All | Aquariums | Arduino | Btrfs | Cars | Cats | Clubbing | Dining | Diving | Electronics | Exercising | Festivals | Flying | Halloween | Hiking | Linux | Linuxha | Monuments | Museums | Public | Rc | Sciencemuseums | Snow | Solar | Trips



Table of Content for festivals:

More pages: August 2022 July 2022 June 2022 May 2022 April 2022 March 2022 November 2021 October 2021 September 2021 August 2021 November 2020 November 2019 October 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 November 2018 August 2018 May 2018 November 2017 June 2017 May 2017 June 2016 January 2016 September 2015 June 2015 September 2014 September 2013 May 2012 October 2008 October 2004





If you enjoy random festival pictures, you can subscribe to my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ledtranceguy/
And if you are curious about my outfit, you can read more about it on my led peacock engineer medium post


2022/08/04 Another 4 Day Untold in Romania
π 2022-08-04 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
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 :)
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
    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
    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 Grounds

    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
    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
    including an LED dancer

    The Attendees

    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 :)
    Aryel was having way too much fun again :)




    Also fun to see some of my favorite DJs again:



    Videos

    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:

  • 2022/02/04 - Day1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcF51ALrbJ4
  • 2022/02/04 - Vini Vici: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xdj8IcWSPUU
  • 2022/02/04 - Above and Beyond - Full Set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpBGi1jSL68
  • 2022/08/05 - Day2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DKMLHJx63A
  • 2022/08/05 - The Thrillseekers - Hydra - Steve Helstrip - Full Set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw_WSkXpbvs
  • 2022/08/05 - Aly & Fila - Full Set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmVz_1q_o60
  • 2022/08/05 - Sean Tyas - Full Set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=269qYwrgCZ0
  • 2022/08/06 - Day3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbGrtxGhvkQ
  • 2022/08/06 - Ruben De Ronde: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpt5zo3EJTc
  • 2022/08/06 - Xijaro and Pitch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-tgQr9Rugc
  • 2022/08/07 - Day4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAwDff6blLM
  • 2022/08/07 - Exolight and Suncatcher: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnJSMchQQtY
  • 2022/08/07 - ATB - Fortune - Full Set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Brts2-129OY
  • 2022/08/07 - Emma Hewitt - Full Set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOXIjU_wnjs
  • 2022/08/07 - Ferry Corsten - Gouryella: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1c0s5lcXmk
  • 2022/08/07 - ATB - Mainstage - Mostly Full Set: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTxE4hyKvyM
  • Anyway, let's get back to the festival:

    Day #1

    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:

    Day #2

    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
    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
    they had a mosh pit, great

    clearly I've been missing out :)
    clearly I've been missing out :)

    Day #2 Summary:

    Day #3

    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 :)


    See more images for Another 4 Day Untold in Romania
    2022/07/28 Tomorrowland 2022: Big, Commercial, Many Stages, Some Trance
    π 2022-07-28 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    That was my first tomorrowland. Getting tickets was "interesting", I got help from a friend of a friend who got tickets that included camping I had no intention of using, that put the regular tickets at close to $800, which is the price of VIP tickets for EDC. I definitely owe thanks to Larry Lim and David for the help with getting tickets this year.

    Given that tomorrowland is 2/3rd during daylight, I brought my older LED outfit that is brighter, and then switched to the better one at night:



    We got there in thursday to pick up the wristbands (OMG, that was quite complicated: Tomorrowland forces you to assign tickets to people months before the event, and changing the person the ticket is assigned to, is extremely hard, it requires a signed power of attorney from the original ticket buyer, why so hard, seriously? I guess because they can, but that's not the best way to treat customers who already paid for way overpriced tickets).
    Despite the stress related to getting the wristband they could deny despite having travelled across the world, we got in and went to visit Dreamville, the huge campsite where most pepole stay since getting in and out of Tomorrowland is not that trivial, especially when they block all the roads and prevent public transportation from getting there and back (shame!). The 300 city bus from Mechelen kind of worked to get us there if you didn't miss it (otherwise it was a 65 euro taxi there and 100 euros back, ouch). Dreamville was huge, it took 15mn to walk across, which was impressive:



    Not Quite a Trance Heaven?

    If you're wondering why I'm making a point of saying this, it's a major festival with more than 10 stages and DJs from across the world. There are 3 weekends, and you often don't even know who is going to play when you buy a ticket. Turns out week 3 when I went, was the one that had the most trance, with a Trance stage the first day, and ajnunabeats on the 2nd day, as well as some psytrance running at the same time.
    Unfortunately the trance stage on day 1 was very small (Kara Savi), in the hot sun with no shade, and a road with people crossing constantly if you were trying to enjoy the music from the shade of a tree. The sound was actually good, but the stage size was super disappointing, it was packed and it was hard to see the DJ plenty of times. Part of me though they gave it a shit stage because tomorrowland people don't care about trance, but in real live, anjunabeats and psytrance were packed the next day, so they just didn't care and put major trance artists on a small stage that couldn't accommodate enough people, which was sad.
    The next day was better with anjunabeats vs psytrance, but then again why the conflict? There was 0 trance on day #3, it would have made so much more sense to put those on different days...

    To compare, although Creamfields had problems bad enough that I'm unlikely to go back, it had lots more trance (even if the sound engineers screwed it up badly enough that you couldn't enjoy it much at one stage), and Untold also has a solid trance lineup, solid enough that it's difficult to go see other stages :)

    All in all, when I saw some the wonderful other stages, and have fond memories of seeing Ferry Corsten play a huge room with great visuals, it was disappointing not to have our trance artists in any of them.

    Day 0: Thursday

    On thursday, they opened a very short part of the festival to run one stage for people staying at the campground and we had multiple DJs playing one stage until midnight:







    as a surprise set, Vini Vici closed the night
    as a surprise set, Vini Vici closed the night


    Video summary of Thursday:

    Then time to go home and find an expensive taxi back (uber wasn't really an option, too few of them):





    The Grounds




    nice shaded areas for eating
    nice shaded areas for eating






    I should have checked to see how full or empty the bin was :)
    I should have checked to see how full or empty the bin was :)





    The Crowds

    Most people weren't wearing any outfits, not a thing in Europe as much, but a few were, including the costumed staff















    it was fun to see Paavo just 5 days after seeing him at the Gorge
    it was fun to see Paavo just 5 days after seeing him at the Gorge

    fun to run into friends again
    fun to run into friends again

    Day 1: Friday, Trance Day at the Small Stage

    Day #1, the entrance was from the tomorrowland side, over 45mn walk away from the dreamville entrance on the other side. It was a bit closer to where the city bus dropped us, so that was good.



    We went to the trance stage right after arriving to enjoy the trance lineup, although that was in blazing sun, or far away under a tree, not great conditions. The stage was also small and hard to get around due to a path that crossed past it and some strange one way signs


    all day we had people walking by, nice for people watching, but distracting for the set
    all day we had people walking by, nice for people watching, but distracting for the set

    Paul Thomas
    Paul Thomas

    Miss Monique
    Miss Monique

    M.I.K.E
    M.I.K.E

    Sander Van Doorn
    Sander Van Doorn

    Aly and Fila was next
    Aly and Fila was next


    John O Callaghan
    John O Callaghan

    Giuseppe Ottaviani
    Giuseppe Ottaviani


    Quick look at mainstage to see a bit of Tiesto:






    Next, was an attempt at seeing Eric Prydz, but the room was packed as hell. Should have arrived earlier indeed:




    Then back to Kara Savi for Alessandra Roncone and Craig Connely:

    Hi Aryel :)
    Hi Aryel :)

    Great to see Alessandra after her set
    Great to see Alessandra after her set





    Video summary of Friday:

    Day 2: Saturday, Psytrance and Anjunabeats

    Time was spent between Youphoria (psytrance), and Crystal Garden (anjunabeats). The psytrance lineup was actually solid, it's just unfortunate that tomorrowland thought it was a good thing to put both tracks in conflict on saturday, and then 0 (psy)trance on sunday.

