Going out in Los Angeles is an art form. It’s a big city, in every way. So how do smart Angelenos make sense of the chaos? What platforms are they using, and how are they making the most of life right now?
A sophisticated strategy is the only way to go out in LA – there’s too much going on for a scattergun approach. What you need is so much more than a guide to going out. What you need is a means of cultivating the right connections when you get there. Ideally, even before you get there.
IRL is one such guide. IRL is a platform – short for ‘In Real Life’ – designed specifically to help outgoing folks in Los Angeles and beyond connect seamlessly around shared interests. So there’s events, such as standup comedy and music concerts, but also the potential to link up with the right community around the event. More on that in a moment.
Eventbrite is an OG ticketing platform that’s been transitioning into curation and promotion – everything from beer fests to underground jazz sessions.
Facebook Events scarcely needs an introduction – in terms of reach it’s hard to beat, although it looks likely to struggle in terms of holding relevancy as younger, hipper Angelenos give it the swerve. It’s still great for gigs though.
Time Out Los Angeles – part of the global Time Out family, founded in London way back in the 1960s – takes a smart journalistic approach to reviewing spots and pointing readers toward the best in LA life, although its social side can sometimes leave a little to be desired.
Another big player in the events space is Fever. Fever is all about live events, curating and driving audiences to concerts, venues, and attractions at scale, with the ultimate goal of becoming the Netflix of live events.
However, since the pandemic has receded, smart Angelenos have been looking for so much more than an events guide. Perhaps something about those endless hours, days, and weeks stranded at home during lockdown sparked a hunger. A real human need, for real human connection.
This is where some of the above platforms really shine.
Let’s say you’re into live comedy. When British standup Sarah Millican comes to town on April 11, you should definitely check out her show – that goes without saying. She’s a scream. For a very different vibe, and a very different night out, gather round fellow fans of outrageous podcast icon Stavros Halkias for his gig at the Regent Theatre on May 11. You’ll most likely want to go for a beer after that – and you actually can – with IRL groups that exist to connect people with common interests, forming their own tribe.
Imagine your experiences of different events could be even better? What if beforehand you arranged to meet up with some members from ‘Hiking Buddies’ for your next hike or ‘Hot Hip Hop’ for the much anticipated concert you’ve been waiting for. With IRL, not only can you plan your social calendar, but you can also connect with friends and like-minded users to experience these events together.
Facebook, in fairness, is no slouch in this department, with no shortage of groups to link up with depending on your lifestyle, and ample opportunities to connect. The cool kids, alas, aren’t always on there.
Reddit is strong in Los Angeles, especially on the main r/LosAngeles subreddit – although noobs beware, they can be a little hostile in the face of what they perceive as a stupid question. The weekly events thread is definitely worth a browse before you head out.
THE SMART APPROACH
How many times have you rocked up to an event, only to wind up sitting by yourself? Since the pandemic, and the rude awakening we all shared concerning the true power and spiritual importance of proper connections that have integrity and depth, we’ve all decided we don’t have time for that. Right?
So next time you’re plotting a big weekend out, think about how you can make the experience richer. Using IRL, you can break the ice online with a group and meet up beforehand for a little pre-game action. Reddit is a great way to connect with organizers and promoters, so you could volunteer and meet new people that way.
Facebook is all about sharing within existing networks, so why not invite an old friend along to the next big happening? Or take ten minutes to browse on Fever to see what’s fresh in the world of live in-person events?
Whichever platform or approach you go for, always keep in mind that you get as much out of these resources as you put in. If you approach them as simple listings guides, then all you’ll get out of them is the names, dates, and a ticket stub.
But if you delve into the limitless opportunities for forging connections, making links and fostering an authentic sense of community, you’ll get more. At the very least, you’ll have a significantly more memorable night out in Los Angeles.
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