The New Normal?
I first heard about Lunautics about four years ago when I was shopping at the iHeartRaves store for an outfit to wear to Beyond Wonderland. I saw some glitters in the display counter—they were gorgeous and unique—so I asked the cashier to ring me up for 3 of them.
Fast forward to 2019 and I am a one of the lucky few who has been invited to be an Insomniac Passport member! I went into the members-only, exclusive Insomniac Passport Lounge at Beyond Wonderland with my mom and saw that Lunautics had a beauty bar setup inside. It was the cutest little thing with a vanity mirror, lights and an assortment of glitters, jewels, and other glam supplies. My mom and I got our glitter done by a talented beauty bar artist and I will honestly never forget that shared experience. If you have gotten your festival glam done in VIP, you know what beauty bar I am talking about.
Over the past year, as I got to know more Passport members, I also got to know the Festival Addicts team which originated from the Live Nation Festival Pass. Quarantine has been rough on a lot of us in the community and most people in general, so it’s great to have each other to help get through it! Especially when we miss festivals!
When the drive-in raves were first introduced, I could not fathom how it was going to work and be successful. But a few of the Passport members I am close with went to the last drive-in rave, and after seeing their post-event video on YouTube I was convinced to try it. Some of those members were planning to go to the Seven Lions Park 'N Rave so I asked if I could join them.
The drive-in rave last weekend was incredible. Here is how it worked!
- You buy a pass for a car which allows up to five people (split total cost of pass between the 5 people.)
- The passes are sold by front section, middle section, and back section. We had middle section and cars are directed to park in their section in arriving order, so it is better to arrive as early as possible to get a closer row view within your ticketed section.
- Food, drinks and merchandise can all be ordered online with the QR code they give you to scan as a menu and you pay online. After a short wait, your items are then delivered to your spot.
- Restrooms were located on both sides of each designated row. There were many hands stations and I saw them getting cleaned and maintained, which was good.
Once parked, we were able to get out and set up camp in our designated spot that was marked off and separate from other groups. I highly advise bringing camping chairs, a folding table, lights, and decorations to help liven up your space and make it fun. Another cool option is to bring inflatable furniture; it won't take up a lot of space in your car, but you have somewhere to sit during the show!
You're also allowed to take in food and drinks including alcoholic beverages for people who are over 21 years of age. I cannot stress this enough, if you decide to take alcoholic beverages, please assign a designated driver who will be responsible for taking everyone home safely.
The Arizona heat was brutal for a Los Angeles native, so I suggest taking a parasol for when the sun is out, use cooling towels, and dress in breathable fabrics. Don’t forget your hand fans, sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and most importantly, your face masks!
Being the extra person that I am, I knew I had to set up a mini beauty bar at the festival! So I reached out to Lunautics and guess what? They missed the Passport fam too, so they sent me a bunch of gLIT goodies for the weekend! I was able to complete my glam look and I had extra for my friends. They were living playing with glitter, face jewels and temporary tattoos at the event. It was such a cute and fun experience that I know will be memorable to my friends and me.
Back to the show... Lick, Wooli, and Drezo were the supporting acts to Seven Lions and they did not disappoint. We had a great view of the stage, the lights we're on point, and the graphics were also really good. The sound was incredible, I'm not sure how they set it up exactly, but I know there was surround sound in the entire event center. So, it's not like you had to listen to it on your radio!
Drezo was my personal favorite, but I am mostly a House and Techno fan, so I naturally gravitated to his set. Seven Lions played all the fan favorites of melodic bass and had everyone in their feels. I saw so many people in their cute rave attire. They went all out with face gems, glitter, body stickers and temporary tattoos and face masks! There were tons of unique decorations and flags for people to represent their crew or favorite artists, and many people were dancing with flow toys and light up items. I truly felt as though I was at a festival.
It was good to see people expressing themselves, and if I had to rank my drive-in experience on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the highest, I would rate it an 8 (the two points lost would only have to do with the Arizona heat, otherwise everything was fantastic, and I felt it was a great set up to keep us safe while still getting to experience a festival).
It’s wonderful to see how the music and festival industries are evolving with the current state of affairs. From Live streams and zoom parties with your friends online, to now drive-in raves, I love that organizations are innovating to help keep the festival spirit alive during the pandemic.
This event is exactly what people needed. In my personal experience, it has helped improve my mental health by reminding me of the good things in life and brought some fun into my life again. As far as I’m concerned, the event organizers did a good job of keeping us safe and enforcing social distancing and safety, but at the end of the day everything it is up to the attendees to be vigilant and take all necessary precautions to keep themselves and others safe.
This experience was absolutely worth the trip to Arizona. I’d do it again, maybe when there is a dip in COVID-19 cases, as things are ever evolving. I have no symptoms or signs of illness, but am isolating and plan to get tested to ensure that I’m doing my part to keep myself and others safe.
This may or may not be the new normal. Maybe drive-in raves will disappear someday? It’s too early to say however, I am happy I was able to experience it!