lines and messy logistics outside, inside the venue the event was fairly well-organized. The Palladium has enough bars that we barely ever had to wait more than a few minutes for drinks, and we always managed to find a bathroom without a line. Most people, it seems, stayed on the dance floor.
Even the lesser-known acts drew much of the crowd towards the center of the room. The headliners, Adventure Club and Flux Pavilion, played for a crowd that seemed to be just as happy to see Terravita, Caked Up, and Destroid.
The energy in the audience was especially good, probably because the crowd was united in their love for what is considered more of a niche genre. The regular EDM festival circuit is increasingly chock full of sets that combine electro-house, progressive house, and the "pop EDM" genre called big-room house — not exactly stuff that will prepare you for this kind of bass music.
The acts themselves lived up to the hype. Destroid channeled a heavy metal feel by playing with electric guitars and drums customized to work with Ableton music production software, a pretty unique thing to find in this era of "press-play" DJs. Both Adventure Club and Flux Pavilion mixed masterfully, weaving hits in and out of their sets. We loved when AC ended by dropping Lana Del Rey into their set with a mashup of "Summertime Sadness," their well-known remix of Flight Facilities' "Crave You," and Flux's Star Wars remix.
Overall, the night was well-received by fans. Even after it ended at 2 a.m., people couldn't get enough; car stereos were bumping the night's performers on their way out of the venue's parking lot.
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The Crowd: Mostly dudes, but the girls that were there went hard.
Random Notebook Dump: One fan told us that the Orlando stop of this festival resulted in 12 noise complaints and worried calls from elderly people living miles away who though aliens were invading. We couldn't confirm this, but we're inclined to believe it after the intergalactic sounds we heard Saturday night.