Marc's Public Blog - Clubbing and Trance


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Ok, so I like electronic dance music, more specifically Trance. When I started in the 1990's, the US was a bit behind in that department.
Still, with San Francisco and San Jose nearby, I've had some opportunities to see some great EDM/Trance DJs. Back in the early 2000's, they sadly played club music in the US that was nowhere close to the hits they had composed and were known for, but over the years, as Trance started becoming more popular, those DJs finally started playing their good tunes in the US too, and maybe from 2004 on, it's only been getting better.
Popsicle Halloween 2004 was really the beginning of great music parties in the San Francisco Area, and thankfully things have gotten even better since then

As a matter of fact, after another 10 years (2015 and beyond) the good news is that Trance has grown quite a following in the US, and places like the SF Bay Area, and while Trance has been declared dead a few times in the last 10 years, it's still going strong here.
Trance Family SF is definitely strong in the area, we've been getting more big trance parties every year, including many top DJs that come visit us what feels like every other week now (as of 2018-2019), and through those events, I made many friends in Trance Family SF. Thanks to you all.

Over those years, I got the chance to meet a few of my favourite DJs, including Armin more than once, and my last hobby has been to work on lights for my shirt and pants (version 3) and (version 4)



You can find all the pictures here

Table of Content for clubbing:

More pages: November 2019 October 2019 August 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 April 2019 March 2019 February 2019 December 2018 November 2018 October 2018 August 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 November 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 December 2016 November 2016 September 2016 August 2016 June 2016 May 2016 January 2016 September 2015 August 2015 June 2015 September 2014 August 2014 May 2014 September 2013 May 2012 May 2011 December 2009 November 2009 April 2009 March 2009 October 2008 June 2008 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 May 2007 April 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 June 2006 May 2006 January 2006 December 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 June 2005 May 2005 February 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 June 2004 August 2003 July 2003 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 July 2001 June 2000



2019/06/27 Luminosity Beach Festival at Bloemendaal an Zee
π 2019-06-27 01:01 in Clubbing
I had known about Luminosity for a little while, technically if I had gotten my shit together, I could have gone last year, but it was a bit too late then, so I made sure this year happened. Sadly, this year was not nearly as much as the previous years: it used to be 4 days with 12H a day, but the city council responsible for that part of the beach actually decided that it was too loud and put a reverse curfew on the festival. This was apparently not to inconvenience a few people on the beach who could literally have walked 2mn away in either direction if they didn't like the sound. Sigh...
As a result of this BS, the event was only allowed to start at 15:00, but it gets worse, even then they were not allowed to use any sound until 17:00. Sadly, that meant the first 2 hours were literally sound you could barely hear and a mostly a waste for the DJs that were playing. It kind of broke my heart to see Thrillseekers do a 3H set from 14:00 to 17:00 one day where you couldn't hear the sound :(
This is obviously not Luminosity's fault, but it effectively removed around 5H per day, or 20H total. Hopefully they get to handle that for next year, or the event is going to be much lesser than it used to be
I talked to some DJs who got sets cancelled or were forced to play with virtually no sound, and they were not happy either

the sound booth guy was tired of everyone asking why you could barely hear any music
the sound booth guy was tired of everyone asking why you could barely hear any music

That said, there were plenty of DJs still. I couldn't help myself and take a few pictures. It actually took a while before I got a clue, I could have gotten many more pictures if I had tried harder, but I had been wanting to talk to PvD and get a picture with him for so long since I've been listening to his music for over 20 years and that this alone was awesome. Sadly I missed Ferry Corsten due to a time conflict. Oh well, maybe another time:

Cold Blue
Cold Blue

Craig Connelly, I'm a big fan of his tracks
Craig Connelly, I'm a big fan of his tracks

Paul Van Dyk, after so many years!
Paul Van Dyk, after so many years!

Matt Darey, that brings me way back. He also did a great classics set
Matt Darey, that brings me way back. He also did a great classics set

Thrillseekers
Thrillseekers

Cosmic Gate
Cosmic Gate

That being said, despite the 20H that were effectively missing, it would have still been a stellar event, but sadly they were 3 big problems in my book:

