With summer near, Skyline festival makes its debut at the new & improved LA State Historic Park

Skyline 2017Photos courtesy of aLIVE Coverage, Banfy & DA BLACK SWAN // Written by Josh Herwitt //

Skyline feat. Duke Dumont, Miike Snow, Lido, EDEN, Michl, ELOHIM, Jason Bentley //
LA State Historic Park – Los Angeles
May 20th, 2017 //

Memorial Day weekend is often considered the unofficial start to summer, but for those of us living in the City of Angels, last weekend might as well have been.

With temperatures in downtown LA reaching the low 90’s, Radio Hill Events and KCRW made history on a hot and sunny day as they hosted the inaugural Skyline festival at the brand-new LA State Historic Park, which closed for renovation more than three years ago.

Though not all of the 34-acre open space just north of Chinatown was used for the single-day event, it felt nice to be back at the much-improved park taking in live music as an electronic-leaning lineup that consisted of Duke Dumont, Miike Snow, Lido, EDEN, Michl, ELOHIM and Jason Bentley all shared the somewhat diminutive stage over a nine-hour span.

Skyline 2017 - Miike Snow


Miike Snow

In many ways, Skyline felt like a trial run for potentially larger music festivals to eventually make their way back to the park, which was used for FYF Fest and HARD’s LA-based events prior to its closure. And after a reported attendance of 5,500, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see FYF Fest return to its former home next year after occupying Exposition Park for what soon will be four straight summers following its latest edition this July.

What might be best about LA State Historic Park, though, is the view. Particularly on a clear day, it’s hard to beat the sight lines of downtown LA’s skyline when you look south from the park. And lucky for us, that was the case this time around.

As day turned to night and the crowd’s energy gradually started to build thanks to a hit-laden set from Scandinavian indie-pop trio Miike Snow, it felt like a perfect way to spend a Saturday night in LA in mid-May. So, when English DJ/producer Duke Dumont took the baton and gave the festival’s final performance, he made sure to send us home with some deep-house vibes — deep enough to put us right to bed after what proved to be, all in all, a successful day.

LA Show of the Week // GO4FREE to Skyline feat. Duke Dumont, Miike Snow, Lido & more 5/20 (SAT)

SkylineWritten by Josh Herwitt //

Skyline feat. Duke Dumont, Miike Snow, Lido, EDEN, Michl, ELOHIM, Jason Bentley //
LA State Historic Park – Los Angeles
May 20th, 2017 //

It’s been a while since LA State Historic Park has hosted a music festival — almost three years to be exact. The 34-acre open space just north of LA’s Chinatown neighborhood, after all, had been under construction during that time, with progress on the developement getting delayed at one point due to soil contamination at the site.

But in March, Radio Hill Events, a new group of concert producers, talent buyers and festival planners, teamed up with KCRW to announce Skyline, a single-day music, art and food event that will mark the first major music gathering at the recently remodeled park.

Featuring performances by Duke Dumont, Miike Snow, Lido, EDEN, Michl, ELOHIM and Jason Bentley, the fest’s inaugural music lineup leans heavily on electronic acts who play “live” (as opposed to performing a DJ set).

Kicking off the festivities this Saturday at 2 p.m. will be a surprise opener before Miike Snow and Duke Dumont close things out with back-to-back sets each lasting an hour (view the set times below).

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend and are itching to see some live music, you don’t want to miss this brand-new festival in downtown LA. Tickets are available for $50, but you could win a pair of tickets by submitting your full name and email below.

Contest ends this Friday at 3 p.m.

Skyline - set times


Follow Showbams on Twitter for more contest giveaways throughout the week. Be the first to respond to our contest tweets to GO4FREE to these shows:

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Boogaloo Mountain Jam 2016: A family affair

Boogaloo Mountain Jam 2016By Lindsay Alamillo //

Boogaloo Mountain Jam //
Oak Canyon Park – Silverado, CA
April 29th-May 1st, 2016 //

Boogaloo Mountain Jam celebrated its second year last weekend at Silverado’s Oak Canyon Park. The venue, which has hosted beloved events like Lightning in a Bottle, Woogie Weekend and Dirtybird Campout, did not disappoint. The park was turned into a small, intimate burner oasis for a weekend with famed playa art cars Charlie the Unicorn and The Dirty Beetles Bus taking the place of stages.

Because this festival was small in comparison to most others (with an attendance of less than 1,000), it gave off a much more personal feel. This could also be due to the fact that it’s put on by a bunch of Burning Man camps and affiliates. The festival itself was started by The Dirty Beetles. What began a few years ago as a fundraiser to fuel an art installation for the burn has turned into a wonderful family affair. People of all ages were in attendance, from the old shirtless man feeling the bass to the cute little baby in the onesie with his face painted and aviator headphones to match. It’s fair to say that spirits were soaring at an immeasurably high rate as a result.

