Ok, so I like electronic dance music, more specifically Trance. Unfortunately, the US, it's let's just say... a bit behind in that department. If you ever hear such music on the radio, or even in the street, let me know (for instance, in Australia, I heard great Trance in even a waterslide park of all places, and in Europe you can easily get EDM/Trance on broadcast radio).
Since 2004 (it's not 2016), 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, and we're lucky to have at least one or two big Trance parties per year, so yeah!
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.
Over time, I've seen many of my favorite DJs across the world, whether it was locally, in New York City, Canada, Australia, and of course Ibiza, and at Halloween 2004, I finally attended some great local parties that proved that you could get the good stuff locally too (even if all the artists came from other countries .
Over the years, I also got the chance to meet a few of my favourite DJs, here are some pictures with Johan Gielen (2004), Paavo and Tony (2014), and Armin at Ruby Sky in 2005, 2007, and 2009:
After a recommendation from some coworkers, I booked a trip to EDC this year, to see how a big party there, would be. And sure enough, while beyond wonderland in the Bay Area is actually quite good, EDC is just bigger and better.
it mostly runs from sunset to sunrise, which still gives quite warm weather at night (but during the day, it would have been unbearable and dangerous).
it's big. Las Vegas Speedway is not small, it takes a while to walk the miles that cars drive around it
there is a bit of a burning man night scene feel with all the different kinds of music, lights, and happy people dancing (except of course for the money)
Speaking of burning man, there were some familiar art cars and a few structures that I had first seen there.
8 Sound stages with different genres of music. Unfortunately 0 trance the first night, to the point that I almost considered not going the first day, but the next 2 days definitely made up for it.
It was well built and organized, including the bus service (which was another $100) and gave a reliable way in and out in 1h (normally it's 25mn without traffic, but with traffic it could have been 2h+).
Anyway, here's day 1. I mostly walked around to see the different sound stages and other displays/attractions:
Day 2, I was more excited about. lots of trance on the menu, starting with Above and Beyond:
then Armin came
I was stretching my zoom. 30X optical plus another 2X digital
and this was the end of day #2
Here is a video of bits of day2 with some bookmarks:
Faithless, can't sleep, Above and Beyond @0:35
blue sky action, king for a day @6:20
Game of Thrones @17:55
Great fireworks @22:30
Day 3 has the biggest Trance lineup, so made sure to get there early. Unfortunately they had to open late due to winds:
no one getting in
I can thank my 30X zoom again
it had been ages since I sasw ATB. Awesome!
Ferry Corsten. Also had been ages since I last saw him
I happened to catch a Dr Megavolt lookalike somewhere outside:
Next was Gaia, which I hadn't seen perform before. It was quite hard to make out Armin under the cape :) Very nice set by the way:
Aly and Fila
And just like this, the night was nearing its end, and I had to bail a bit early to make it back to the airport to catch my early flight back home.
Here is a video of bits of day3 with some bookmarks:
ATB: 9 PM till I come @08:30
Orjan Nilsen: Just Be @14:00
Awesome Fireworks @26:30
And that was it for EDC. It was a bit tough to timeshift 12H and be up all night for just 3 days, but otherwise it was an awesome show and impressive transformation of Las Vegas Speedway, along with top DJs from around the world.