Saturday, May 25, 2024

Insomniac Day Trip Festival: Fans arrive with safety concerns, but still ready to party

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Day Trip, Insomniac Events’ two-day house music-filled festival, kicked off Saturday, June 24, with an eager crowd ready to dance the night away as they strutted through security lines when the festival gates opened for the sold-out event next to the Queen Mary in Long Beach.

Day Trip is the Burbank-based electronic music company’s first event since last weekend’s Beyond Wonderland Festival at Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington state, where a gunman killed two former Southern California residents and injured several other attendees in a camping area near the festival grouinds.

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Days after the incident, Pasquale Rotella, CEO of Insomniac Events, responded with a series of posts on Instagram to offer his condolences to everyone affected by the shooting. Fans responded to Rotella’s posts by expressing a variety of concerns, such as a lack of security at previous Insomniac events, the need for better bag checks and a desire to downsize crowds.

  • The entrance of Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The...

    The entrance of Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach on Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • A fan of electronic music looks for two tickets to...

    A fan of electronic music looks for two tickets to Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach on Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left, Jazmine Parradiaz and Kevin Lopez pose for a...

    From left, Jazmine Parradiaz and Kevin Lopez pose for a photograph outside of Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach on Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Soon to be festival-goers approach the entrance to Insomniac Events’...

    Soon to be festival-goers approach the entrance to Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach on Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Fans of electronic music walk towards the entrance of Insomniac...

    Fans of electronic music walk towards the entrance of Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach on Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • The entrance of Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The...

    The entrance of Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach on Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left, Sierra Smith, Josh Simpson and Denise Hernandez pose...

    From left, Sierra Smith, Josh Simpson and Denise Hernandez pose for a photograph outside of Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach on Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Soon to be festival-goers approach the entrance to Insomniac Events’...

    Soon to be festival-goers approach the entrance to Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach on Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left, Melissa Gallegos and Julia Cox pose for a...

    From left, Melissa Gallegos and Julia Cox pose for a photograph outside of Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach on Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront...

    Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach on Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • From left, Mario Menchaca, Ashley Rojo, Monique Guitron and Sierra...

    From left, Mario Menchaca, Ashley Rojo, Monique Guitron and Sierra Bobkiewicz pose for a photograph outside of Insomniac Events’ Day Trip Festival at The Queen Mary Waterfront in Long Beach on Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

Yet, that didn’t stop fans from coming en masse for the third edition of Day Trip, with the intention to “keep the energy high with ‘plur’ vibes,” said Josh Simpson, a Long Beach resident who was attending his fifth Insomniac festival, using an acronym for “peace, love, unity and respect” that is popular among electronic music fans.

Simpson said he and his group of friends knew the risks since hearing the news of the shooting at Beyond Wonderland, but that didn’t stop them from wanting to enjoy the moment, as the electronic house community has always been about support and family anyway, he notes.

“Sure, it’s scary, and it’s something we never expected to happen at an Insomniac event, but we didn’t want that to (deter) us from just enjoying today because there is so much good happening with this community too,” Simpson said. “At the end of the day, we were going to come no matter what. As long as we look out for each other, that’s all we can do.”

Friends Ashley Rojo and Monique Guitron, who drove from about an hour away in Whittier, expressed their nervousness around events not feeling the safest the past few years at events like HARD Summer and the New Year’s Eve bash, Countdown. They hoped this year at Day Trip, especially with the news of Beyond Wonderland, security would be enhanced to make for a safer feeling.

“We were nervous coming this year, I mean you just don’t know anymore, it could happen anywhere and the fact that it happened at an Insomniac event is still hard for us to process but we hope to see better bag checks because a lot of the times it just feels like they aren’t really checking,” Rojo said. “It all comes down to having better security, so we hope that happens today.”

Other fans said last weekend’s shooting didn’t concern them at all.

“Honestly, we can’t really blame it on Insomniac or Pasquale, it’s just a case of one bad apple, so we can’t let that stop us from having fun,” Julia Cox said as she threw on her heart-shaped sunglasses to block the sun. “There’s always messed up people out there waiting to ruin it for all, but we have to keep going and raving on. We’re here for a party, and I think that’s why we keep coming, even when tragic things happen like that in our community.”

Day Trip will continue on Sunday, June 25 with sets from CID, Dom Dolla, Friendly Fire, Lupe Fuentes, Miane, Noizu, Ron Carrol, Sidepiece B2B Lee Foss and Walker & Royce.

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