Remember the days of all-ages clubs in high school when you danced your butt off instead of puking your guts out at a house party? Now underage clubbing is nearly non-existent—especially after the recent closure of the legendary Hollywood youth and gay club, Arena. But fret not youngsters because a group of ex-EDM promoters called Inovativ Events are reviving the all-ages scene every month at The Yost Theater in SanTana.
After growing tiresome of being taken advantage of from money hungry promoters in the electronic music scene, Isaac Flores, 19, joined forces with Ernie Chaparro, 24, and Garrett Duncan, 23, to form Inovativ Events—a production company providing an all-ages and drug-free EDM party in Orange County. Their first event at The Yost Theater in February drew in a packed house of high-schoolers and twenty-something year olds—who knew that was possible?
With a single social media flyer, word of mouth, and even personally delivering tickets from LA to the IE, Inovativ garnered a large turn out and great vibes for its launch in February at The Yost—despite people warning Flores that all-ages events weren't very profitable or popular.
It was lit.
Courtesy of Inovativ Events
The Inovativ crew know parents and the general public have a stigmatized perception of raves and EDM shows, "These kids are going to house parties doing drugs, possibly getting into fights with no security, their parents don't know where they're at," Flores says. He believes offering youngsters a supervised party from 6p.m. to 10p.m. can deter kids from partying in sketchy locations and help improve the negative reputation EDM currently holds.
"When I was 16, there were always all-ages places to party and now there's nothing," says Garrett Duncan, Stage Manager for Inovativ. "You've seen [raves] slowly move away from California and people like us are trying to keep it here. We need to bring out the good part about EDM and stop letting the negative shine through," Duncan says.
The negative being drug overdoses which have become the new norm at EDM concerts—something Inovativ wants to change. Flores even blacklisted someone from his last event after hearing the person intended to sell drugs at the show, that's something other promoters wouldn't have thought to do. "Those promoters don't care, they loved that kids would come and get fucked up." Duncan says. "No one [promoters] had a common goal besides getting paid at the end of the night."
It's these shady promoters that inspired the guys from Inovativ to branch off and create a production company of their own, one that values their community rather than just capitalizes off of it. "I felt like a dollar sign to a lot of event production companies." says Flores. He remembers feeling especially aggitated towards the "pay-to-play" system adopted by many venues and promoters. "If someone sold 70 tickets they could headline but you don't even know if they're good, what if everybody leaves?" Flores says. "That just means you don't care about the people's experience." Inovativ even switched out the term promoter for event host for their staff positions, "It makes employees feel like they're part of our company instead of just being used to sell something." says Flores.
While Inovativ's squeaky clean approach may sound square to some, Duncan assures, "You don't need to do negative stuff to have fun." Trap, hip-hop, electro, house and dub-step mixes can be expected along with balloons, inflatable balls, C02 cannons and light shows. The Yost's bar is also open for those that are of age but take your controlled substances elsewhere.
"Do me a favor and just meet 5 friends, just take down their numbers and make that connection," Flores says. "This person might live in L.A and you may live in the Inland Empire and the next show you can come back and reconnect." Flores' end goal for Inovativ Events is to create a unique and positive music community. "What we're doing is different from anyone else, that's why we're called Inovativ."
Inovative Events will have their 2nd show this Friday at The Yost Theater, 307 N. Spurgeon St., Santa Ana.
6p.m.-10p.m. $20 presale, $25 at the door. All-Ages. You can buy tickets here.