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2024/01/30 6 Days at Unkonscious Festival around Pattaya and Bangkok
π 2024-01-30 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
I had heard about Unkonscious several times, but a festival across the world in the middle of my snowboarding season, wasn't super appealing for timing reasons. That said, FOMO kicked in and I was able to align a snowboarding trip in Hokkaido, Japan just before, making the "quick 7h plane hop" to Bangkok more appealing :) and jetlag less of a bitch :)

One big plus of Unkonscious is that they make your trip worth it, as while the main festival is really just 2x 12H days (or 2x 16H with the indoor after party on day 3 and 4), there 2 days with pre-parties and 2 days with after parties in Bangkok. That's a great idea and it made for a pretty intense 6 days, not for the faint of the heart :)

Travel, Where to Stay and Weather

As to where to stay, the first 4 days are not super close but close enough that I elected to stay at the main festival hotel for the first 4 days, and then downtown bangkok for the last 2 days, which worked out well enough. You can easily get rides with grab or bolt and they were plenty cheap by western standards. For that matter, Thailand is reasonably cheap for westerners, making the festival affordable overall.
Also, for those who haven't gone to Thailand, people are super nice and welcoming, although many have limited english, so having google translate on your phone is a must (and it works well). Also knowing how to use google maps to voice out a location and show it written in Thai (as you should not expect Thai drivers to know how to read Thai locations in roman characters).

Carrying my LED outfit and all the batteries through Japan along with my snowboards was extra work, but worth it. As expected every venue during Unkonscious was cool with it, no one gave me a hard time and honestly all the venues were happy to have extra party spirit:


If you ask, yes, it was hot as balls, and it was warm and uncomfortable to wear, haha. I wore more comfortable clothing during the day that LEDs would'nt do much good anyway (it got dark enough around 18:00, so that was 6 hours with more reasonable weather and temps):


We also got lucky that we didn't have rain, which is always a possibility.

So, 6 days, let's go for it:

Day 1: Pre-Pre-Party @ Tappia Floating Cafe

The first day's venue was very interesting. Floating café was pretty cool. They had a fast boat that did rounds back and forth from the pier and took you to the floating café which was definitely a unique venue. Party started at 16:00 and went until midnight (or maybe a bit past):






after a little while, the sun set and it got dark:



The bar had plenty of alcohol, food was more limited and it took long enough that it felt like it came from a restaurant on land and was brought in via the next speed boat:


one Thai specialty is the 1.2L bucked of alcohol, saves time :) (and reasonably priced)
one Thai specialty is the 1.2L bucked of alcohol, saves time :) (and reasonably priced)

switched to my night outfit
switched to my night outfit

great to see Richard Durand again
great to see Richard Durand again




Video summary of the day:

Day 2: Pre-Party @ DAM Pattaya Beach Club

Day 2 was a different pre-party at a different beach club. Nice beach location and 2 DJs playing, one on the beach and one indoors:





light clothing to deal with the weather :)
light clothing to deal with the weather :)



The food options were good, but unfortunately required some fake paper money you had to buy in one place, then exchange it for a voucher, which finally got you food:



same thing with drinks although they were reasonably priced
same thing with drinks although they were reasonably priced

buckers were popular
buckers were popular

that's what the fake money looked like, and it could not be exchanged back or used from one venue to the next.
that's what the fake money looked like, and it could not be exchanged back or used from one venue to the next.

Before long, it was darker and cooler, so I was able to change and light up a bit:


brought a few lights :)
brought a few lights :)

even got a chance to take that picture Ferry Tayle and I missed a few times :)
even got a chance to take that picture Ferry Tayle and I missed a few times :)

haha :)
haha :)




Indoors was fairly decent for a beach club:


and we got an XXXL set from John 00 Flemming
and we got an XXXL set from John 00 Flemming




Video Summary of Day #2:

Day 3 & 4: Main Festival Day 1 & 2: Alexa Beach Club


Finally this was the main festival. The mainstage was honestly pretty simple, it wasn't huge, definitely smaller than lumi mainstage and almost on par with stages 2 or 3 at lumi, but honestly it was big enough for the location and crowd. The entire event was not huge and that what made it nice, cosy and homely, I did like that.


