Los Angeles has long been known as a hub for underground music, and one collective has been at the heart of the city’s rave culture since the turn of the millennium. 

Founded in 1999 by a group of friends who were deeply immersed in the scene, Trauma quickly became synonymous with the darker sounds of the electronic music zeitgeist. And after an extended hiatus, they’re now making a comeback.

This weekend will see the return of Trauma Fest, which will merge the best in techno, hardcore, acid, jungle and more for “two days of pure rave energy” in downtown L.A. In fact, its organizers have even cautioned: “WARNING… This event is only for the headstrong!”

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Kari Lambou, Trauma Fest’s founder, operations manager and talent curator, tells us the event’s proprietors were initially inspired by the massive gabber parties taking place in the Netherlands. Motivated by their love of the music and desire to develop their own unique shows, she says they threw their first party, an unforgettable “mini massive” with three stages playing out hardcore, hip-hop, jungle and old-school techno.

This groundbreaking event took place on a ranch in Santa Clarita, lasting from dusk till dawn. And it marked the beginning of something extraordinary.

The name Trauma was chosen to describe the impact of the aggressive and loud music on their ears, according to Lambou. Over the years, the Trauma brand became synonymous with unforgettable raving experiences as they continued to curate events that tested boundaries in the City of Angels.

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However, as life went on laissez-faire, Trauma Fest’s team had to take a step back when a number of its founding members started families and shifted focus. But the spirit of Trauma never truly faded.

They briefly revived the brand in 2015 before hosting a North American tour the following year, but the renaissance was short-lived. Compounded with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, personal tragedies like the deaths of family members precipitated immense challenges.

Despite these trials, Trauma persevered and continued to cultivate ideas behind the scenes. Over the past year, their vision began to materialize, setting the stage for the return of Trauma Fest. The upcoming event promises top-notch production, a unique venue and an impressive lineup of underground legends, including Amon Tobin, Goldie, Reid Speed, Headless Horseman and Joey Beltram.

Trauma Fest Set Times for Friday and Saturday.

Trauma Fest/Instagram

Trauma is now back, and they are ready. The collective’s dedication to their craft and their unwavering love for rave music have kept the Trauma spirit alive throughout the years. With this year’s event, they aim to share their passion with a new generation of ravers and reignite the energy that once permeated the underground scene.

You can purchase tickets to Trauma Fest 2023 here.

Follow Trauma Fest:

Facebook: facebook.com/traumafestla
Twitter: twitter.com/Trauma_Live
Instagram: instagram.com/traumafestla





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