    Youphoria:






    wh1teno1se
    wh1teno1se


    Crystal Garden:


    Ilan Bluestone did a great set
    Ilan Bluestone did a great set


    Quick look at mainstage again;





    Back to Crystal Garden for Above and Beyond:


    their graphics didn't display well, though
    their graphics didn't display well, though




    I was worried that few people at Tomorrowland cared about trance, and that's why it got a shit stage, but there were lots of pepole during Above and Beyond, and ultimately people seem to care about the stage more than the genre. This does mean they could have put trance in a much nicer stage and they chose not to.

    And Finishing the night at Youphoria for Astrix, another enjoyable set that was quite packed too:




    The bad part about saturday, is that to cater to the locals, they moved off all the busses and shuttles far away (30 to 40mn walk from inside the festival) and in the process they entirely blocked off the city bus we were supposed to take home. Their staff had no clue about where the bus was re-routed and mostly lied to us to go on a long crappy walk where we then had to take a bus to a parking lot to a taxi stand for another expensive taxi. Not happy...

    the walk was so long that they had fire jugglers along the way
    the walk was so long that they had fire jugglers along the way

    eventually you go to a bus depot (about 30 to 40mn from when you left the event), but none of those busses were for us
    eventually you go to a bus depot (about 30 to 40mn from when you left the event), but none of those busses were for us

    Video summary of Saturday:

    Day 3: Sunday, Exploring Day

    Given how bad the transport options from Mechelen, were, we took a cab that tried to get us as close as possible, which ultimately was still quite far because of all the closed streets, but that allowed me to plot an exit route for the way out, direct to the back of the cab line to save time on the way out. It was a 10mn+ walk in, but reversing it allowed us direct access to the end of the cab line, which helped on the way out


    locals on the way hard music and drinks for sale
    locals on the way hard music and drinks for sale

    Once in, there wasn't a whole lot on the schedule that looked important, so it was a good time to go around all the stages3108*|interesting to see the stage when it wasn't as packed as with Eric Prydz

    Would have loved to see Ferry Corsten here
    Would have loved to see Ferry Corsten here


    Tgere was a nice ferris wheel, but the line was a bit long;



    Plenty of other stages:








    More stages:


    this is the only stage that was always full and I wasn't able to get into
    this is the only stage that was always full and I wasn't able to get into

    that said this stage was pretty full too
    that said this stage was pretty full too

















    After a good amount of exploring, time to enjoy a few sets:





    I had the perfect outfit for infected mushroom at the mushroom stage :)
    I had the perfect outfit for infected mushroom at the mushroom stage :)



    And went to finish the night with Vini Vici at the library, and it was packed:




    luckily, I had the perfect outfit for that set too :)
    luckily, I had the perfect outfit for that set too :)

    we got a bit of rain, which made for nice visuals :)
    we got a bit of rain, which made for nice visuals :)

    And just like that, the night was over:




    Video summary of Sunday:

    Time for a long walk out with a shortcut I plotted to the back of the super long taxi line. Although the previous night they screwed us over by making us walk 30mn in the wrong direction just to miss our city bus and take an expensive cab, I got to a place where we were to get a ride and avoid the huge cab line (although it was yet another $100 due to lack of transport to Mechelen, ubers that were geofenced off, and very overpriced cabs). Sure, there were private busses you could book to far away locations, but those looked like they would take you a while to get home too

    long cab line that we thankfully avoided
    long cab line that we thankfully avoided

    Thoughts and Conclusions

    Tickets

    Tickets are had to get, they're expensive, tomorrowland tries to get you to pay for overpriced packages you don't want or need, to secure a ticket, and they make ticket transfer complicated to avoid resellers I assume. However in my case it was very complicated and stressful to get a ticket re-assigned to a new person a few weeks before the event. This is too complicated and unnecessary, other festivals don't do this

    Security


    Security was more than reasonable. They either didn't check me very carefully, or were fine with my outfit. Ultimately they mostly cared about not bringing food/drinks and weapons, which is fine by me (although a metal cup counted as a weapon, and so did an LED baton).

    backstage access was well controlled, except for the occasional backdoor/holes
    backstage access was well controlled, except for the occasional backdoor/holes

    All in all, given the size of the event, I found security screening to be sufficient without being too much, as well as being efficient (pretty fast to get in). Much better than nearby luminosity for sure with all its over the top rules.

    Fake Money/Pearl BS

    This is one of the few festivals left that thinks it's still ok to do this fake money BS. With most people having contactless credit cards and pay by phone, they are of course totally useless today, and at least luminosity got the memo this year and switched to those.
    I'll add that their fake currency is likely designed to make sure people have no idea what they're spending, and they of course hope you'll end up with left over unspent pearls that you can't get refunded (they claim it's automatic if you put money online before the event, but at the same time, putting money online was broken and they discouraged you from trying it as it could take over a day for your money to show up).
    All in all, I'm not impressed and I hope they stop this nonsense, but since they profit from it and have more people who want to go than tickets for sale, they will probably continue this crap unless people complain very loudly that it has to stop.

    Food

    Putting aside the pearl BS, the food options were quite good:


    Even a nice garden with more good food, or actual restaurants:


    where is the last festival you had lobster, at?
    where is the last festival you had lobster, at?



    Transport

    So, sure, it is challenging, and given that they have to cater to locals and avoid traffic and noise, they went and maybe had to go over the top in blocking streets everywhere around the venue to the point that even cabs had to drop you off 15mn away or more. This does not include the 40mn or more to get the kiss and ride east taxi stand, or city busses (300) being blocked from operating, which was kind of bullshit.
    How much better can it really be? I'll honestly say that since I don't have all the variables, I can't say, but seems to me that it can be improved and that it's probably ok for a few residents to have to suck up a bit of noise until 02:00 a few days per year.
    I was pretty unhappy with the very overpriced cabs that charge whatever flat rate they want for distances that were not that far, and the fact that the city apparently managed to block off ubers entirely to remove competition, which is unacceptable.

    Venues/Stages/Music

    Clearly the festival grounds are very impressive, outside of a couple of stages that were poor, including sadly the trance stage, most were between good to very impressive. Once you're inside the venue, it's actually quite good overall, except for some questionable foot traffic flow + where you were forced to walk around some one way paths.
    The Music was good too, although there is the problem that with 3 weekends, you don't always know which artists are going to be playing on a given weekend until after you've already booked it, which is unfortunate.

    Verdict

    Clearly it's a nice festival, but it's expensive, complicated to get in and out of compared to let's say untold where you can walk to the venue or take a quick bus or electric scooter.nues/Stages/Music, and even compared to EDC, I got from my Vegas strip hotel room to EDC and back quicker than from Mechelen to Tomorrowland, and for much cheaper.
    If you add transport, Tomorrowland is not cheap. I'd say it's on par with EDC Vegas, although EDC mostly doesn't sell out and everyone gets to enjoy the same artists, and I think EDC has a bit more of a whoa factor, even if tomorrowland is quite good too. Tomorrowland does win for nature (park, water, ducks, etc), while EDC is sitting in the middle of a racetrack in the desert, although that also means rain at EDC is super unlikely, which is not true for tomorrowland
    Untold though, is probably my favorite in Europe since it's 4 days, big and impressive enough, and has a better feel with all the locals coming to party too, including kids. Untold also ends up being cheaper and doesn't sell out either.
    Will I go back? For creamfields, the security and staff were so bad, plus so many other problems, that I'm unlikely to go back. For tomorrowland I'd say maybe, except for the fact that I don't love having to fight for tickets, being forced to buy some overpriced package with a poor hotel room far away just to get a ticket (or hell, now they also sell you NFTs to help ensure a ticket allocation), not really knowing if the lineup will be nice on a given weekend, before buying the tickets, or knowing if my favorite artists if they come, could end up at an underwhelming stage like Kara Savi. So let's say, maybe?


    2022/07/22 Another Above and Beyond Weekender at the Gorge
    π 2022-07-22 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    It had been 3 years since our last weekender at the gorge with Above and Beyond and this year we also have an Above and Beyond Group Therapy 500 in LA, but given that it's going to be at the Banc of California, which I now know after ASOT 1000, is a terrible venue, I was looking forward to the weekender as a much better event, which of course it ended up being.

