Insomniac’s Factory 93 and Day Trip joined forces to get everyone in a groove with a dose of house and techno at Skyline Los Angeles.
There’s been a seemingly endless amount of festivals popping up left and right around the US as the scene continues to recover from the pandemic and embark on the first full festival season since 2019. One of the new additions to the West Coast, Skyline Music Festival, arrived this past month. This two-day affair on February 26-27 brought together the minds behind Factory 93 and Day Trip, two beloved brands under the Insomniac banner that champion the sounds of house and techno.
That same weekend was quite a busy one for events in Southern California, especially ones hosted by Insomniac. Not only was Basscon Wasteland set to bring hard dance to the NOS Events Center and Insomniac’s nightclubs in LA and OC were teeming with talent, but it also marked the opening weekend for NOVA SD as well. Yet the infectious sound of house and techno called my name, and after attending RL Grime in San Diego, I made the two and a half hour trek up to the City of Angels to get a dose of stunning beats.
Although other shows have taken place at Skylight ROW DTLA that featured artists like Alesso, Boris Brejcha, and Carl Cox, the latter of whom would be performing there during Skyline Festival, it was a virgin venue for me to experience. Driving to the venue and parking was pretty painless on both days, mostly considering the minimal traffic when we left for the venue. The massive parking structure had a number of spots that were ample for the crowd, assuming you arrived early, of course.
Once we had our tickets in hand from will call, we made our way to the gates and faced some fairly long lines. Perhaps we just arrived at the wrong time, but it did take quite a while to get through the ID/Vaccination check and security itself on the first day. That being said, entry didn’t prove to be an issue in the slightest on the second day – overall, it was a painless experience getting in.
Skylight ROW DTLA is a large venue and Skyline Festival was packed full of house and techno lovers.
When we arrived at the venue, there was a pretty apparent choke-point right after the entry gates as it spits you out directly into the back of the crowd for the North Stage hosted by Day Trip. Getting through this area proved to be a pain and foreshadowed what would come later on regarding the flow of attendees, but once we were through, it was time to explore the venue. One thing that did stand out was that while there were a variety of food trucks, including a Cinnabon, it lacked some quality Mexican food like tacos that we would’ve gladly purchased. Instead, we opted for the sourdough pizza, which was sublime.
Beyond the standard bars and vendors selling food, a pathway to the South Stage (hosted by Factory 93) led to its expanded area. The booming beats from that stage pulled us in, and after grabbing a drink, we were dancing in no time at all to the sounds of Maya Jane Coles, Loco Dice, and Marco Carola.
The only real issue arose once we opted to move back to the North Stage to get some house music injected into our ears.
Attendees had flooded the venue by 8pm, and it proved to be challenging to navigate the venue with the sheer volume of bodies in our way. Packed” might be an understatement as the crowd at the North Stage reached back to the entrance, with the only pathway to get up closer to the stage being the small area next to the bar, if you were even able to do that.
Once you were in the crowd, it became a daunting task to traverse everyone once again to leave for the other stage, so I just stayed put for Claptone and Chris Lake. That problem extended to the second day, but there wasn’t an immediate fix that came to mind due to the shape of the venue itself. My advice would be to stick to the back of the North Stage or stick to the wider area that the South Stage offered for the show.
The music was top-notch from every artist who performed at Skyline Festival.
The aforementioned sets on the first day from Maya Jane Coles, Loco Dice, and Marco Carola were filled with quality techno and tech house tunes. At the same time, Claptone and Chris Lake also dominated the decks. Each artist seemingly decided to throw down some of the biggest hits and curated gems alike, which infected the crowd with plenty of energy and had shufflers showing off their best moves.
The second day was also teeming with quality sets as well. Anfisa Letyago was an absolute dream to catch; her set stood tall among others on Sunday. Other standouts that night included Deborah De Luca, who delivered some insane techno beats, along with Sonny Fodera, who left me impressed with his house-fueled set as well. He even had MK, who was frequently seen hanging out backstage at the festival, join him on stage to play “One Night, ” making the crowd roar with excitement. And who could close out the festival better than Carl Cox? He threw down some wicked tunes and flexed his mastery behind the decks as the final hours ticked away.
Crowd flow issues aside, Skyline Music Festival was an event that any house and techno lover should consider.
While certain aspects of Skyline Music Festival could be improved upon, like the addition of a taco truck and fixing the flow of the crowd, it still made for a fantastic experience in the heart of Los Angeles. I hope to see Factory 93, Day Trip, and Insomniac as a whole continue to expand on this venue to bring in even more artists in the future – and I can’t wait to make my way back up to the City of Angels to dance the night away once again.