Since 2019, the Los Angeles-based house and techno communities of 6AM, Synthetik Minds, and Dirty Epic join forces two times a year for their festival RE/FORM.
RE/FORM is a day into night festival that takes place at Optimist Studios on the westside of Los Angeles.
What draws one into RE/FORM is their goal is to prioritize the authenticity of underground culture.
This spring, we experienced a perfect storm of multiple stages at a venue that catered well to both the dark, foggy warehouse lovers and those who prefer the enchantment of an open-air musical experience beneath the setting sun and rising moon. The festival featured hard-hitting acts, alongside a vibrant and well-dressed crowd.
Check EDM Maniac’s report card for RE/FORM Spring 2023:
The crowd at RE/FORM was a refreshing change from the over-packed crowds often seen at recent festivals. We felt safe as the atmosphere was lively without being overcrowded, providing ample space for everyone to dance.
The age limit at RE/FORM is 21+, but the attendees appeared to be 25 or older. This crowd could be referred to as more of a community that radiated an atmosphere of closeness, maturity, and sophistication, which even extended to the staff members and the festival organizers.
The unofficial all-black dress code of the attendees added to the vibrant and captivating culture of the event. Even with aggressive techno music hyping the crowd up, the attendees seemed composed and danced throughout the night.
It was easy to navigate through the crowd, and even though the music was pulsing through the walls of the dark warehouse stage, attendees were quick to make room for others with just a smile and eye contact. The crowd’s friendly and accommodating nature was further exemplified when we tried to capture some videos at the rail, as people eagerly made space for us.
One notable aspect of the RE/FORM festival was the impeccable sound quality at every stage. The music was clear and we didn’t notice any sound bleed, allowing attendees to fully immerse themselves in each wavelength. You could literally feel the BPM in your chest.
The warehouse stage featured captivating visuals by an artist, Cloaking, tailored to the specific demands of the techno scene. Given that the warehouse venue is a proper setting for this type of event, it is understandable that there may be limitations on incorporating much CO2 or pyrotechnics into the production.
The festival organizers should consider expanding the art offerings within the production. The integration of art installations, particularly those aligned with the house and techno culture, would undoubtedly elevate the already impressive sensory experience and further enrich the cultural relevance of the event.
Between the two GA stages, you could walk outside for a more melodic feel, or into the warehouse for some dark and sick high BPM action. The festival organizers curated a lineup for those “in the know,” and attendees were pleased to discover uprising acts, such as EMILIANA, only on the VIP stage.
Headliners like Bears In Space, Regal, and Speedy J were absolutely wrecking the decks, and Daria Kolosava‘s set on Saturday created an intimate connection with the audience.
The festival also featured an LA debut performance from Luke Slater B2B Ø [Phase] as Roog Unit, and Rebekah‘s set was a definite standout of the festival, setting bombs in the warehouse stage.
It is important to note that the musical experience could have opened up more for lowkey talents by not limiting them to VIP viewing. In the future, the festival could consider providing more opportunities for general admission attendees to experience such acts.
The festival was well-curated, and while a larger act would have drawn in more attendees, the vision of this festival was kept through this music selection.
This festival is not your typical production, and that’s exactly what sets it apart. As true house and techno enthusiasts, we live for the dark, sweaty warehouse moments that Optimist Studios delivers.
Situated on the west side of LA, the spacious, air-conditioned warehouse had a quick entrance and was easily accessible for those needing accommodations. The venue also boasts a beautiful patio area, where the VIP Stage is located. Vendors and a med tent were clearly visible and seating was available as well. The event organizers provide clear information about parking on their website, which helps to avoid any confusion on the day of the event.
While paid parking is required, it’s a small sacrifice to make in order to experience the incredible vibes of this warehouse venue.
RE/FORM truly embodied the spirit of the underground. From the incredible attendees to the curated lineup and the ideal warehouse venue, the festival succeeded in capturing the essence of house and techno culture.
While incorporating more art installations and providing opportunities for general admission attendees to experience lowkey acts would be great, we were thoroughly impressed. Overall, RE/FORM was a fantastic celebration of the underground scene.
All photos provided by RE/FORM and Night Moves Me