    Glad to be back and great to be able to see and meet some of my favorite DJs:




    Like last time, we rented an RV, and got one from Pasco (tri-city) airport, which was closer to the venue adn where we were able to pick up our rental RV from (thanks to Alvin for finding it for us):



    technically it can sleep 10, but it was comfortable enough for 7
    technically it can sleep 10, but it was comfortable enough for 7


    Pre-party on friday

    The pre-party started at 18:00 on friday, we had DJs play on Walter the Bus, from burning man. I only got there around 19:30 since it took us a bit of time to arrive and get setup and by then the party was already well going despite the blazing sun:

    getting the LED totem ready
    getting the LED totem ready







    Paavo and Aname (formerly gardenstate), were already playing
    Paavo and Aname (formerly gardenstate), were already playing


    As usual, ran into some friends:



    Natalie came with us
    Natalie came with us

    Finally it got dark (late due to north location and summer hours):







    People and Friends

    As always, great to run into fun people and friends:













    Smmary of pre-party at Walter the Bus:

    Saturday

    We stayed in gold camping, close to the venue, but far from the pivit in general camping where all the paries, are




    this is a bit burning man like :)
    this is a bit burning man like :)

    The venue opened at 14:00 (or 13:00 for merch), so I got there then:

    got to check out walter the bus
    got to check out walter the bus


    then got a free tmobile chair and a nice viewing point in the shade
    then got a free tmobile chair and a nice viewing point in the shade


    nice views of the gorge of course
    nice views of the gorge of course












    Again, a late sunset, but great views:





    I went to check out the pit for a short while, but it was packed, and honestly the views weren't as good.

    but I got to run into my friend Bryan
    but I got to run into my friend Bryan


    so I went back up for a good view of the Above and Beyond set:

























    we're all we need indeed
    we're all we need indeed

    I was ready for it :)
    I was ready for it :)





    surprise, push the button is back!
    surprise, push the button is back!




















    Then, there were the lasers, those were impressive:










    Smmary of Day #1 at mainstage:

    Genix was last from 00:00 to 01:00 but instead I went to the afterparty in the campgrounds:





    Gem and Tauri joined
    Gem and Tauri joined

    Party shut down around 03:00 and it was time for a bit of rest for the next day


    Smmary of afterparty:

    Sunday

    Sunday was Deep House day, not my favorite, but still fun

    let's do this again, this time it opened at 13:00
    let's do this again, this time it opened at 13:00

    some cool acro yoga
    some cool acro yoga


    A few views from the ferris wheel:






    Then I went to check out the flow state yoga/meditation with Paavo, it was really good:







    It was really good, here is a video recording:

    I went to scope a chair and nice shaded spot to watch the show in 100F heat:


    kudos to those who went dancing in the sun
    kudos to those who went dancing in the sun





    good day to enjoy the great view
    good day to enjoy the great view



    I'm still not quite ready for Qrion :)
    I'm still not quite ready for Qrion :)







    lots of people went to enjoy the sun despite the heat :)
    lots of people went to enjoy the sun despite the heat :)

    Thankfully, the sun did eventually set, giving great views again:











    hard to beat the view
    hard to beat the view



    Back to the show:







    Got to go on stage, great views:







    Smmary of Day #2 at mainstage:

    I then tried to go to the afterparty. The main one was cancelled due to sound concerns I think, but there was a smaller party from the Instigators, although it was hard to get in due to limited space:





    and I then went back to the RV to get a bit of sleep before the 09:30 departure the next morning to catch our flights

    Smmary of afterparty:

    Obviously we had a fantastic time, it was great to be back after 2019, and thank you to all the DJs and people who were the life of the party. Hope to see you next time.

    2022/06/22 2022's New Luminosity Beach Festival in Zandvoort
    π 2022-06-22 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    After being cancelled twice due to covid, Luminosity is back in 2022, and this time a Bernie's Beach Club in Zaandvort. This was my 2nd lumi after 2019.

    as expected my LED outfit wasn't great in full daylight, but got better later
    as expected my LED outfit wasn't great in full daylight, but got better later

    Rants

    Ok, I don't always have a rants section, but I'll start with it because I want to end with positive notes since, unlike Creamfields which I am unlikely to ever go back to again given how terrible they treated their guests (plus the sound for trance stages was absolutely terrible), Lumi was otherwise full of joy and positive experiences, but the issues definitely need to be looked into as they clearly made the experience worse than it should have been.

    Anyway, here are the main 4 issues that are very much worth consideration and I hope the luminosity team can address them:

    Paying toilets to make up for budget shortfall?

    Paying toilets is not an uncommon practise in Holland which seems to like charging for things that you take for granted, but that's doesn't mean it's right, and for an international festival, that was a very bad move, got many people upset, and was just not a good way to make a bit of extra money. Given that it was too late to raise ticket prices, a donation box to help with the budget shortfall and the loss of revenue during covid, would have worked so much better, as well as selling some expensive "I helped lumi" tshirts, or bands, or anything. Anything but that...

    To make things worse, you didn't get a wristband anymore, because in and outs were now forbidden, likely another attempt to increase revenue, and force people to deal with the quite limited food options at the venue. Outside of overpriced bananas, soggy fries, and decent pizza, the rest was really just survival food. So now you only got a wristband to be able to use the toilet for 4 days after you had paid extra. Sigh, not the best way to do things...



    next year, we will go see this guy :)
    next year, we will go see this guy :)

    After enough uproar, I think they stopped checking if people had paid.

    Several people said they should have just sold a wristband that did nothing for 10 euros as souvenir and "thanks for your donations", it would have worked better than the "toilet wristband". I agree.

    Another challenge was the lack of real bathrooms. There were plenty of porta potties, but well, they were smack next to the coco beach stage, and if wind went in the wrong direction, you can imagine what happened :( I don't have a good suggestion here, it's a problem with the venue, and I'm not sure what the solution is. I've never had issues with bathroom smells at any EDC or Dreamstate though, not sure what they do differently.

    No tap water, pretense that recycling was a concern when huge amounts of non recyclable plastic waste was created, and the bottlecap BS wasn't over yet either

    Next, holland loves to sell you bottled water, and good luck getting tap water in a restaurant there, but lumi pushed things to 0 access to tap water, at all and making sure you couldn't bring your own water in. The only official source of water were 6.5 euros water, which for 4 days at 1.5l per day, was going to be 12 bottles at 78 euros, for water only, sigh
    Did everyone spend that much? Of course not, but too many people also danced dehydrated which is just unsafe, especially in combination with some drugs. People have died from dehydration at festivals, I have a hard time understanding how lumi thought it was a good idea. That didn't even count desperate people getting water from the hand wash stations, which was tap water that came in buckets, but probably not in a container that was very safe to drink:


    So yeah, it felt a bit insulting when they reminded us to drink and there was no free water anywhere:


    And yes, those who know me, that when I see clear problems, I'm not shy about pointing them out. For those who will say "but it's only money, they need money, just give it to them", I'll reply again that I would happily have put 50 euros in a donation box at the entrance for the 4 days (in the end, I ended up buying 2 tickets for one), but this also would also ignore the super long lines to get said water, that they tried to sell you one bottle at a time, while keeping the bottlecap. Yes, yes, they weren't done with the bottlecap bullshit either. OMG, why? FFS, you're already selling water for the price of alcohol, and you still need to steal the bottlecaps to prevent people from being able to conserve that water more easily? This really does not bring happiness and again makes Lumi stand out as festival with very questionable rules. Please fix this.

    As a side effect, it also caused people to waste non trivial amounts of time in long lines to get the water they needed. Really sad...

    yeah, lots of long lines to get water, often one bottle at a time and without bottle caps
    yeah, lots of long lines to get water, often one bottle at a time and without bottle caps

    Oh right, and they said they were worried about plastic waste, so they had a fairly cumbersome system with tokens to exchange against empty glasses or bottles, or you were fined another 50 cents for each drink for failing to recycle, even if you had thrown your stuff in a bin. But really the worst part is that plastic is mostly not recyclable, never was, probably never will, so the whole recycling is a lie. If you are worried about the environment (and you should be), stop this bottled water nonsense, allow hydration bags and provide water fountains.

