The world’s only vaporwave festival, 100% ElectroniCON, made its sold-out Los Angeles debut last weekend at Catch One. Following the first NYC ElectroniCON, the Los Angeles festival boasted a similar lineup, featuring many of the top artists in the genre such as Saint Pepsi, Negative Gemini, Slayyyter, and George Clanton, who spearheaded the whole festival. Before ElectroniCON, the mostly internet-residing vaporwave and neighboring genres existed primarily as an online community, with no real defining ‘IRL’ space. Clanton launched the concept into reality with the help of a small team and attracted fans from all over to commune in person and see their favorite artists play – some playing for the first time in front of a crowd. Check out the ElectroniCON 2 announcement video here.
The Los Angeles venue Catch One provided a multi-level, four-room festival experience for nearly 2,000 attendees. The labyrinth of what is normally a dance club was transformed into a vapor-haven; walls were padded with old-style CRT televisions set to anime and other pastel visuals, while the Catch One resident neon lights and vintage arcade games made a seamless transition into their new, (albeit temporary) mainstay. A definite dance-y night-club ambiance was prevalent despite it being midday at ElectroniCON.
Upon arrival we were handed a cassette tape filled with a song from every artist performing that night, before climbing some comically steep stairs up to the marketplace. The marketplace near the entrance of the club set the tone of the night, with friendly and fashionable vendors offering a variety of interesting trinkets and baubles far beyond your standard band merch fare, from vhs tapes to juicy fruit scented carved marble bust soaps under the soft neon lights. A full wardrobe of vaporwear was also available for anyone who arrived underdressed.
The soft music hid a feverish loyalty to the delocalized scene. “We flew in from Seattle,” a friendly couple told us out on the patio. “We were in line at the NYC Electronicon when we bought tickets.” Another friendly stranger drove out from Indiana to catch the second festival. They were later spotted in the pit at George Clanton’s set.
The amount of sincere enthusiasm and excitement found on all corners of the venue was contagious. All you need to do is take a glance at the words on the screens below to know that the entire room was fully throttled into this Smash Mouth sing-a-long (courtesy of emotrap/comedy rapper FrankJavCee).
George Clanton‘s 40 minute-long set was a friendly kerfuffle of sing-a-long, dancing, and crowd-surfing aliens (you read that right). Clanton even crowd-surfed himself – a pretty regular stunt of his. George Clanton and his idol, Nick Hexum of 311, performed a set of songs together on stage for the very first time. They had recently released a few collaborative songs, so most fans at the festival were already expecting Hexum to show up. Check out their collaborative songs on YouTube.
Photos from George Clanton’s set below:
With two sold-out 100% ElectroniCON festivals on opposite sides of the country and within two months of each other, we can expect many more 100% ElectroniCONs to transpire in the coming years along with a growing in-person interface of vaporwave and related genres.