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)
BAAAHS started a bit late due to some electrical technical problems, so we missed the beginning as it was over 1.5h late and we didn't know where to meet it as a result. I ended up missing Alvin's set, sorry :(
I even made a screen to cheer him on during his set :)
But we found it in time to see Karin Dash:
It was then time for Dave Dresden to take over. This time I got my led outfit ready (last time Dave played during daylight hours anyway, so that wouldn't have worked):
After Dave's beautiful set (I took more video than pictures, see this recording):
Afik took over:
love ya, Afik :)
Great trance, great DJs, therefore great night. Also we had and awesome view of the playa from BAAAHS. Thanks to all.
Again, here is the video summary:
We were so happy to have John 00 Fleming back with us in SF for more hypnotic trance, which he sure delivered.
As always, John was having the time of his life while playing for us, which is always so much fun to experience.
And yes, I had time to make a new display with him :)
As luck would have it, just 5 days after seeing Ferry Corsten as Gouryella at Untold, we got him to perform his "What the F" OTC at Midway, SF. That was a great 5H set, going all over his repertoire of genres. Lucky us!
Ferry was there bright and early:
great thing was the track names in the visuals
I love the lyrics tha I can re-sing the song with:
I had so much fun at Untold last year, that I wanted to go back. I got there right after 4 days at tomorrowland, and I'm so happy I went back. It was definitely more fun for me than tomorrowland on many levels:
This time I flew to Cluj directly, although there aren't many flights there. Lufthansa failed at their one job to put my luggage on the plane, though, and it arrived 1.5 days later. Thankfully I didn't trust them and brought my outfit and anything crutial, with me.
the airport had plenty of untold related things, including trance music when I arrived :)
Ok, those who know me know that I often have rants and thing that each festival could improve. in the case of Untold the list is very small: please ditch the fake money and get rid of in-town.ro, it's broken beyond repair.
Untold is one of those festivals left not to use contactless credit cards. Their system was broken last year, I had to waste time in line to get them to activate my bracelet so that it would even accept money, and money put online didn't get there. This year, same deal, it still didn't work and the money I put online never appeared ever. I was able to put money at a top up point eventually after they fixed my bracelet, and the money I put online never appeared after 4 days. I ended up putting a credit card dispute to get my money back. This is stupid, just stop this BS and take credit cards.
100 I paid onsite worked eventually, the 100 I put online, never worked
the special tech support (only one person) was only able to activate my broken wristband, but never got my online money applied
https://in-town.ro/ is broken in too many ways, get rid of it. Last year, I never even got my wristband barcodes and they had to fish out my payment in some special system to get my wristband. This year, I got the barcodes, but I had to activate my account (for extra money). They took the money and didn't activate the wristbands, forcing me to go back to the same place to fix my wristband and take a picture before being able to go in.
Other probblem was that this is the site used for topups of your fake wristband money, and of course it never put the money on my wristband, but it also never worked on any of my 2 phones, the website just wouldn't log me in. It worked on my computer each time, but obviously I'm not carrying my computer around to the festival. Sigh, computers are hard, let's go shopping :)
small improvement: the android app has a few issues, and is totally missing an interactive map to help you find the nearest top up point (although those need to go), or bathroom, or even where is the galaxy stage?
The venue is really good, and I love the fact that you can literally have lodging less than 10mn on foot from the entrance. That's a huge win compared to every other festival I've been to.