Walking through the entrance gates, attendees were greeted with a picturesque scenery filled with lush trees, green grass, sunny skies and a tranquil lake. The stages were all placed fairly close to each other; you could easily walk the perimeter in less than 10 minutes. Surprisingly, this did not affect the sound quality as the crisp and clear sounds of each stage pierced the air around it. Vibrant colors surrounded the open space as vendors set up shop to offer attendees sparkling gems and crystals, essential oil blends and serums, handcrafted jewelry and leather goods. Canvases and other art pieces seemed to be perfectly placed around the park like they were treasures just waiting to be discovered.

Boogaloo Mountain Jam 2016 - Karl Denson's Tiny Universe


Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

The lineup did not boast big multi-million-dollar DJs but did have several popular artists who have strayed away from the mainstream. DJ Dan, Stylust Beats, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, The Funk Hunters and a few of the acclaimed DirtyBird cast — Worthy, J. Phlip and Christian Martin — all made the trek out into the mountains for a weekend of dancing and good vibes.

Favorites within the LA community were also in tote. Venice local Marques Wyatt, Josh Billing (resident DJ of Orange County’s Focus Nightclub) and KCRW’s own Jason Bentley all worked to keep the smiles big and the bodies moving.

The music didn’t stop at the end of each night’s scheduled acts. The campgrounds were filled with renegade camps offering after-hours sounds and activities for everyone who wasn’t ready for the night to end. The Dirty Beetles hosted their own after-hours party lasting until 6 a.m. Saturday morning with DJ Dan. They were just getting things started, after all.

Boogaloo Mountain Jam 2016 - DJ Dan


DJ Dan

But the weekend was not just about the music. In true burner spirit, art and creativity were flowing heavily throughout the three-day extravaganza. Oak Canyon Park was flooded with outlandish costumes all outstanding in their own right. Hoop dancers, LED knickknacks, steampunk-inspired headwear and live paintings could be found scattered anywhere within the park or its bordering campgrounds. Along with their leave-no-trace-behind philosophy, the promotion of radical self-expression was alive and thriving. It was wonderful to watch these basic principles of Burning Man be both graciously and voluntarily embraced without question or explanation.

Everyone in attendance seemed to be in better than great spirits, showing love, admiration and respect to whomever crossed their path. It seemed like every introduction came with a hug, and smiles adorned the faces of everyone around. It was the kind of place that you visit with your friends and leave with a newfound family. The positivity was powerful, and people had nothing but great things to say about the weekend.

The music, art and people of Boogaloo worked together to create a synergetic energy that was felt by anyone who set foot on the park’s campgrounds. This intimate affair is still a hidden gem, but don’t be surprised if this little party gets a whole lot bigger by this time next year.

Is Lightning in a Bottle shedding its ‘boutique’ label to go mainstream?

Lightning in a BottleBy Josh Herwitt //

Lightning in a Bottle //
San Antonio Recreation Area – Bradley, CA
May 21st-25th, 2015 //

It has been more than 15 years since Jesse and Josh Flemming set out to throw a wild birthday bash for themselves in the Santa Ynez Mountains just north of Santa Barbara, Calif. The twin brothers, who had left their Pennsylvania roots behind for Los Angeles in the late 90’s in hopes of pursuing careers in the entertainment industry, enlisted the help of their younger brother Dede, who had his own aspirations of working in Hollywood, making the cross-country move to Southern California a few years after them.

But what started as a private party of 150 people would eventually become better known as Lightning in a Bottle (LIB), the famed boutique festival that the Flemming brothers have curated for more than a decade with the help of their LA-based event production company The Do LaB. Tabbed as the “Greenest Festival in America” each of the last five years, LIB has continued to foster a community that values sustainability first and foremost, but also social cohesion, personal health and creative expression. Consequently, the Flemming brothers have created one of the most unique experiences on the entire U.S. festival circuit, with music, art, yoga and workshops all serving as essential elements in forming LIB’s identity. Whether all of that can be sustained while the festival maintains its “boutique” label though, remains to be seen.

Lightning in a Bottle


LIB sold out for the first time in its 15-year history with as many as 20,000 festivalgoers attending.

