Inside the 420 Magic Bus Experience

(Courtesy of The Magic Bus Experience)

The Magic Bus Experience is rolling into Los Angeles over 4/20 weekend, promising an immersive, interactive party that’s part-festival and part-art installation. Drawing on the trappings of 60s hippie culture, psychedelia, and cannabis, guests will have the opportunity to lounge around an adult-sized pillow fort and conquer “Munchie Mountain.”

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Husband-and-wife team Melissa and Justin Meyer, who serve as creators and executive producers on Magic Bus, have a long history working in theater and Halloween events. Melissa Meyer said that when she realized 4/20 would occur over the weekend, the couple decided to bring their event know-how and enthusiasm for cannabis together.

“We wanted to bring something a little bit new and unique to the typical pop-up, tent-style festivals, and really create an immersive experience where people are actually interacting in the zones. More than just a selfie spot, so that you can really get engaged in each environment,” she said.

This doesn’t mean that there won’t be selfie spots or photos to take, but Meyer hopes people will take their time engaging with interactive exhibits and performers as opposed to snapping a pic and moving along. She anticipates that curious customers could walk through the entire 60,000-square-foot exhibit in an hour, but estimates most people will spend about three hours in the Magic Bus.

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There certainly seems to be no shortage of playful stations at this event. There’s a giant coloring book; a game room called “High Score” with pinball, cornhole, and arcade games; and the Bean Bag Cinema, where a house band will play classic rock in the vein of Pink Floyd while psychedelic projections surround the audience. At the aforementioned Munchie Mountain, guests will find a colorful, 16-foot-high snack bar from which a Yeti will serve cookies, crackers, and candies. One particular area of interest is the Hot Box Maze, where guests will have to navigate through a foggy labyrinth full of surprises, which Meyer warns is “pretty tricky.” Guests might also run into a variety of performers, including stilt walkers, contortionists, magicians, and comedians.

There will also be multiple cash bars for guests 21 and older, including the Black Light Beer Garden and the Make-Believe Bar. Guests who pony up an extra $20 for the VIP experience will get expedited entrance, as well as access to the Cloud Room Lounge which contains a private cash bar and as many chicken nuggets and tater tots as one desires.

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Both Meyer and her husband are cannabis advocates for both recreational and medicinal use. Meyer began using marijuana for pain management after severing a nerve in a car crash.

“It was the only thing that I could take that made me still function, where I could get through my day and get all my work done, but still take the pain away.”

Meyer’s husband, on the other hand, has long enjoyed its creative and social benefits.

“We used to call [my husband] “The Professor” because he’s more on the education side of what is an indica and what’s a sativa, and what they do,” Melissa said.

With light-hearted events like Magic Bus Experience, the couple hopes they can help “eliminate any negative stigma, show that this can be safe, and create really fun, whimsical environments.”

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Due to California state law, you won’t actually be able to consume cannabis while inside the Magic Bus Experience. Of course, what you do beforehand is entirely up to you.

Magic Bus takes place on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at The Reef in downtown Los Angeles. Attendees can buy tickets online for either the day session, which runs 11:30 a.m. to 4:20 p.m., or the night session from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Tickets are $45 for general admission, or $65 for VIP.