    Ah crap, what do I do with these now?


    Ironically, this is what I wrote in my 2019 Lumi report, and it only got worse this year :(
    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.

    Will 2023 be the year that Luminosity changes things for the better? Time will tell, although give them your feedback too, they need to hear from everyone.

    Paying with tokens

    Haha, this time it's not a rant. They listened to feedback and got rid of the token system. You could pay with your phone or any RF credit card, and for people without either, they sold you RF cards you could pay with. Well done.

    Security rules

    Ok, that one is also a sore point for me. They employ a 3rd party security company that Bo says they have no control over (as in Bo said he was not able to tell them to please allow my LED outfit which is designed to bring smiles and not, as the security people tried to claim in 2019, strangle people with my LED strips. They cost way too much for that anyway, I'd be using my non forbidden shoe laces instead...)
    The list of forbidden items was very long, including a requirement to have transparent bags that people didn't have. They didn't enforce that part, but why then create angst with rules that don't get enforced? They had enhanced searches, looking all the way inside people's wallets (!) and even stole people's sunscreen, you know, the thing we need not to get cancer (I had 5 skin cancers removed already, so I very much do care). You will say that they helpfully offered poor quality and empty sunscreen containers at the medical station, yeah, sure. I'll stick to my real and non empty sunscreen, thank you.

    here is the free empty poor sunscreen you could use after they had stolen your premium one at security, thank you
    here is the free empty poor sunscreen you could use after they had stolen your premium one at security, thank you

    This is the enhanced security that I decided not to deal with after I recognized the exact person who took my entire LED oufit away last year saying I could injure others with it and strangle people with my LED strips. I'm sure they were also busy confiscating all the spare bottlecaps they could get their hands, on.


    Security is hard, this is true, but with the security people enforcing petty things like taking sunscreen and water, and then telling people like me what they were a danger to others, is just not a win and does not make the event more fun or more welcoming. I'm unlikely to ever go to creamfields again, and I would rather not haver to do the same thing with Lumi.
    Please re-visit the security rules, festival-goers are the customers, not the enemy, please be nice to us, restrict the search to weapons and real risks, give some leeway on the rest, and use security staff on the field to keep the event safe while it's happening. That's what other festivals do, successfully.

    Sound quality/Sound Bleed

    Another issue with the venue was the layout made it difficult to have 4 stages and there was pretty terrible soundbleed between them. The sunset stage was the worst one, you could barely hear its sound and you sure could hear plenty sound from the classics stage, which was a bummer. Classics also bled onto mainstage if you were behind it on the hill to see mainstage. All in all the sound was challenging, and probably not because the sound engineers sucked, but because that venue was challenging to use for 4 stages.
    Again, I don't have a good suggestion here, the previous venue was way worse with the sound restrictions until 17:00 (to the point that could barely hear some DJs playing). Looks like playing by the beach with neighbors is just difficult and they tried the best they could. Thank you.

    New Venue: Bernie's Beach Club close to Zandvoort

    a convenient change is that the new location is only 10mn bike ride from Zandvoort
    a convenient change is that the new location is only 10mn bike ride from Zandvoort

    mainstage was now smack against beach houses, I'm sure the residents didn't love that :)
    mainstage was now smack against beach houses, I'm sure the residents didn't love that :)

    overview, with 2 pools that were off limits
    overview, with 2 pools that were off limits

    So, what about the new location? The last one kind of sucked given the sound limits that prevented DJs from playing anything you could hear until around 17:00 (with the event start moved from 12:00 to 15:00), that was disappointing. So at least this time the event was 12:00 to 23:00, which was better, but for the LED geek night owls like me, that wasn't great as the event was over before twilight was fully over (sunset itself was around 22:20 as the longest day of the year was during Lumi). Also, I felt guy for whoever did the lighting and lasers that only got used about 45mn per day
    It was convenient to be closer to Zandvoort, but this was sandwiched between 2 sets of properties and residents which were not thrilled with the music I'm sure. It's unclear how much they'll complain and try to get the event shut down or moved.

    One issue with the venue was that it was not friendly to those with disabilities, but realistically few venues by the beach will probably be. They did put some boards on the sand that made things a bit more liveable for wheelchairs, but without a strong friend to push up, it was very steep in several places. That's not an easy problem to solve, either.

    Again, despite the challenges, I liked the extended hours (11h/day instead of 6 to 9H in 2019 depending on sound levels), and it seemed more roomy in places.

    Let's start with mainstage. It was covered for when it rained (and it did rain), and if you were within that area, sound was good, but at times, it was a bit too small to contain the amount of people who attended on saturday and sunday. It was definitely the best stage with nice lighting and lasers that unfortunately we only got to enjoy about 45mn per day due to the late sunsets:




    Coco beach was ok enough, until the toilets started smelling, and then it was no fun anymore :(


    The DJs had a lounge to rest and get a bit of time off:




    The People

    You've likely already heard me say that, vampire me doesn't love day festivals due to the blazing sun, and unfortunately lumi is 95% during daylight hours. This of course meant virtually no night lights, and more generally only a few people had costumes, but thank you to those who did.



    I brought my otherwise obsolete version 3 LED outfit because it was might brighter during daylight (but also sucked more batteries)
    I brought my otherwise obsolete version 3 LED outfit because it was might brighter during daylight (but also sucked more batteries)

    when it got dark enough, I was able to switch to my regular outfit for a mere 90 minutes before the festival was over
    when it got dark enough, I was able to switch to my regular outfit for a mere 90 minutes before the festival was over


    we had pink day when FactorB played to honor the passing of his lovely partner, to cancer
    we had pink day when FactorB played to honor the passing of his lovely partner, to cancer


    some of the SF crew that came along
    some of the SF crew that came along



    At least some people had fun T-shirts :)






    And OMG, someone came up to me and said "Dude, were you with me at UCPA in Ibiza 20 years ago"? Well, damn, sure I was, we were in the same exercise + party group that flew there for a week or two in 2003/2004. This one definitely wins the "Eh, I saw you at X" contest ;)


    Day #1

    Like every day, I arrived bright an early just before noon every day to enjoy all the artists. The first day, I also got to sope the grounds a little bit.







    I was very excited for Craig's set, which even though it was the 3rd time I was seeing him in 2 weeks, I sure didn't mind :) As always, he didn't disappoint.




    like several artists, Craig nicely went to take pictures with his fans
    like several artists, Craig nicely went to take pictures with his fans


    Back to other stages:



    I then went back to mainstage to see Richard Durang and Paul Oakenfold with Nadine and Robert, both had very enjoyable sets:





    Paul was next:


    Richard definitely had fun :)
    Richard definitely had fun :)

    haha, nice shot :)
    haha, nice shot :)





    But plenty of other sets and DJs:

    sunset stage was unfortunately the poorest of them all, hard to see the DJ and to hear the sound
    sunset stage was unfortunately the poorest of them all, hard to see the DJ and to hear the sound


    Don't be fooled, sunset was very late, half way through the last set of the night




    Speaking of the end of the night, went to see John 00 Flemming, who had another great hypnotic set:




    PvD came to listen to him
    PvD came to listen to him

    and Oakey came too, allowing me to shoot that double Paul picture :)
    and Oakey came too, allowing me to shoot that double Paul picture :)

    Ok, and a bit of Mark Sherry to see mainstage and the poor laser that only had about 30mn to shine:


    found a few friends, Aryel and Alessandra Roncone
    found a few friends, Aryel and Alessandra Roncone

    And just like that, day #1 was over, still twilight to bike home:


    Summary Video for Day #1:

    Day #2

    Day #2 started with Orkidea:




    Roger Sha did a lovely live set
    Roger Sha did a lovely live set









    It's only been 2 weeks since I saw Will Atkinson
    It's only been 2 weeks since I saw Will Atkinson

    Delighted to see him again, fun set full of energy
    Delighted to see him again, fun set full of energy

    And then AA meeting:



    Back to mainstage with Gareth Emery, PvD, and Aly & Fila to close the night:









    and another 30mn for the lasers to shine
    and another 30mn for the lasers to shine

    Aly went all in and didn't stop when he was supposed to, good for him, we loved it :)



    Summary Video for Day #2:

    Day #3

    Day 3 was the day of rain, it started as soon as the event opened, which cleared the non covered part of mainstage:




    My friend Aryel and the other Romanian trance lovers then went to see exolight whom I first discovered at untold last year, and have quite enjoyed since then :)









    Then was time for FactorB, OMG that was emotional, he did such a beautiful job. After recently losing his lovely partner to cancer, he gave her a very touching homage. Everyone who saw it said how beautiful a set it was:







    Giuseppe was next, it's time to play again :)




    someone managed to have a makeshift totem even though they were forbidden, good job, haha
    someone managed to have a makeshift totem even though they were forbidden, good job, haha


    By then, it was pouring rain, so I used my LED outfit to do a rain dance :)










    one good thing with the rain was that it was dim enough to use my real LED outfit
    one good thing with the rain was that it was dim enough to use my real LED outfit






    Summary Video for Day #3:

    Day #4

    The last day of a 3-4 day festival is always interesting, it's a mix of who still has enough energy to dance, and the "party hard, it's the last day" crowd. Given that I was able to get enough sleep, I was doing quite well, so day #4, here we go:













    great to see Xijaro and Pitch again, unfortunately the sound quality was quite poor
    great to see Xijaro and Pitch again, unfortunately the sound quality was quite poor




    By then, Mike took over mainstage, Maybe because it was sunday, MIKE decided that trance was for suckers, and blasted something that was more techno and the the crowd sure didn't mind :)



    because it was day 4, and it wasn't safe to take my LED outfit home to fix it, it was running on fumes and was partially broken, but whatever :)
    because it was day 4, and it wasn't safe to take my LED outfit home to fix it, it was running on fumes and was partially broken, but whatever :)



    Robert Nickson got a spot on Coco stage
    Robert Nickson got a spot on Coco stage



    We then got more hard beats from JoC:



    Markus was next:





    And the night, which still wasn't night, finished with Key 4050 and Solarstone:




    Last sunset and finally some darkness:









    Summary Video for Day #4:

    Afterparty

    So, there was an afterparty at Panama in Amsterdam, but honestly it was close to 1h away, then for anyone staying in Zandvoort, you had to find a way back when trains were probably not running at night, and most of us were then going to Amsterdam to get out on monday. 3 back and forth trips in the same night didn't seem that appealing for a few more hours of trance when I already had had 44 hours :) I would have gone to an afterparty in Zandvoort if there was one...

    And as luck would have it, I found one on my ride home, some guys started a party from the back of a car, and we continued to dance there until the batteries ran out.


    the police came to say hi, but drove off after a minute
    the police came to say hi, but drove off after a minute

    Conclusions

    Despite the challenges and a few questionable ways to make up the budget shortfall, we still had a great time, but many said online that they were fairly upset and offended by the water/toilet situation this year, I really hope it gets fixed.

    Suggestions:

  • raise the ticket price, pure and simple. Don't play those ridiculous and somewhat dangerous water games that waste everyone's time. Just charge us what you need to make a healthy profit
  • Other venue/fixing the sound bleed? This one is tricky, clearly the venue is sandwiched between 2 sets of properties, the dune, and high tide. Not really any room to expand, I think they did the best they could. Still, maybe a different layout would help some of the sound bleed issues, and at least raising the sound and fixing the equalizer setting for the sunset stage?
  • Bathrooms: maybe they can be moved closer to the entrance, away from the stages. Yes, it's a walk up, but not bathroom smell by the stage next to it would be good, and it allows for more room to expand a bit?
  • Running tap water, 'nuff said
  • Have a serious talk with the insomniac and/or untold folks on how they do security right. They keep the event secure without having lots of unreasonable restrictions that make the guests unhappy, or worse. A completely clueless and unprofessional (hello Creamfields) or over-reaching and not very rational (Sorry, lumi, that's you) security team really can ruin the experience for attendees. Please fix it.
  • VIP tickets? There were some VIP wristbands, I don't think they were for sale, I'm not even sure if they are a good idea given that Lumi is kind of a "everyone is the same" kind of event, but still worth considering?
  • this seemed to be the VIP area
    this seemed to be the VIP area

    For the venue, not everyone loved it. I agree it had challenges, but let's be reasonable: the options are likely limited. I'm sure that Luminosity did their best given lots of challenges. I with them good luck talking to the city council and dealing with some the nearby residents who probably were not happy with the event and 44H of trance, hopefully it worked out ok for most.

    And yes, despite the challenges, it was still a fun event. Warm thanks to Bo and all the crew that made it happen and all the DJs who played for us, you rule!

    2022/06/11 Our First Dreamstate Harbor in Socal
    π 2022-06-11 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    Dreamstate of of course the happy place for Trance Lovers, Dreamstate Socal in San Bernandino is just totally awesome, but it's only once a year. Insomniac fixed that for us by adding a new Dreamstate also in Socal, but a different location. While I'd love to have had it in the bay area somewhere, Socal wasn't too far and it was another great event.

    And so great to meet all my friends and DJs again (thanks Anna for the pictures):



    Since I re-made all of Giuseppe's T-shirts, it was fun to take another picture :)
    Since I re-made all of Giuseppe's T-shirts, it was fun to take another picture :)

    and it was so great to finally be able to enjoy Astrix's set and meet him
    and it was so great to finally be able to enjoy Astrix's set and meet him

    Thank you to Killed with Kindness for covering the event and all the pictures again, including this Trancefamily meetup:


    Dreamstate Harbor, New Venue, Impressions

    The event was at the end of a pier, away from people so we could enjoy plenty of noise. The venue wasn't huge, but just big enough, and looked great at sunset/night:










    One downside of the venue is that it still had a midnight curfew apparently, which is surprising given that there wasn't much nearby. As a result the event started early (15:00) which meant plenty of punishing sun that got a fair amount of us sunburned despite sunscreen (one contributing factor was the breeze which made things cooler and caused people not to feel that they were being burned, it also made things kind of cold at night for those who didn't have layers). Hopefully the event can start and finish a bit later in the future to limit the harmful sun.

    The good thing is the 2 stages were so close and it was easy to move from psytrance to trance, and speaking about psytrance, what a treat. It's rare to get good psytrance, and we got lots of it. Thank you!

    Random notes on the event:

  • single GA bathroom location, but the venue was small enough that it was fine
  • food options were fairly limited, but enough not to starve :)
  • decors were nice, especially at night
  • free parking (thanks), although it was a somewhat long walk to the venue for some, but no worse than EDC
  • no sound interference between the stages and yet they were close enough for easy stage hopping
  • VIP facilities were maybe a bit limited compared to the much higher price, but at least you got the nice bathrooms (which didn't have lines) and it was easier to be closer to the front of the stages (albeit with a side view that wasn't great for pictures)
  • The lineup was solid with a mix of DJs from around the world, including some locals from california
  • Less can be more, I do love dreamstate san bernandino with its 4 stages, but that also means I'm missing out on 3 different DJs every hour. Here it was much easier to be able to enjoy most of the music.
  • Like many I put on sunscreen, but didn't put enough and got sunburned anyway. Ideally the event can be at least 2H later next time (17:00 to 02:00).
  • Day #1

    Got there bright and early, 15:00, and did my best to hide from the sun :)











    Craig did such a killer set, loads of fun
    Craig did such a killer set, loads of fun

    GO delivered as always, thank you
    GO delivered as always, thank you

    psytrance loving me was excited to see Liquid Soul again, and he always looks so happy, can't blame him
    psytrance loving me was excited to see Liquid Soul again, and he always looks so happy, can't blame him

    After Astrix was unable to attend EDC, great to have him, another killer set
    After Astrix was unable to attend EDC, great to have him, another killer set



    By then, it was time for a great sunset:






    And back to the Djs:

    JoC did another fire set
    JoC did another fire set





    Markus Schulz
    Markus Schulz


    Nice to finish with Whitenoise for some psytrance
    Nice to finish with Whitenoise for some psytrance

    Day #1 video summary:

    Day #2















    Day #2 video summary:

    People

    One of the things that makes trance special, is the people, all the smiles and great positive energy. Trance family is truly a family, and for many it is well needed therapy that gives us energy to cope with daily life :)












    Many of the DJs were super nice and came to take pictures with their fans, thank you





    and a huge thanks to Craig Connelly for this lovely gift
    and a huge thanks to Craig Connelly for this lovely gift

    And just lke that, it was over, after 18 hours of trance and psytrance, thank you!