  • As I just learned the day after getting home, the city council, on top of putting heavy schedule and sound restrictions on the event, also apparently put heavy security restrictions, to the point that they went overboard with security and denied me use of my led outfit during the last 3 days of the event "for security reasons"
  • the security was not correctly prioritizing their threats (to be fair, that's actually hard to do, and even with proper training, not everyone does a great job making the right calls), and convinced themselves that the wires in my outfit could be used to injure others, when shoe laces would honestly do the same.
  • the "you must buy our overpriced bottled water, which we'll sell you without bottle caps". This is so petty... Just charge what you need to charge on the tickets and let people hydrate as they need to. If only one person ends up in the hospital or worse due to dehydration, that is not worth it. Insomniac got the clue, Lumi not yet.
  • The security company they used freaked out on day #2 when a different guy at the entrance saw my light outfit and the wires that it needs to run. In his head wires = bad = terrorist = fear. He actually said he worried about ISIS. OMG... It was downhill from there, people trying to justify the decision all the way where they agreed that I wasn't a risk, but someone could rip out the wires from my outfit and use them to strangle someone else, or something. This is the saddest I've ever heard, especially because the event security was so sad to start with. For their own sake, I'm not going to reveal the huge security holes I found when I got annoyed at this (I have security training) but generally the perimeter was a joke. You could literally smuggle anything you wanted in, including weapons. The thing is that people didn't do it because they were happy to pay for the event, like I was, and honestly trance events is not really where you find weapons or fights to start with. Good thing that no one tried to use their shoe laces to strangle others or we'd have to get in without shoelaces or shoes next time... (and in case you were wondering, I spent non trivial effort to make sure my outfit would not injure others even if they banged into me while dancing).

    there were so many fences you could smuggle anything through. Thankfully it was only water and ice cream
    there were so many fences you could smuggle anything through. Thankfully it was only water and ice cream

    The only thing that kept us safe was that people came to have a good time, not to cause trouble (except maybe a handful of people who got a bit too drunk and became mean drunks), and honestly they should focus on that.

    Thankfully, and that's their biggest failure, their biggest external "threat" was really people trying to smuggle water in, or would you believe it, bottle caps (yes, bottle caps were actually forbidden, because they could be used to refill and close a bottle of water they were trying to force you to buy inside. I really saw a guy being detained by security at the entrance until he threw away both his empty bottle and then the bottle cap he was trying to keep). That's very petty.

    this did his best to beat the system and brought his own resealable bottle cap
    this did his best to beat the system and brought his own resealable bottle cap

    While I expect any festival to screen for weapons, even if this one had such a porous perimeter, the empty bottle and bottle cap stuff was just sad (food was of course also forbidden, but that's a bit more typical). The food options inside were pretty poor, but on the plus side, they allowed you to leave the event to buy food outside if you wanted to:

    people stood in line for 30 to 60mn on the first day to buy fake money
    people stood in line for 30 to 60mn on the first day to buy fake money

    which actually got devalued and of course becomes worthless at the end of the event
    which actually got devalued and of course becomes worthless at the end of the event

    and then you can spend it on limited food options
    and then you can spend it on limited food options

    Can't say I was a fan of this. They should allow contactless payment (phone or credit card) which is almost as fast and bypasses this silly token system, at least in addition to tokens. Inside they had 30-60mn lines at the token counters and no lines at the food/drink boths.

    Usually I don't rant like this, but between forcing people to pay almost $5 per 0.5L of water (make money on the ticket, not on water that creates so much plastic waste and kills our oceans), and banning my outfit on day 2 after all the trouble I went through to bring it in across the world, I was not a happy camper. That said, I had a few pictures from day #1 before I was considered such a risk, along with some of my friends from the San Francisco area (who were then all very disappointed to learn that luminosity banned my outfit on the next days):



    Ok, now that it's off my chest, back to the event. Despite the serious neutering that happened due to the city sound curfew, Lumi is still an event that's one of a kind. The sheer amount of DJs and producers that attended, was beyond impressive. To their credit, they also allow you to stand almost next to the DJ playing or behind him/her while he's playing and take great shots of the crowd. This is not something you can expect just about anywhere else. And on top of that, many DJs were more than happy to talk with their fans and pose for pictures (some were understandably harder to approach than others).

    also I saw people just climbing speakers and dancing on top when at the average festival, they'd be taken out within less than 1mn. I can actually found that refreshing :)
    also I saw people just climbing speakers and dancing on top when at the average festival, they'd be taken out within less than 1mn. I can actually found that refreshing :)

    no backstage pass required, I was just able to walk here
    no backstage pass required, I was just able to walk here

    Sadly, I'm still bitter about what they did to me, let's get back to the event, which was otherwise quite good despite the effective 20H+ missing compared to previous years.
    For starters, we were lucky with the weather, it was unseasonably warm, even borderline too warm on saturday (some other years, they had rain and most of the event is uncovered).

    you may notice the big dune that you'll find all the way around the Netherlands as a shield for the country that mostly under sea level
    you may notice the big dune that you'll find all the way around the Netherlands as a shield for the country that mostly under sea level

    the event was by the beach, and there was a fair amount of wind most days
    the event was by the beach, and there was a fair amount of wind most days

    They had 4 stages, 2 big one outdoors and 2 smaller ones indoors. Some days only had 3 stages running, other days, 4. Interestingly while the schedule changed quite a bit during the event, saturday and sunday had an extra unannounced stage, and when Solarstone was playing allegedly until midnight on friday, he didn't stop and no one kicked him out either :)