For the first time ever, LIB sold out in its 15-year history this month, with last weekend’s attendance peaking at 20,000 after hovering around 15,000 in previous years. Some of that surge can likely be attributed to the musical talent that LIB now shares with Coachella. SBTRKT, ODESZA, Tycho and Panda Bear, for instance, all performed in Indio this year while Flume, RL Grime and AlunaGeorge made appearances on the polo fields last April. But the festival has arguably welcomed no bigger up-and-coming artist than Flume, the 23-year-old Australian producer and DJ who won numerous awards in his home country back in 2013. Since then, he has been all the rage in today’s electronic dance music scene, with tickets to his three sold-out shows in LA last August reselling on both Craigslist and StubHub for upwards of $100.

So, it was no surprise that the largest crowd over the entire weekend congregated a little after midnight on Sunday to see Harley Streten take the stage as the festival’s top headliner and drop one wonky trap beat after another. With the crowd spilling over outside of the main stage’s premises, it was a quick reminder of what the Gobi Tent looked like during Flume’s set at Coachella just a year earlier. And by the following day, much of the camp grounds had already emptied out — a clear sign that those who made the trek to Bradley, Calif., had seen all that they needed to see, even if that meant simply watching Streten command the crowd with mainly a laptop. It’s at least in part why if The Do LaB continues to book headliners of Streten’s stature, LIB can likely kiss that “boutique” label goodbye — unless financial gain is of no interest or concern.

Lightning in a Bottle - Flume


Australian DJ/producer Flume packed the main stage at LIB for his Saturday night headlining set.

Yet, that’s not the only indication that LIB could soon be headed for the big time. The real icing on the cake didn’t come until Sunday night, when English synthpop/trip-hop duo AlunaGeorge, midway through their main-stage set, busted out a cover of “White Noise”, the Disclosure mega-hit on 2013’s Settle that they collaborated with brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence on. And as I watched those all around me mouth every word that vocalist Aluna Francis belted out, it was hard not to foresee the moment becoming somewhat of a trend at LIB. Because when I attended the festival for the first time in 2011, there was little chance of hearing a Top 40 song on the main stage. LIB, for better or worse, has certainly come a long way since then.

The musical offerings aren’t the only noticeable change at LIB when you take a closer look, however. While the festival has always catered to health-conscious individuals, offering a variety of vegetarian, raw, organic and non-GMO options, it’s only started to offer dishes featuring meat, whether it be chicken, beef or pork (bacon was served … yes, bacon!), in the last two years — even though the chicken supply ran dry by Day 3 this year. That small, yet significant transformation could simply be the product of a growing fan base, one that continues to swell as EDM heavyweights like John Digweed, Thomas Jack and Bakermat become more and more a part of the festival’s musical palette. And with more people comes more trash (something LIB has kept to a minimum more than any other festival in America to date), less space (something that has always been relatively easy to come by at LIB) and a harder time of finding your friends (something that was never an issue at LIB in the past but became much more of one this year).

The purists may already be claiming that LIB has sold out and there’s no turning back. But at this juncture, the “transformational” festival — as some like to call it — is still toeing a fine line between the underground and mainstream. It’s where it goes from here that will ultimately decide its fate.

CRSSD makes a big splash in debut as 2015 festival season heats up

CRSSD FestivalBy Josh Herwitt //

CRSSD Festival //
Waterfront Park – San Diego
March 14th-15th, 2015 //

Music festivals rarely ever run smoothly in their inaugural year. Whether they are poorly timed, disorganized or just not well thought-out, first-time festivals often have their fair share of problems.

But Southern California-based event promoters Goldenvoice and FNGRS CRSSD are quickly changing the game after putting on a nearly flawless first edition of CRSSD Festival at San Diego’s Waterfront Park last weekend.

Bridging the gap between the EDM and alternative electronic worlds much like HARD Events founder and CEO Gary Richards has done with his own festival series, the two-day, 21-and-over event initially caught fans’ eyes with electro-rock bands like Empire of the Sun and Chromeo topping an impressive, dance-oriented bill that also included ODESZA, Flight Facilities, Hot Natured, Classixx, Maceo Plex, Justin Martin, Lee Burridge and Pete Tong.

Then, a month later, CRSSD organizers drew even more attention to the festival when they announced Phase II of the lineup, adding James Murphy, Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons and Trippy Turtle to an already stacked list of performers.

And with temperatures hitting the high 80’s on both Saturday and Sunday, CRSSD Festival couldn’t have served as a better warm-up (no pun intended) for Coachella, which, by the way, is only three weeks away.

Here are our awards from the first-ever CRSSD Festival.