    2022/05/20 The Biggest EDC with 166k People
    π 2022-05-20 01:01 in Clubbing, Edc, Festivals
    So great to be back with everyone after the unusual and lower attendance EDC last year:


    Home, Sweet Home
    Home, Sweet Home

    TFSF + TFLA meetup
    TFSF + TFLA meetup

    Getting there and back was harder than all previous years, due to the record 166K attendees. I went for the shuttle again, which was a known



    fun to go through the Air Force base each time
    fun to go through the Air Force base each time


    The Grounds:

    For those who didn't know, EDC technically starts at 17:00, but that's only for a single stage, cosmic maedows, and the rest does not open until 19:00. What was funny was watching the opening of the rest on day #3, and the mad rush of people trying to get to the merch store to avoid the 2H+ lines (some say 4H?)


    it was somehow important to be there :)
    it was somehow important to be there :)



    Downtown EDC is always fun:




    As always, a good way to see EDC, is from higher up, and the ferris wheels are the best way to do it:















    lovely Quantum Valley where I spent most of my time
    lovely Quantum Valley where I spent most of my time



    As always, one of the most impressive parts of EDC Vegas is the amount of effort put into all the stages and decors:





    nice to have various burning man art
    nice to have various burning man art

    The neon light tunnel to carnival square was also nice:


    One addition to my outfit was a camera, that allowed me to rebroadcast what's in front of me:




    so, who didn't know there were cell phone chargers at carnival square (and didn't bring their own), now do
    so, who didn't know there were cell phone chargers at carnival square (and didn't bring their own), now do


    Pixel Forest is still a fantastic place to enjoy, especially the dual pixel forest tunnel:




    And the view from above:






    Fireworks and Drones

    EDC now has a drone show, but it's hard to see when you are at Quantum Valley, on the other side and looking in the wrong direction, especially given that it's silent. Still, I was able to see this on the first (windy) day:


    Fireworks were cancelled due to wind on the first day, but did happen on day 2 and 3. At least those I knew were at 01:30, and was ready to watch and record on day #2 and #3:





    Fireworks of the last 2 days:

    The People

    As always EDC has been great because of the people who attend and the many friends I made over the years:







    Still happy to see other people bringing LEDs :)


    And dancers of course:





    And it was so much fun to be able to meet favorite DJs as always:




    Of course, I couldn't resist meeting a few more DJs :)






    But anyway, let's get on with the festival:

    Day #1

    Got a ride with Michael (thanks) and arrived smack for the opening of the rest of the grounds at 19:00 (after about 1h45 from leaving the hotel). It was nice to be there from the start as shuttles tend to arrive 45mn late on fridays due to traffic:


















    Day #1 was very windy (and therefore cold due to wind chill), this also caused Kinetic Field to close due to high winds and cancelled most of Seven Lion's set, but most everything else went on.

    Great night with friends as always:


    Nice to be able to see sunrise again and end with Xijaro and Pitch:





    Video Summary:

    Day #2

    By day #2, it was possible to take the 18:00 shuttle and get there by 19:00 and see Khromata's set:















    yeah for lasers!
    yeah for lasers!







    Astrix was supposed to play but got covid, so Blastoyz was a great replacement, lovely set as always
    Astrix was supposed to play but got covid, so Blastoyz was a great replacement, lovely set as always

    like most DJs, Blastoyz is a great person
    like most DJs, Blastoyz is a great person

    so glad I was able to get Afik to Blastoyz who happened to be walking the side of quantum valley
    so glad I was able to get Afik to Blastoyz who happened to be walking the side of quantum valley


    and somehow Craig Connelly got the 04:30-05:30 slot. A bit late, but he did another lovely set
    and somehow Craig Connelly got the 04:30-05:30 slot. A bit late, but he did another lovely set




    fairly long lines at 05:45 to get back. Hopefully people didn't wait too long
    fairly long lines at 05:45 to get back. Hopefully people didn't wait too long

    Video Summary:

    Day #3

    Hello lovely, I hope you had an awesome night!
    Hello lovely, I hope you had an awesome night!


    Kinetic Field before it got busy as hell
    Kinetic Field before it got busy as hell


    after a quick tour of the grounds, back to Quantum Valley
    after a quick tour of the grounds, back to Quantum Valley

    Hanna's set was surprisingly good even if I couldn't tell whether she was actually singing
    Hanna's set was surprisingly good even if I couldn't tell whether she was actually singing









    it was fun to see rez, even if techno isn't really my thing
    it was fun to see rez, even if techno isn't really my thing

    and it was cool to meet the creator arcane creations and the rez inspired neopixel glasses I wear
    and it was cool to meet the creator arcane creations and the rez inspired neopixel glasses I wear


    After that, it was time to find a good spot to watch Illenium and Armin at the now packed Kinetic Field:






    cool to see the flower
    cool to see the flower

    turn into the insomniac owl
    turn into the insomniac owl

    Finally it was time for Armin, it was more club/festival music than trance, just like ASOT 1000, but still enjoyable:




    I tried to replicate the Armin's sign
    I tried to replicate the Armin's sign



    Then, there was one hour left before the end of the night and festival, and time to get a shuttle back to town to catch the morning southwest flight out, so we went to Neon Garden for a bit of techno to end the night.


    finished the night with some of my friends
    finished the night with some of my friends

    Video Summary:

    Conclusion

    While last year's EDC was lower attendance than normal and tickets were being re-sold at a loss, this one sold out and tickets were being re-sold for profit. The event was packed and went really well outside of the typical horror stories of getting that many people in and out of the festival.
    Thank you to everyone at the insomniac team who put so much effort into making so many details right all over the place, with the great result that we all got to enjoy..
    See more images for The Biggest EDC with 166k People
    2022/04/09 State of Trance 1000 in LA's Banc of California Stadium
    π 2022-04-09 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    ASOT 1000 is a major event obviously, but unfortunately the US version was only 6 hours due to limitations of the suboptimal venue they chose. Unfortunately the Banc of California had many other stupid regulations that made it a very poor choice for a festival, including a super long list of non allowed items all the way to "no clothes with LED", OMG, way to go for a festival. They also required transparent fanny packs or bags, that most people didn't have, and by the time they warned us, it was too late to get them. But the worst thing they did was to prevent people from entering the main pit unless they had pit tickets that were alledgely sold out. Yet, in the end, the pit was half empty. How moronic...


    welcome to LA
    welcome to LA

    Finally got in, but looked like a naked peasant thanks go Banc of CA policies:



    Got in in time to see Mr Brooks:


    Good to run into friends again:



    Ruben de Ronde was next:




    Then Gabriel & Dresden were next:



    Marlo came next with a dynamite set:





    The awesome part was that TFSF's Triode got to go on stage for some of his tracks. We were so soooo happy for him:





    Now was the time for cosmic gate:





    And last, but not least, Armin of course. He did an interesting set that mixed a lot of genres, including almost techno and tech trance. Not everyone liked that, but I thought it was interesting and enjoyed it:


















    While this wasn't the fantastic Asot 1000 it could have been given the poor venue, rules, limited runtime, and so forth, I do have to say that all the artists put out banger sets. I know some didn't like Armin's but let's be serious, he has over 20 years worth of music and there is no way he can play the whole range and make everyone happy. Personally I liked the variety in his set even if I'm a melodic/euphoric trance person at heart.

    And after just 6 hours, the show was over. It was a pretty short show due to curfews. A bit underwhelming for an ASOT 1000 show, a pretty terrible venue in my opinion, but it was still a show, better than all the other shows that got cancelled altogether.... But still, bitsweet to have a festival that didn't look like a festival due to the ridiculous rules in that venue.


