Day Trip Festival: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Over Fourth of July, Insomniac hosted Day Trip Festival, their first weekend event in Southern California post-COVID. This two-day house music playground was set to be a raucous addendum to the Day Trip patio parties at Academy LA, Insomniac’s Hollywood destination. A weekend of nonstop house music that departs from the dark aesthetic of their underground brand, Factory 93, and instead opts for chill vibes.

After over a year of live streams and Park N’ Raves, Insomniac’s home team in SoCal was ready to get back to it, especially within city limits, but unfortunately it didn’t go over that easy. Two last minute venue changes marred the excitement leading up and took the event to the NOS Events Center out in San Bernardino.

Like a gentlemen, Pasquale Rotella—founder of Insomniac—owned up to the inconvenience, and showed how much he cares about the community. Insomniac gave all ticket holders full refunds. Ticket holders were to able to attend the final version of the event. They were all given a free ticket to any upcoming Insomniac event in 2021. Finally, Insomniac would incur the cost of any non refundable flights and hotels.

Following all of these updates, the event that actually ensued was still a fun time overall, but let’s dive into some of the specifics on all sides below:

The Good:

Props to the Production Crew

It’s important to remember that whenever a venue changes at the last minute, it has nothing to do with production, and the production team have the absolute hardest job to do to make up for it. Insomniac’s production team is a management staff of 15 with 70 workers. The second move was announced on June 29.

That gave the production staff three days to put together a whole new layout complete with sound, stages, shade structures, food, and bars. There were some minor hiccups, but nothing to be upset about. Especially with the awesome drone light shows.


Day Trip was meant to attract people who wanted a relaxing Summer weekend with some great music and dancing. In that regard it was a complete success. Despite the venue changes, the crowd was simply grateful to be back in the environment. Enjoying the energy that had been absent from their lives for so long. Things like pushing and shoving, over-intoxication, and complaints, didn’t really happen. Instead everyone was friendly, stoked to offer a picture or share some water.

The Bad:

Lack of Diversity

Black people invented house music, and yet there were only Black people near the bottom of the lineup. Not a single woman made it past sundown either. There is a difference between booking women and BIPOC to open and booking BIPOC to headline. Insomniac has the power to shift the conversation around diversity in dance culture. House music is the best place to start.

Same Old. Same Old.

Seeing the same names on a lineup can be comforting, but it can also be a bit of a let down. After over a year without events, attendees are hoping to see the creative juices from talent buyers flowing like never before. Introducing new talents and new styles of music. There was some freshness at Day Trip in this regard, but not much.

The Ugly:

Long Drink Lines

This was a cashless event. There is no reason to be waiting 40 minutes to get a drink. Sure some bars have more traffic than others, but come on guys.


We were told there was supposed to be free parking. Too bad none of the attendants knew where it was. The NOS Center is notorious for attendees having their cars stolen. Secured parking is an amazing amenity if executed properly.

Featured Image By Alex Varsa For Insomniac Events

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