CRSSD Festival - Empire of the Sun

Most Epic Set: Empire of the Sun

The Aussie glam-pop giant has been headlining festivals for a while now and continues to do so in epic fashion. Empire of the Sun’s live performance is as much of a spectacle as it is a psychedelic dance party, and when they intertwine the two so fluidly as they did to close out the first day of festivities at CRSSD, they’re able to leave lasting memories for both new and old fans.


CRSSD Festival - Chromeo

Biggest Dance Party: Chromeo

These two childhood friends from Montreal have been igniting dance parties all over the world since dropping their 2004 debut She’s in Control, and while their synthpop sound hasn’t necessarily evolved leaps and bounds over the last decade, they still know how to get a crowd moving, whatever the occasion may be. With the weekend winding down, you could find plenty of festivalgoers all over the grounds grooving to Chromeo’s signature brand of disco funk. We even saw people dancing on their way to the porta potties!


CRSSD Festival - Classixx

Most Uplifting Set: Classixx

As we found out at Treasure Island Music Festival last fall, LA electronic duo Classixx have come a long way since their early days remixing artists like Phoenix, Mayer Hawthorne and Holy Ghost! Scheduled to play the always-important post-sunset set on the Ocean View Live stage, they stepped up to the challenge and delivered one of the most awe-inspiring shows of the weekend. With their wide range of influences, the sky — especially when it’s tinged orange, red and blue — appears to be the limit for these two beatmakers.


CRSSD Festival - Lido

Biggest Surprise: Lido

Quite frankly, we didn’t know anything about Norwegian producer Lido (aka 22-year-old Peder Losnegård) prior to his 4:30 p.m. set on Sunday. Well, maybe we should have. After watching him drop remixes of Bill Withers, The Weeknd and alt-j all while maneuvering between keyboards, electronic drums and a variety of programming equipment, we were thoroughly impressed with this young stud’s skills. Oh, and his pipes aren’t shabby either.


CRSSD Festival - ODESZA

Best Stage Visuals: ODESZA

The Seattle production duo has been on fire of late, and its Sunday night set was easily one of the most anticipated of the weekend thanks to the release of its second full-length album In Return this past September. While “Say My Name” has taken the airwaves by storm over the last few months, it was their stage visuals that really stood out. Artistic and abstract at the same time, you couldn’t help but stare at the huge LED screen directly behind Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight as they worked their magic on us.


CRSSD Festival - Robert DeLong

Most Enthusiastic Performance: Robert DeLong

Is there a more entertaining live performer in dance music right now than Robert DeLong? Whether he’s singing or banging away ferociously on the drums (his stage setup includes both acoustic and electronic), the 29-year-old Washington state native is one of the most animated acts in electronic music. Fusing house, moombahton and a handful of other EDM sub-genres into his Sunday afternoon slot, he showed an enthusiasm unparalleled to any other artist on the CRSSD lineup.


CRSSD Festival - Flight Facilities

Best Guest Performance: Flight Facilities

Since their inception in 2009, Australian production duo Flight Facilities have continued to soar by dropping new singles year after year. Exceeding all expectations at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco during Noise Pop 2015, they arrived at CRSSD on Sunday night and didn’t disappoint, employing guest vocalists like Brooke Addamo (aka Owl Eyes) to engage the crowd and supplement their disco-house grooves.


CRSSD Festival - STRFKR

Most Under-Appreciated Set: STRFKR

Portland electronic quartet STRFKR have been going strong for more than eight years now. With four studio albums to their name, Joshua Hodges, Shawn Glassford, Keil Corcoran and Patrick Morris have continued to build on their synth-heavy sound. Unfortunately with DJ Harvey and Thomas Jack playing sets on the festival’s two other stages at the same time, STRFKR’s rather fun and upbeat performance on Saturday went relatively unnoticed.


CRSSD Festival - Goldroom

Sexiest Stage Presence: Goldroom

We unexpectedly caught Goldroom at Lightning in a Bottle a couple years ago, so we were already familiar with Josh Legg’s breezy, chilled-out arrangements. But somehow we did forget how sexy Mereki Beach can be when she takes over the mic, as she strutted her stuff in her shiny kicks midway through Goldroom’s Saturday afternoon set. With Legg getting the live band back together, fans of the LA-based act should be seeing a lot more of Beach.


CRSSD Festival - Slow Magic

Most Mysterious Performance: Slow Magic

One of the biggest enigmas in electronic music these days is the man behind a Technicolor wolf mask. While his identity still remains unknown to most, his fans know him best by his stage name Slow Magic (read our review of his SF show from the fall). Though a small, yet passionate crowd assembled for his early-afternoon set on the main stage Sunday, you had to feel for a guy wearing a mask and playing drums in almost 90-degree heat.