    2022/03/25 Beyond Wonderland Socal
    π 2022-03-25 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    This was my first beyond wonderland in socal, my last one was 6 years prior 10mn from my house at Shoreline. The setup on this one was definitely better given the extra room at that location, and Insomniac generally going all out a bit more every year:


    [html;h2]Festival Grounds
















    Lots of nice places or people to hang out:


    Definitely looking good at night:




















    People

    One thing Insomniac really does well is the amount of costumed perfomers:








    Of course, I also had fun playing with the crowd and decors :)





    this was an unusual find :)
    this was an unusual find :)

    People were there to have fun as always :)




    And great to run into friends as usual:

    Hi Chris, thanks again for all your work
    Hi Chris, thanks again for all your work


    Day #1

    Anyway, let's get to the festival days. The first day had a good trance lineup, so I mostly hung out with the trance DJs, even if I went to see a few other ones too:







    the visuals were pretty bad ass
    the visuals were pretty bad ass



















    And Blastoyz finished the night with a banging set I entirely recorded:



    he was able to bring his parents on stage
    he was able to bring his parents on stage


    Video of Day #1:

    Day #2

    Day #2 was not a trance day, so it was a good excuse to see other stages





    Ben Nicky was a surprisingly enjoyable set
    Ben Nicky was a surprisingly enjoyable set





    Netsky was some good DnB
    Netsky was some good DnB


    Then was time for the end of the night with Seven Lions and Above and Beyond:




    and free infomercial :)
    and free infomercial :)

    Video of Day #2:

    Definitely a lot of fun, exceeded expectations. Thanks to Anna for the recommendation.

    See more images for Beyond Wonderland Socal
    2021/11/19 Dreamstate Socal 2021: Back to Trance Heaven After 2 Years
    π 2021-11-19 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    2020 was obviously the year from hell for lots of things, including festivals. EDC had a 2.5 year gap, and Dreamstate ended up with a 2 year gap, but despite probably losing a bunch of money during the pandemic, Insomniac did a great job putting a quality show as always, dealing with all the extra difficulties (artists cancelling due to covid, other artists unable to get visas to enter the US), and yet they went back to 4 stages instead of 3 in 2019.

    Of course, many of us had fun at EDC Vegas a month ago, read more here: http://marc.merlins.org/perso/clubbing/post_2021-11-22_After-a-2_5Y-wait_-Our-next-EDC-Vegas.html , but while EDC has trance, it's not about trance, Dreamstate of course is about trance!

    so glad to be back!
    so glad to be back!

    Unlike creamfields where some of the extra stages were honestly shit visually and audio quality-wise (and their security was dicks ), insomniac made sure all stages were as good as could be, even the smallest one (void).

    The lineup was solid like I said:


    Pictures libraries:

  • All Pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/J9xqDaD65USuWZV49
  • BestOf Pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ddho1tk1fvacqGes9
  • The Grounds

    As always, it's not EDC Vegas level eye candy, but it's still quite good, nothing to complain about :)





    The decors were great and the VIP areas were shiny:





    If you didn't bring your own lighting, they had you covered:




    The stages were as follows:

    The dream stage was quite pretty, well done
    The dream stage was quite pretty, well done

    The sequence, psytrance was ok-ish but the DJ booth wasn't lit well, so you could barely see who was playing
    The sequence, psytrance was ok-ish but the DJ booth wasn't lit well, so you could barely see who was playing

    vision was good enough, but still had the annoying line to get in
    vision was good enough, but still had the annoying line to get in

    even the smaller void, was good too
    even the smaller void, was good too

    The People

    Of course, what makes Dreamstate and EDC magical, is not just the eye candy that Insomniac brings, but what the attendees bring too, from good vibes, costumes, and totems:

    TFSF's Katie-Ann did a great job with her psy outfit :)
    TFSF's Katie-Ann did a great job with her psy outfit :)


    That's not counting Afik's LED totem entourage, an ever growing list :)



    Of course, we had our local trancefamily groups:




    For the LED/tech nerd that I am, it was great to see more people with LED panels, some were able to use some of the code that I published online and make their own improvements on top:

    really cool totem with 12 RGB panels (more than me, but less resolution than me), run by an FPGA card, well done!
    really cool totem with 12 RGB panels (more than me, but less resolution than me), run by an FPGA card, well done!



    of course Afik's trusty totem was here
    of course Afik's trusty totem was here

    and I had fun with my outfit :)
    and I had fun with my outfit :)


    Day #1

    So, let's start with Day #1, I got there bright and early, 17:00 when it opened:











    so great to see Haliene again
    so great to see Haliene again


    also great to see Thrillseekers again
    also great to see Thrillseekers again



    life is always better with lasers ;)
    life is always better with lasers ;)


    it was special to see Emma Hewitt, it's not every day
    it was special to see Emma Hewitt, it's not every day



    I've seen Fadi 6 times in the last months, but still love him each time :)
    I've seen Fadi 6 times in the last months, but still love him each time :)

    for those who don't know him, he is literally the nicest guy on earth
    for those who don't know him, he is literally the nicest guy on earth




    And to save the best for last, after Paul Van Dyk, was Ferry Corsten's Gouryella which was truly a religious experience for many, myself included. I still remember hearing it in what turned out to be 2016 at EDC at Circuit Grounds after consulting my archives :) Thank you so much Ferry for playing this again, albeit an updated version:


    just seeing the lyrics brings the tunes back in my head :)
    just seeing the lyrics brings the tunes back in my head :)







    what a finish
    what a finish




    Thank you Ferry.
    Thank you Ferry.

    Wait, you're saying you missed this? Well, don't worry, I recorded a bit over 2/3rd of it in my video summary of Day #1 (starting at 59:43):

    Day #2

    After just enough sleep, I had a bit of time to write some extra code for my LED outfit, including adding some DJ faces (see bottom for Craig, Liquid Soul, and Blastoyz), and an extra trancejesus has it on vynil screen (see above). I then went a bit early to check out the grounds before everything started for Day #2:


    the calm before the storm :)
    the calm before the storm :)


    Jorza
    Jorza

    Excited to see Xijaro & Pitch
    Excited to see Xijaro & Pitch

    Anthony pointed out the irony that as a blind man he got to play at the 'vision' stage :)
    Anthony pointed out the irony that as a blind man he got to play at the 'vision' stage :)


    the costumed dancers were very good as always
    the costumed dancers were very good as always

    Got some triplets from Whitenoise
    Got some triplets from Whitenoise


    absolutely delighted to see Alpha9 again, I enjoyed his set each time
    absolutely delighted to see Alpha9 again, I enjoyed his set each time

    FactorB again
    FactorB again

    Definitely enjoyed seeing Zero Gravity Arts again:





    truly dope ass outfits
    truly dope ass outfits

    Super nice to see liquid soul, always smiling and happy with the joys of psytrance  :)
    Super nice to see liquid soul, always smiling and happy with the joys of psytrance :)

    Gareth back on mainstage
    Gareth back on mainstage

    But I went to see Craig Connelly, because well, that was not even a question :)
    But I went to see Craig Connelly, because well, that was not even a question :)



    Definitely enjoyed Blastoyz's set
    Definitely enjoyed Blastoyz's set

    Yoji Biomehanika
    Yoji Biomehanika

    went to check out Aly & Fila's UV set
    went to check out Aly & Fila's UV set

    and finished the night and festival with Reality Test
    and finished the night and festival with Reality Test

    And just like that, the 2 days, 18H of trance, were over. Thank you to insomniac, all the artists and everyone who brought in outfits, smiles, and good vibes.

    Video summary of Day #2:

    Conclusion

    And I have to thank, you know who you are, for expanded access and being able to meet so many artists. Thank you!