    Anyway, here are pictures from Day 1:




    my first time seeing Will Atkinson. Some DJs don't travel to the US
    my first time seeing Will Atkinson. Some DJs don't travel to the US

    4 Strings
    4 Strings





    haha, climb on top of speakers, no one cares :)
    haha, climb on top of speakers, no one cares :)

    sun took forever to set, it was only dark for 15mn before the 'day' was over
    sun took forever to set, it was only dark for 15mn before the 'day' was over

    sucks to be the laser guy when you can only use the lasers for such a short portion of the event
    sucks to be the laser guy when you can only use the lasers for such a short portion of the event

    Video of Day #1:

    This brings us to Day #2. That day John Askew played a 9H OTC set. I was joking that he was wearing a "weekend at bernie's" shirt just in case they had to prop him up, but he didn't need that, he just kept on going, awesome stamina:


    Markus Schultz
    Markus Schultz


    Jennifer came on day #2 and enjoyed some shade by the beach, where you could still hear the music
    Jennifer came on day #2 and enjoyed some shade by the beach, where you could still hear the music

    Gareth Emery
    Gareth Emery

    finally some darkness
    finally some darkness

    Solarstone finished the evening
    Solarstone finished the evening

    He finished past the event closing time, and no one complained :)
    He finished past the event closing time, and no one complained :)

    well said
    well said

    Video of Day #2:

    Saturday was Day #3, the warmest day of the festival:

    they added some big fans, as indoors was unbearably hot
    they added some big fans, as indoors was unbearably hot







    they had water cannons to make the temperature easier to bear
    they had water cannons to make the temperature easier to bear

    next was PvD
    next was PvD


    Video of Day #3:

    Sunday was Day #4 and the last day:

    I ran into Matt Darey, awesome. I thanked him for his stellar Gamemaster mix
    I ran into Matt Darey, awesome. I thanked him for his stellar Gamemaster mix

    Got to chat with goldenscan before their classics set, which was quite enjoyable
    Got to chat with goldenscan before their classics set, which was quite enjoyable

    thrillseekers did another set, he sure worked a lot and I sure didn't mind :)
    thrillseekers did another set, he sure worked a lot and I sure didn't mind :)

    Matt Darey took the classics deck and did a very enjoyable set too
    Matt Darey took the classics deck and did a very enjoyable set too


    Judge Jules
    Judge Jules

    Cosmic Gate
    Cosmic Gate

    Ferry Corsten was next
    Ferry Corsten was next



    Video of Day #4:

    And that was it for Luminosity, it ended at 23:00 on the 4th day (probably another city curfew).

    A few extra pictures. One plus of the festival is that you get sunsets. Day #2:



    Day #3:





    Jennifer came back to the beach to come watch the sunset on Day #4 with me:


    sadly it went to hide behind the clouds
    sadly it went to hide behind the clouds

    although it unexpected came back out a bit later when I tried to get a picture with Ferry (and failed)
    although it unexpected came back out a bit later when I tried to get a picture with Ferry (and failed)

    As for outfits, well, they weren't many. Outside of how I was treated, and the fact that most of the festival is during daylight hours (sunset was at 22:30), looks like Europeans aren't into fancy outfits as much in the US. Never mind totem poles, not seen a single one (although to be fair I have mixed feelings about totem poles as they totally block the view of the stage). That said there were at least some fun T-shirts:




    So that was that, with the security stuff that happened, sadly it was a bittersweet experience, but outside of these unnecessary actions, it was enjoyable and definitely interesting to experience. Now, if they can just stop the bottled water BS, reconsider their real security threats (if any), and fix the very damaging curfew from the city, hopefully next year will be better again.
    Lumi is definitely a event on its own: for the trance fans by the trance fans. The access you get to DJs, I have found nowhere else and I can only say thank you for that alone. Thanks to all the DJs/artists who came, and everyone who supported them and made the event happen.

    2019/06/08 Simon Patterson vs John Askew at Mezzanine
    π 2019-06-08 01:01 in Clubbing
    Another night in the city, more tunes, more dancing :)







    Quick summary:


    More pages: November 2019 October 2019 August 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 April 2019 March 2019 February 2019 December 2018 November 2018 October 2018 August 2018 July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 November 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 December 2016 November 2016 September 2016 August 2016 June 2016 May 2016 January 2016 September 2015 August 2015 June 2015 September 2014 August 2014 May 2014 September 2013 May 2012 May 2011 December 2009 November 2009 April 2009 March 2009 October 2008 June 2008 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 May 2007 April 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 June 2006 May 2006 January 2006 December 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 June 2005 May 2005 February 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 June 2004 August 2003 July 2003 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 July 2001 June 2000