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

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2024/06/15 My 2nd Transmission at Prague's O2 Arena
π 2024-06-15 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
Transmission Elysium Prague 2024 was simply outstanding again, and even topped my "this was the best show I've seen, ever" from Transmission Prague 2019 (and with that ending from Kobi Blastoyz I will simply never forget, that was hard to top).
While, I did miss the psytrance ending this time around, the show itself was amazing on so many levels, all the way to guide wire led fireworks shot above the crowd and towards VIP/golden VIP (above our heads) during the storyline rocket scenes.

I was a bit worried that after such great memories of transmission prague 2019, I had over hyped those memories. Due to covid shutdowns, and then tranmission losing access to O2 arena for a few years, it had been 5 years since I last went. It's also true that I've seen epic shows like Gareth Emery's Laserface at Bill Graham, San Francisco which was the best laser show I've ever seen, but Transmission still did a better job laying out their lasers plus many other lights, giving an even better show in the end.

So yes, 2024 was just even better than 2019 and 2019 was already the best indoor show I had ever seen, and note that I'm saying this when I just got back from EDC Vegas, and to me (because I prefer night festivals and love lights), EDC is the best festival I've been to in the World, but as an indoor show, Transmission wins.

Transmission 2019 vs 2024:

  • the lighting looked similar enough, stellar for both
  • lasers were similarly stellar for both
  • the between DJ transitions and storyline was equally epic for both
  • 2024 had wire guided pyro rockets that shot just above the crowd, simulating rockets in the storyline, sweet!
  • golden VIP still has no better viewing than 2019 (VIP was better), see below for more details
  • both lineups were really enjoyable, although this year used 2 DJ duos maybe to get more names in for the fixed amount of time?
  • transmix was much longer in 2024 and OMG was it pure joy. Seriously that transmix was fire!
  • So let's start with the pictures, arrived bright and early, unfortunately tixbase, one of the ticket providers, completely failed and no one was able to get in for over 30mn, which was super disappointing. I'm a bit surprised that no one in the staff said "f'it", and didn't just let people get in with barcodes that couldn't be scanned, that part kind of sucked:

    the poor VIP ladies were stuck smiling at us while we were stuck outside, mssing the first DJ :-/
    the poor VIP ladies were stuck smiling at us while we were stuck outside, mssing the first DJ :-/

    Thankfully security was very nice like last time, and getting in was no issues after the ticket issue was finally fixed. It was great to meet many people I had seen around the world, plus plenty of locals that were happy to take pictures :)

    It was also great to find Craig and Daxson after their set, and enjoy some of the show together from the VIP viewing area (the best location in my opinion):

    Putting that pretty disappointing part aside, especially since it apparently only affected VIP ticketholders who had paid a lot more to get in, and didn't get to get in while regular ticket holders were already in for 30mn... still got to catch the end of Dusk's warmup set:

    Thankfully despite the long delay, we did get to see all of Craig Connelly's set, which I sure didn't want to miss:

    After Craig's great set, came Daxson, who also threw a great set:

    the AV guys didn't wait long before pushing all the buttons :)
    the AV guys didn't wait long before pushing all the buttons :)

    Next, came Cosmic Gate:

    Then came Markus Schulz, who amongst other things, played a track spelling out PLUR and its meaning, nice!

    The transmix from Driftmoon was pure gold and the visuals were all out at that time:

    Driftmoon was so good that it was hard work for Paul Van Dyk to play next, but of course he delivered!

    After that, we got Digital Culture, RAM and Richard Durand:

    And the night ended with Nilsix, Orjan Nilsen, and Mark Sixma:

    But the worst part of the night was when the music ended and all the lights came back on. Oh no, 9H have passed already, the dream is over!

    Transmission Prague: The best visuals I've seen on this planet, bar none!

    So, you tell me where else you've seen this:

    the light columns are one of my favorites
    the light columns are one of my favorites

    let's mix in a few lasers for good measure
    let's mix in a few lasers for good measure

    And it takes a "few" people to run all this, the most AV guys I've seen anywhere:

    I was able to find this partial picture of the team involved (i.e. it's not everyone who worked on it, but still a good subset). That was more folks than I even imagined...

    Should you go? Would I go Back?

