Over the weekend, L.A. promoter Escape The System resumed their after hours event series, Technometrik, after a three-month hiatus brought on by COVID-19. The Los Angeles Times attended and wrote about the Friday gathering on Monday, and organizers appear to have called off next weekend’s parties later the same day.
The Times article highlighted concerns from an epidemiologist (as well as those of off-the-record rival promoters) that the series relaunch was premature. Phase 3 of L.A. County’s Roadmap to Recovery only allows for restaurants, retail establishments, gyms and museums to reopen; concerts and music venues cannot resume operations until Phase 4. As is common practice among after hours promoters – pandemic or otherwise – Escape The System did not obtain permits to host the event.
Coming to Technometrik’s defense was the Friday event’s headliner, Axkan, who said he would not have performed if he felt unsafe. “When I got there, I was worried it would be packed, but everyone had enough space to walk, and the stage was secluded in the back, with a big opening to the outdoors,” he told the Times. The venue also reportedly allowed only 100 attendees through the doors, requiring that they wear masks and providing ample sanitizer.
Organizers seem to have reassessed whether their safety precautions sufficed, however. The Resident Advisor pages for the June 19th and 20th Technometrik events reveal that each has been canceled “due to the sanitary situation in L.A. County.” No formal statement has been shared by the event brand as of this writing.
Rock and a Hard Place
The scrutiny drawn by Technometrik’s controversial return speaks to the potential challenges facing organizers who try to follow suit. After hours promoters often need to operate under the radar of law enforcement as it is; they also now run the risk of being called out by worried members of the nightlife community.
Even as lawmakers move to lift COVID-19 restrictions, such concerns are reasonable. Although open-air gatherings with social distancing measures have taken place in Germany and Slovakia – and Black Lives Matter protests rage across the globe – confined spaces like warehouses and nightclubs pose a higher risk according to the CDC.
Spokespeople on behalf of Escape The System have not responded to Selector‘s request for comment at the time of writing.
Image credit: Aleksander Pasaric