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Finding Friends Among Psychedelic Jellyfish at Glow

Finding your friends at the Glow festival in Santa Monica Saturday night proved challenging, but led to some fantastical text message exchanges:

“Where are you? We are watching the Javanese dancers just past the ring of fire.”

“Where is the ring of fire? Is it near the glowing dome at the rings?”

“It’s past the pier. Go past the big circle screen where they are projecting birds flying.”

“Circle screen with the guy walking on rocks?”


Glow took over the Santa Monica Pier and surrounding beach on Saturday, September 28, for an all-night interactive experience of light-inspired art. Festival goers walked or biked between 15 art installations in the sand and on the pier, many dressed with glowing, neon accessories in the spirit of the night.

Lines were long at most of the stops, upwards of 30 minutes to over an hour for some, but plenty could be walked right up to and enjoyed. A cluster of enormous jellyfish called “Swarm (The Gelatinous Bloom)” pulsed with light down by the ocean. Kids ran up and down the swells of sand underneath “The Space Between Us,” a huge stretched netting installation that changed colors with projected lighting. People who had downloaded a special app walked around the “Colorfields” area, with their smartphone screens all changing colors in unison.

The event lasted into the wee hours, ending at 3 a.m. I didn’t last that long, as I was split from my friends again and no longer had cell service to send out a message like “In line for the ‘Glowmasphere.’ Did you guys see the neon blockhead guys in long black cloaks?”

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