Security was quite reasonable and quick, just like tomorrowland. It was probably a bit more permissive, no issues with my outfit, or slightly oversized LED backpack (A4 paper size is the official limit):
the venue is pretty big, although it would have been nice to have the map on the android app
One thing I like about untold is they don't bother with unreasonable searches, and instead have plenty of security onsite. This is by far the way I prefer, thanks for that:
Although it's not with tomorrowland or EDC levels of money, Untold stands out for its many decors and nice things to see. You don't have to spend more money, that level is already quite a lot of fun and enjoyable
Like those animated fireflies, I'm sure they didn't cost much, but they were totally awesome:
Lots of fun things to see, get makeup, take pictures:
Food options were plentiful, with the caveat that you have to pay with the wristband fake money that doesn't work well:
If you smoked enough (lots of smokers in Romania), you could win some iFly ride, although it was more fun to watch the performers do it:
including an LED dancer
This is one thing that makes Untold special, it's not just a festival for the few, but it feels like the entire town comes to party, including children. That's awesome:
Untold has lots of costumed dancers:
And some of the attendees too, of course I did my part, and it was great to run into some of the same friends from the around the world, again:
Aryel was having way too much fun again :)
Also fun to see some of my favorite DJs again:
I took *a lot* this year, this is partially because I have 2 cameras in addition to my 2 phones, and I attached one to a pole with battery packs, to record some sets while still being able to enjoy them:
While Lufthansa didn't get my luggage there, at least they got me there on time, which given all the flight issues in Europe was not a given. After getting settled at the apartment I was able to find closeby, time to go enjoy the show, day 1 out of 4. I had all my outfit in my oversized and way heavy carry-on, so thankfully I was ready for the night :)
Well, except for the stupid in-town.ro website that failed again, and didn't allow me to register and required a special visit to the reconcilliation tent again. Thankfully they fixed it quickly.
I tried to go to mainstage a bit more. For the most part, not my music, and dumbed down EDM, but can't argue with the lighting, lasers, and fireworks :) On the first day, we had Vini Vici and Above and Beyond, so that gave me an excuse to spend time there :)
Next was above and beyond, it was my 3rd time seeing them in less than 2 weeks :)
After that, back to fortune for more trance:
Video Summary of the night:
Let's do this again:
I was super excited to see Steve/The Thrillseekers as Hydra, so good to have him back, it was a stellar set that I was able to record in full:
Lots more at fortune that night:
stop the war in Ukraine
Aly & Fila was next, great to see him again after just a few days. I was also able to record that set in full:
Then, we had Sean Tyas, another set I was able to record in full:
And more, I also went to check out mainstage a bit:
they had a mosh pit, great
clearly I've been missing out :)
Day #2 Summary:
One unusual thing at untold is the daydreaming stage. It's not something I'd listen to all night, but it's definitely enjoyable to spend some time at:
But spent most of my time at Fortune as always :)
It did briefly go check out Galaxy, interesting stage but not my music:
Back to the safety of fortune :)
Just in time for Ruben de Ronde, for which I have a full set recording:
Giuseppe Ottaviani was next:
Had a bit of a look at other stages:
Back for Andrew Rayel:
And finishing the night with Xijaro and Pitch, for which I have a full recording:
Day #3 Summary:
Day #4, Home Stretch
I opened the day at daydreaming:
Then went to see my friends Exolight and Suncatcher, for which I have a full set recording:
Much more trance for that night:
ATB was next to play his first set at fortune, it was packed. Here is a full video:
I ducked out quickly to mainstage for the closing ceremony with fireworks:
Came back just in time for Emma Hewitt, also have a full recording:
And Xmas was not over, Ferry Corsten was next for a Gouryella set, so much love (also fully recorded):
Jorn van Deynhoven was next:
But ATB went to do another set, at mainstage this time (mostly recorded):
And had a bit time left to see the WLT:
After that fortune went back to hardstyle, so I went elsewhere for fun :)
The night actually finished with some good rain, made good use of my umbrella so that my outfit didn't short and catch fire :)
'till next time
Lots of fun like last year, Fortune was pretty much pure joy all the way, except the hardstyle sets during the last hour: not my thing and felt pretty out of place for that stage.
It was lots of fun. Please fix the fake wristband money so that I can not worry about that again next time, as I hope to come back:
Made my flight, long trip back to California, sure slept on the planes :)