Insomniac decided to start the New Year off right by opening their most recent event, Electric Mile, to the public on January 1. This event provides an experience much different to what we typically think of Insomniac events, being a family-friendly, drive-through experience, rather than a large festival or concert. The hour-long journey takes you through six different attractions, each drawing inspiration from one of Insomniac’s famous festival themes. Beginning with the warehouse party roots of Insomniac, and continuing on to Nocturnal, Beyond, Escape, Countdown, and eventually, EDC, the attendee is given a glimpse into the various rave wonderlands through dazzling lights and astonishing art structures.
With the dawn of a brand-new event by Insomniac, I was filled with excitement as I approached Santa Anita Park and saw bright flashing lights and a lit-up Ferris wheel from a distance. We tuned into the provided radio station to listen to a mix of some of EDM’s biggest songs, as well as an introduction by Pasquale Rotella, the CEO of Insomniac, on the Electric Mile and what it includes. The guests also have the option to purchase drinks and snacks while waiting in line, which are provided just before entering the “Electric Mile Portal”, the large flashing entrance to the drive through. Once we were ready to enter the portal, we tuned into a different radio station that played more famous EDM songs that were synced up to the 5,000,000 lights that exist within the various worlds of the Electric Mile. Each section portrayed their very own art structures and dancers that were littered with lights and lasers, and brought memories of past raves. Clowns in the Psycho Circus of Escape, Aliens in Countdown, the Kinetic Field in EDC, and each of the other attractions all authentically captured the feel and vibes from their respective festival, and allowed us to reminisce of those long nights dancing under the electric sky.
Overall, the Electric Mile experience was enjoyable, safe, and fun for the whole family, although it did not come without its share of problems. The line to get into the actual drive was roughly 2 and a half hours, which was hard to justify for an experience that barely filled an hour. This problem has been voiced however, and Pasquale has already issued a response that includes a lowered capacity and additional nights to accommodate more guests. Certain attendees have also been given the option to move their pass to a later date in exchange for a VIP upgrade. At the end of the day, this was the first day the event was opened, and some problems are to be expected. Pasquale and the Insomniac team’s response was both swift and effective, and it’s likely we’ll only see the Electric Mile experience improve from here on out.
With the lack of festivals still plaguing the EDM community, and no possible return in the near future, the Electric Mile event provides a great way that we can enjoy Insomniac’s best festivals in a safe manner. Although this experience might not compare to dancing under the fireworks of EDC or camping at Nocturnal, this experience allows us to stay connected to those memories and the community through a safe, socially distanced drive-through, that can be fun for anyone in the family. At its core, Electric Mile gives us the energy of a festival while keeping the community safe until we can once again be dancing together amidst the splendor of an Insomniac festival.
Featured Photo by Chandler Scheffer