This past Saturday, Minimal Effort took over ENOX in Lincoln Heights, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, for their All Hallow's Eve party bringing along Lee Burridge, Damian Lazarus, Dusky, Claptone, MK, Brodinski and a host of other techno and house artists for the ride.
The newly-minted venue was impeccably on par with the underground warehouse vibes, hosting both indoor and outdoor stages. The outdoor stage was hard to miss as attendees were greeted by beams of light bouncing from a massive disco ball suspended over the outdoor stage upon entering the grounds.
Credit: Jamie Rosenberg
Being smaller in comparison to most festivals worked to the advantage of Minimal Effort, as they were able to curate almost seamless set times for each stage with every artist having an hour and a half, or more, to perform. Those lucky enough to be granted entry to the event enjoyed a grand display of some of the most talented DJs in the world right now, with top highlights including an incredible, pulsating set from Brodinski, a classic Dusky set and a beautiful house set from the legendary MK.
Credit: Jamie Rosenberg
Claptone, the international masked man of mystery, brought his famed Masquerade to the indoor stage of Minimal Effort, to the delight of many. And that is where things seemed to go downhill. About 30 minutes into Claptone's set (or Lee Burridge if you were outdoors), the music came to an abrupt halt and everyone was informed that the event was ending and that it was time to exit for the evening. It was made known via Minimal Effort's Facebook page that, beginning around 10pm, many would-be attendees were denied entry.
Fans, upset and with every right to be, made their grievances well-known, asking to be refunded for an event they were very much looking forward to attending.
How did an event with such an amazing lineup and spacious venue end its evening on a sour note?
Many in attendance that were informally interviewed during the early mass exit attributed the issues to "new venue growing pains," stating that perhaps (read: definitely) there were still some issues to iron out.
This evening the creators behind Minimal Effort issued this statement via Eventbrite:
"We want to address what occurred on Saturday night at Minimal Effort: All Hallow’s Eve. Firstly we know and understand that we owe everyone negatively affected a sincere and deep apology. We are dance music fans first and promoters second, and it is our passion for the music that drives us to put our life savings and debt on the line to try to provide the type of experiences that we ourselves love.
We worked very hard following the shortcomings on New Year’s Eve to address all the issues at hand. As the more than 2100 people who enjoyed All Hallows Eve can attest we found a venue that gave attendees more space, better amenities and a production level on par with our vision. All of our venue permits were approved in advance by LA County.
Despite running a standard door count and not overselling the event, we were told at 9.45pm by the Sheriff and Fire Marshall that even though we had not reached our permitted capacity they would not let anyone else in. We had a permitted capacity of 3000, 2100 people were already safely inside, 300+ remained outside. Authorities told us we could either close the doors on the 300+ or risk shut down of the entire event. We complied, choosing the option we felt was the lesser of two evils.
We were then informed that we had to shut off sound and end the event at 1am so the venue would be entirely clear by 2am. The permit approved by the County allowed for amplified sound and for our event to run until 2am, but we had to comply with authorities on-site for the safety of everyone in attendance.
We understand that many of you have lost trust in our brand, but we also want to honestly and transparently communicate what really occurred. The truth always wins, and the truth here is that we were not at capacity, and we had a fully permitted event that should have been able to continue until the approved 2am end time.
We will be issuing full refunds to all those who purchased tickets and were unable to enter the event. Eventbrite will refund within 48 hours.
We will also be issuing a free ticket to our next event. We hope that those who were able to attend had an awesome time, and we hope see you at our next event."
While there were clearly some major issues with the production of the event, the event itself was an incredible display of electronic music and a too short but sweet - for the most part - way to spend Halloween weekend. Here's hoping Minimal Effort is able to make a comeback for their next party, I'm rooting for them.
Credit: Jamie Rosenberg