Los Angeles is the only place in the United States that arguably has a successful, ever expanding events and festival landscape. While talk of the over saturation of festivals has mid-tier and lower-tier events shutting down in cancellations or postponements, somehow, the sprawling city in Southern California is able to keep its events afloat. That could be because the community its catering to is dedicated, as we've seen multiple new electronic-geared events pop up in 2018, while the multi-genre FYF couldn't sell tickets. Secret Project is a perfect example of such endeavors. Promoted by Insomniac Events, the festival hit the ground for its first run this past weekend to an impressively successful first showing.
Following the likes of All My Friends Festival before it, the festival saw a prominent event promoter build an impactful event through zooming in on local culture and zooming out to bring in international talent. For Secret Project, that meant tapping into Los Angeles's sprawl at the Factory 93 venue. An open lot overlooking the LA river, Factory 93 is a venue that represents the best of LA's expanse as an event space that taps into already existing space without impeding or overtaking neighborhoods. On the edge of Chinatown and Downtown LA, Secret Project took that blank canvas and turned it into a techno and underground house-lover's destination. While the lot didn't scream local culture beyond its proximity to the famed David Chang restaurant majordōmo, it was no question the connection the event had to its attendees. With stages that took existing elements like shipping containers and elevated them to impressive production, artists like headliners Carl Cox and Tale of Us drew impressive crowds for sets that catered to more than just the standard 1-hour festival allotment. Electronic pioneers Bicep and Stephan Bodzin brought special live setups that, along with their counterparts' DJ sets, created an impressively intimate scene for event goers. Booking artists who don't appear so often in the US, much less Los Angeles, for this diverse crowd, Secret Project might have been the closest they'd get to the artists playing.
Photos can only do so much justice to Secret Project, so one can only hope that more events like this continue to pop up.