  • So I did put this event in the festival category, but given that it's a single day, single stage event, I'm not sure if it truly qualifies for the festival definition. And yet, I don't actually care, transmission prague is so good that I'm happy to put it in that bucket.
  • At this point, I do not travel across the world for a single day festival. It just doesn't make sense for me to spend more time travelling across the world than time spent at the festival itself (and that's not even counting about cost). In the case of transmission Bangkok, it was technically a single day eent I flew for, but it was really a 4 day festival with the pre pre, pre and post parties. It's true that Transmission Prague was a bit light on pre/post parties that were trance related, there was techmission the day before. but AV-wise it was nowhere close to transmission itself. I would say it's totally worth going to Prague just to also visit Prague as it's truly a beautiful city that you can visit for multiple days, and in my case I simply enjoyed transmission in 2019 so much that I was happy to brake my own rule and come back for transmission only this year again. That's a lot of words to say the event is definitely unique.
  • Security was more than reasonable
  • Bars took regular money (credit cards/phones), no fake festival money wristband BS. Thank you! (transmission BKK required fake money and whatever you loaded was non refundable, which sucked. Also tap water was not drinkable there so you were kind of forced to use the wristband money which makes me unhappy).
  • You could refill drinkable water in the restrooms if you wished
  • Suggestions for improvement

  • I found out too late after asking in way too many places that there was a boat pre-party the day before (with trance), but it was not announced on time, left too early in the afternoon and before my flight arrived that afternoon (long ass trip from san francisco), so I didn't make it. Still, there was techmission, but understandably, for a trance lover, it's not quite the same.
  • I heard others saying they had issues getting in the past due to ticketing failures, don't have details on this, but tixbase totally failed this year. This is obviously not transmission's direct fault, except an opportunity to choose more reliable ticketing platforms and have heavy fines in the contract if they fail to work the day of. And if they do fail, just let people in without scanning the barcodes that can't be scanned. It's simply not ok to have people wait and miss the show while waiting outside in the sun if they showed up early to be there at the beginning set.
  • I bought golden VIP instead of VIP last time, and while the food and drinks were great, the vantage point was very disappointing. What happened then and still happened this time around is that some uber uber VIPs had tables taking all the platform space, and you pretty much ogt no middle view, had to stand in the stairs or chairs on the side, after paying all that money. You are not allowed to go to the VIP platform with golden VIP tickets :(
  • So this year I only bought VIP tickets, and honestly it felt like a much better choice, the viewing platform was great and people with tables did not block our view. I'd have happily paid more for golden though if transmission offers a guaranteed good view from the top or access to the VIP platform.
  • Definitely have at least a pre-party in a local club the day before and maybe a post party the day after, like Bangkok. By that I mean with trance music (techmission didn't really count). Of course, I'd love for transmission to be a 2 night event, but that's maybe asking too much?
  • Conclusions and other thoughts

  • As per the prior point, the visuals are the best I've seen in any indoor show anywhere in the world. I do believe transmission prague has better visuals than all other editions. I'm told the Dutch one was good but not quite on par, and the one I saw in Bangkok, at the end of the day was a very good show in one room of a convention center, the lineup was great, but the AV was simply "Good". Visuals in Prague were "outstanding". As I'm writing this and asking others for their thoughts, I just heard back that transmission did officially post they had more lights in the NL show, but the venue was a lot bigger, so that's why it felt more impressive in Prague. That makes sense and I'll take "impressive" because it was :)
  • Part of me is sad that all this AV firepower that likely took days to setup, was really used just one night (most was not used during techmission), and that transmission is a single day event.
  • I personally enjoyed the lineup. Of course some DJs were more to my liking than others, but the show was so good that honestly even music I didn't love as much, still felt great.
  • The driftmoon transmix was 1H long and pure joy!
  • The Sci-Fi story shown as transitions between DJs, was still a lot of fun and unique to this event. If you want to see the preview to the show:
  • Needless to say that putting aside a couple of unfortunate things that happened, I had a great time and the show was still as good as I remembered it, youtube doesn't quite do it justice, you have to see it in person.

  • Here is my video Summary:
  • bestof pictures are here:
  • and summary of IG stories from that night:
  • or concatenated here:
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