LA's new plant-based party paradigm is blooming under the trees

LA is unfolding, cracking open, spiraling out into lush weed gardens and clandestine forest groves as this city’s famously reclusive creatures crawl out of their quarantine holes. The pandemic offers LA a chance to redefine its musical ecosystem, to reimagine a local rave scene that tbh was pretty unimaginative and boring. Now, as atrophied limbs stretch out on sun-speckled grassy dancefloors, a new paradigm is emerging of PLANT-BASED PARTYING (lmao yes this is what I’m calling it). Why ape the post-industrial wasteland aesthetics of nightlife cities like New York or Berlin, when we can play to our strengths: the abundant outdoors, the panoramic mountain vistas, the sherbet sunsets that leave you gasping. Finally, a *vibe shift* in LA’s party scene is happening as people everywhere tell me: no more shitty warehouse raves, please! 

The media has become obsessed lately with the return of New York nightlife as many clubs celebrate their long-awaited returns. Here comes the deluge of based party tales from Gotham, club kids forging vaccine passports to skip the long linesnightlife cub journalists discovering 2CB for the first time. But let’s talk about the rebirth of revelry in LA, where in the Before Corona (BC) times, nightclubs were wack, infrastructural obstacles felt insurmountable, and sleepy denizens hated staying awake past the 2am last call. Aside from a few happy hardcore raves and queer / Afro-Caribbean / Latinx parties, the afterhours scene was pretty pathetic. Now beloved bars are bouncing back at limited capacity and full reopening is scheduled for mid-June; yet the cutest parties are still hiding behind closed doors—the secrecy of a private dwelling simulating the exclusivity of a velvet rope. 

Over the past few weeks I have been slipping on my hot vaxx summer looks, the tube dresses that barely skim my ass, and investigating the rise of this plant-based party trend. Beyond the gates of Rave New World’s paywalled garden, my recent research into: a tea party at a Persian garden paradise of cannabis plants and chickens; a public art park with punk-techno on picnic tables; an art rave at a Route66 biker bar; DJs playing cosmic disco in a hidden nook of trees. 

Subscribe and enter the secret inner sanctum, where I’ll also drop recs on where to party in LA this weekend—from a renegade punk rave to a fetish-themed poetry party. The AI shamans are whispering about synthetic 5MEO-DMT while the New Age ambient heads are throwing park parties with shroom tea, so come with me! 

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