    'till next time:



    2021/10/22 After a 2.5Y wait, Our next EDC Vegas
    π 2021-10-22 01:01 in Clubbing, Edc, Festivals
    Waiting a year for EDC is a long wait, but it got moved in May 2020, and moved again in October 2020, and again in May 2021, that was starting to be torture, and it finally happened on Oct 2021, not a moment too soon!

    woohoo!
    woohoo!

    so glad to be back
    so glad to be back




    The Grounds:

    Even though the event was not sold out, and used tickets were going for very low prices, insomniac did not cheapen out on the event. Plenty of DJS were not able to come due to covid travel restrictions, but the grounds were just as impressive as usual:


    On day #3, I went early (before sunset), I was able to talk myself into the big ferris wheel and got a special ride to the top when it wasn't opened yet. Got some great shots of course:






    Too bad most people missed sunset due to the opening times:



    the calm before the storm
    the calm before the storm

    I later got a ride on the 2nd ferris wheel as soon as it opened at 19:00:





    this one
    this one

    a few things moved, a bit more ground was used
    a few things moved, a bit more ground was used

    this was a cute addition
    this was a cute addition


    favorite burning man art as always
    favorite burning man art as always

    firmament
    firmament

    always a crowd favorite too
    always a crowd favorite too


    nice parking job
    nice parking job




    sure, I went for a few rides, even more fun when you're not sober :)




    Downtown EDC was well setup:




    Lots of stores too:







    great to see Pixel Forest again
    great to see Pixel Forest again

    unfortunately the pixel forest tunnel didn't have the fantastic music/visuals combo it had in 2019
    unfortunately the pixel forest tunnel didn't have the fantastic music/visuals combo it had in 2019


    Fireworks

    There are fireworks, and there are EDC fireworks. After EDC fireworks, it's harder to see other fireworks, for sure, especially with the drone show that was added this year:











    Fireworks of all 3 days:

    The People

    Festival goers in Europe probably think I'm some weirdo that came from space (especially those idiots that run creamfields and actually prevent you from getting in with anything cool, because I guess it's better to keep it boring). This is really one of the things Insomniac has done so well, fostered this culture of cool totems and costumes:





    kandi meetup
    kandi meetup



    And great to see more LED totems, even if I'm still the only wearable LED outfit:


    this totem was nice as it allowed taking pictures, videos, and replaying them
    this totem was nice as it allowed taking pictures, videos, and replaying them



    this was pre-made but really cool
    this was pre-made but really cool

    And of course, got to meet an ever growing list of friends:

    normally we have more folks. We will next time!
    normally we have more folks. We will next time!

    so great to meet trancejesus in person
    so great to meet trancejesus in person

    Triode and Kifi
    Triode and Kifi

    Mark Estes who wrote some of the animations (like this one) on my outfit
    Mark Estes who wrote some of the animations (like this one) on my outfit

    But let's not forget my friend Afik I first met at EDC, and turns out we live close enough to one another. We became good friends, along with all of Afik's friends, a dedicated group in TFSF and TFLA:



    are there more beauiful people?
    are there more beauiful people?

    also met Rory first on the internet, helped him with some code now running his furret totem
    also met Rory first on the internet, helped him with some code now running his furret totem

    And there are so many performers that get ready for us:



    I feel so thankful that we were stll able to have some of my favorite DJs:







    Fadi totally slayed, and he's such a nice guy. 'You again' indeed, 3rd time we met in a week :)
    Fadi totally slayed, and he's such a nice guy. 'You again' indeed, 3rd time we met in a week :)

    Lots more people of course:




    damn, respect!
    damn, respect!


    And yes, people waited a long time!




    And of course, the party within the party:








    But anyway, let's get on with the festival:

    Day #1

    I was lucky to have a nice view on the shuttle locations from my room, shuttle locations that Insomniac is still not giving precise GPS waypoints for, making many people walk quite a bit trying to find them:


    lots of busses waiting at mid strip to take happy ravers
    lots of busses waiting at mid strip to take happy ravers

    no line when I got there around 17:45, but the busses weren't going yet
    no line when I got there around 17:45, but the busses weren't going yet

    Unfortunately, despite all the busses and staff being there, the first bus didn't leave until 18:00, which was too late with traffic, so we only arrived at EDC past 19:30, and I barely got to Khromata's set around 18:45, having missed 45mn of it. I hope that insomniac fixes this for real and allows busses to leave earlier (at least 17:30) on fridays, since there is bad traffic each time.

    Happy to see Khromata, even if it was only for the last bit of her set:



    Quantum Valley looked nice, but the atom bar in the middle blocked the screen for many pictures
    Quantum Valley looked nice, but the atom bar in the middle blocked the screen for many pictures


    So good to be back:



    I spent most of my time at Quantum Valley, trance head that I am, but tried to see a few others too:


    Ciaran Mcauley
    Ciaran Mcauley





    So great to see Haliene live again
    So great to see Haliene live again


    This was my beef about the atom look of QV, it messed up the screen and pictures:


    Paul van Dyk
    Paul van Dyk


    Paul Oakenfold was next, he was a complete mess, totally coked up, a disaster with the microphone when his buddy didn't take said microphone to make things worse. He even totally messed up a mix, reset a track from the start and played it twice, because 0 fucks given. So sad, he's such a pioneer and truly one of my idols. This is why you shouldn't do drugs, kids, or pick them carefully :)


    so happy to be here :)
    so happy to be here :)

    yes, I see you :)
    yes, I see you :)

    but really, I'm bored out of my mind
    but really, I'm bored out of my mind


    I spent some time to check out Kinetic Field with special access just in time for seven lions:









    I used my prototype code that lets me send custom messages from my phone
    I used my prototype code that lets me send custom messages from my phone

    I then stepped back a bit for a better overview
    I then stepped back a bit for a better overview

    it was then time to come back for some good psytrance from reality test:


    she was nice to see her fans after her set was over at 05:30
    she was nice to see her fans after her set was over at 05:30

    Video Summary:

    Day #2

    Back for day #2, by then the friday traffic was gone, so the 18:00 shuttle got there just before 19:00, opening time from the shuttle side.
    A few stages:



    Great to see Alessandra Roncone again
    Great to see Alessandra Roncone again

    After randomly discovering Say My Name at the last EDC, I went to see him again:
    After randomly discovering Say My Name at the last EDC, I went to see him again:

    Seeing Vini vici for the 3rd time in 2 weeks :)
    Seeing Vini vici for the 3rd time in 2 weeks :)



    I was excited to see Pendulum Trinity again after seeing them at Creamfields, good show.



    Video Summary:

    Day #3

    For Day #3, I wanted to see Z-Trip who was playing before 19:00, so I had to take an uber (shuttles start too late), and got there at 17:30 from the other side:


    Z-Trip did slay, so happy to have seen him in person. It's a shame that he played so early, which caused so many people to miss his set:

    Z-Trip did slay, so happy to have seen him in person:
    Z-Trip did slay, so happy to have seen him in person:





    I also took the time before the main festival opened to see the calm before the storm:

    And then the gates opened and everything else started:






    And back to the trance stage for a lot of great sets:



    Went to see Eric Prydz with my friends. Interesting visuals but too techno-ish for me:




    So back to the trance stage to catch the rest of cosmic gate:


    Holy shit did Aly and Fila's Fadi slay. It was funny, it was my 3rd time seeing him in 7 days, but loved it
    Holy shit did Aly and Fila's Fadi slay. It was funny, it was my 3rd time seeing him in 7 days, but loved it





    Also had a bit of fun, took pictures, saw people:




    nice view from the passport grounds
    nice view from the passport grounds

    And I finished the last night with a B2B between Saymyname and 12th planet:



    Video Summary:

    It was literally my first time staying until the end of EDC (my flight at 08:15 was just late enough that I could stay until 05:30, catch a shuttle back to my room, arrive at the hotel just before 07:00 and take an uber to the airport to catch my flight out: The ending ceremony was underwhelming, not a big deal that I missed it in the past:




    thank you, come again :)
    thank you, come again :)



    More pages: August 2022 July 2022 June 2022 May 2022 April 2022 March 2022 November 2021 October 2021 September 2021 August 2021 November 2020 November 2019 October 2019 July 2019 June 2019 May 2019 November 2018 August 2018 May 2018 November 2017 June 2017 May 2017 June 2016 January 2016 September 2015 June 2015 September 2014 September 2013 May 2012 October 2008 October 2004

    Contact Email