Jordan Lipaz has lived in Santa Cruz County for more than a decade and recently set up an office and recording studio in Scotts Valley.
He started out producing events and makeshift gatherings for small crowds alongside a “rotating cast of characters,” at homes, open spaces and ranches around the region.
The founder of Lit N’ Loud Productions is working alongside his business partner—operations and logistics wiz Shane Ciora—to breathe life back into Northern California’s nightlife and festival circuit while promoting inclusivity and sustainability.
Lit N Loud’s upcoming mini-festival campout is a showcase of local restaurants, talent and performers amidst the backdrop of the Santa Cruz Mountains’ splendid flora.
Femme Takeover will unfold at Lupin Lodge across two stages and more than 200 acres of Los Gatos’ wilderness on April 29 and 30. Its well-rounded lineup of bass music headliners, hand-picked by Lipaz, includes Afrodisiac, Blissai, Ibarra, Jessiecat, Kaimera, Kristyle, IB & Konfusion, Meeshroom, Ratchael Beats, Trianna Feruza and Vyhara.
With plenty of surprises in store for attendees in the evening (yes, there will be a laser light show), Femme Takeover will also feature daytime workshops, including movement and yoga; specially curated art installations by local fine art gallery Vision Sanctuary; live mural painting by Erika Rosendale of the Made Fresh Crew; and aerial and dance performances by local artists Ava’s Essence and Lael Marie.
The prototype for Femme Takeover originally took place at his home in Bonny Doon, he recalled.
Aptly called the Bonny View Gathering, the event welcomed over 300 attendees and plenty of up-and-coming performers and musicians for a day full of good bites, games and festivities.
“When I was in the electronic music program at UCSC as a part of my minor, it was really easy to make those connections with musicians and DJs who wanted to get involved with local events,” he said. “It became the easiest way to get people from the program onto stages.”
Back in those days, though, local police were not very happy with the pop-up house parties and mini-festivals, according to Lipaz.
“We would get in trouble with law enforcement for having 200 people at our house and playing music for 24 hours because of zoning,” he said. “It wasn’t like we did anything wrong—there were never any noise complaints. They were just upset we were throwing parties out of our house in a residential zone and not a commercial one.”
Now, years later, Lipaz is implementing all of the expertise gleaned from throwing events all through his early 20s to elevate his event production prowess.
In 2021, post-pandemic, when venues and Santa Cruz nightlife opened their doors anew to welcome patrons back, Lit N Loud was founded.
“It’s been interesting. I do my best to steer the ship as captain, and with my co-captain Shane, and help from a handful of contractors and friends, we make it all work,” he said.
Lipaz said the upcoming festival will be just as intentional and sustainable as his previous events have been.
“We will be using reusable foodware provided by Lupin Lodge and plan to use a generator that uses the least possible amount of gas,” he said. “We’re asking people to be mindful of their environmental footprint, carpool when possible and use as few plastic products as they can during their stay. The more we do events, the more we’ve seen how important it is to prioritize sustainability.”
The joint operation has seen some success since its inception a few years ago. Their “Late Night Sessions” music series at Charley’s Bar and Grill continues to bring new talent and upcoming bass and dance artists, visuals and entertainment to downtown Los Gatos.
At the heart of it all, says Lipaz, is community.
“Everyone involved in our productions is a friend. For Femme Takeover, we have people coming from the San Francisco Bay Area—Oakland, all around the East Bay—Santa Cruz, Monterey, and we even have one act flying out from Denver, Colorado,” he said. “We have guests flying in from Washington, Utah, Texas, and people driving up from Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo. We’re really excited to see everyone coming out to show their support for a festival like this.”
For tickets, visit lit-n-loud.ticketleap.com/fem-takover-part-ii.