What’s a festival without a little fun on the side? Over the years that EDM has mastered the scene, the accessories have reigned supreme. From fire-hooping to rave gloves, up-and-coming companies looking to cash in on the scene are thriving, and GloFX has the LED and diffraction rave gear locked down. The small, Tallahassee-based corporation has been playing with new technology and material to help festival-goers let loose for nearly a decade.
“I stumbled into this industry,” CEO and founder Dan Watkins said. “These are essentially little kids toys. We innovate them with greater quality to grow the higher-end market.”
Since 2009, the company has managed to put out thousands of products, including several lines of trippy diffraction lensware, LED glove, orbiting and poi accessories as well as their latest release of space fiber whips and lightsabers. The accessories have become staples of the EDM show and festival scene over the last several years, with a growing population of artists and performers in LED light gloving, hooping, staffing and poi flow–a form of dance popularized by fire spinning that creates beautiful patterns of light through the rhythmic spinning of tethered weights.
Product ideas can come from nearly anywhere. According to Watkins, GloFX’s loyal customer base sends along ideas; other up-and-coming accessories are hybrids of their latest Lux series and other product successes. The company’s new space fiber line of customizable whips and sturdy, color-changing (some would say movie-quality) lightsabers.
“[Many] new product ideas come from the existing innovation that take our common items and make new, unique hybrids,” associate marketing manager Tom Chilton added.
The small concept team ranges from four to 10 people–including in-house engineers and 3D print designers–and will spend weeks at a time perfecting a product down to the tiniest diffraction of light.
“A decade ago a lot of these products didn’t exist,” Watkins said. “Our engineers do lots of research on light waves and the way the brain will react. It’s all about increasing the effect of the light while maintaining the quality.”
In just the past year, GloFX has involved themselves in a number of massive festivals around the U.S. including New York City’s Electric Zoo, Atlanta’s Shaky Beats, Euphoria in Austin and Paradiso Festival in Washington. They’ve got big plans to partner with festivals in the upcoming season to give attendees a way to connect with the music in a more physical–and visual–way.
“The interactive element separates EDM from other music scenes,” Chilton said. “These products connect the gap between attendees and the stage production. It makes you feel like you’re part of it–an attraction in itself.”
Photo provided by GloFX.