Yeah, so it seems to be a Thailand thing, non refundable fake money you have to buy to be able to then buy things (which was still 2 or 3 more steps depending on what you needed, way too much work IMO). Not a fan...


note that the fake paper money from the previous day looked different and couldn't be used
note that the fake paper money from the previous day looked different and couldn't be used

hopefully contactless credit cards and phones will be allowed for direct pay in the future
hopefully contactless credit cards and phones will be allowed for direct pay in the future

Merch store that was reasonably priced:



The festival was then split in 2 each day: 12:00 to 16:00 was the pool party which was low key and easy to get in and out (security wasn't really there yet). Other bonus is you could order from the bar and restaurant from the full drink and food menu and pay with real money (which became not possible at 16:00 once the real festival started). Once I figured that out the first day with great disappointment of having lovely drinks on the menu being rejected as "not available until after the festival is over", I learned the lesson and got them during the pool party the next day:

nice to chill by the pool, listen to music and sort festival pictures :)
nice to chill by the pool, listen to music and sort festival pictures :)


and a great time to chat with DJs too
and a great time to chat with DJs too


nice and chill
nice and chill

nice beach too
nice beach too



pool party day #2:


working hard, or hardly working? :) Nice to relax for a change
working hard, or hardly working? :) Nice to relax for a change


haha, nice outfits :)
haha, nice outfits :)


by day2 I figured out how to get real drinks
by day2 I figured out how to get real drinks

as well as very yummy food
as well as very yummy food

By 16:00, the main festival started with mainstage and the psytrance stage on the 2nd floor of the building which had AC and that was nice because outside was definitely hot:




You could pay for VIP lounge areas:


The views sure were nice:




awesome sunsets
awesome sunsets


The psytrance area was nice:






And yes, it eventually got dark. It was super nice to just be able to walk by to the room and change:


Richard Durand did another killer set
Richard Durand did another killer set


a few of us brought kandi joy to the party :)
a few of us brought kandi joy to the party :)


Craig Connelly was next!
Craig Connelly was next!


And closing set by John 00 Flemming
And closing set by John 00 Flemming



Day 2 had more DJs and more fun:








yes, sunset again :)
yes, sunset again :)


fans were a lifesaving device, I can't describe how much I was sweating :)
fans were a lifesaving device, I can't describe how much I was sweating :)




But the big surprise of day 2 was the fire juggling which was stellar:






Festival Day 1 Video summary:

Festival Day 2 Video summary:

main festival afterparty

Both nights had an indoor afterparty from 00:00 to 04:00 if you wanted more. It was a nice indoor room:






main festival fun pictures

Many pictures were taken :)










wait, what happened here? :)
wait, what happened here? :)

awesome to have met Katie Sirisinha, one of the organizers
awesome to have met Katie Sirisinha, one of the organizers


Day 5: Post Party @ Venti Bangkok

Is 4 days enough? Of course not... After the main festival was over, 2 more days of after parties in Bangkok. After party #1 (day 5) was at Venti Bangkok, a nice club:






great to run into Somna who had just arrived
great to run into Somna who had just arrived

Rinaly did trance that night
Rinaly did trance that night

and then Markus Schulz took over
and then Markus Schulz took over

Venti Bangkok Video Summary:

Day 6: Post-Post Party @ Eden Bangkok

Day 6! Last day! One last club, Eden in Bangkok:

Damn right, 6 days!
Damn right, 6 days!








Rinaly was back for techno that night
Rinaly was back for techno that night







awesome to have finally met Andy Moor
awesome to have finally met Andy Moor






and that was it, finally over, 6 days!
and that was it, finally over, 6 days!

Well, not quite over, Srangkun Sirisinha, Unkonscious co-organizer, went to play more tunes across the street, more trance still :)



And then it was finally over, time to run back to the room, pack, and go to the airport for a long trip back home to San Francisco

Eden Bangkok video summary:

Thoughts/Conclusion

  • Thailand doesn't have drinkable tap water, and no water fountains were provided at any of the venues, although none made a big deal if you brought your own water (or you could buy theirs of course, except for het first 4 days where you first had to buy the fake money)
  • Yes, those who know me know I don't like money or wristband credits that often fail and are completely unnecessary anyway. I hope unkonscious considers just accepting contactless credit cards, tap to pay, and phones.
  • As noted above, Alexa Beach Club (main festival) had a great food and drinks menu until 16:00 but those went away when the festival took over: the food and drink options went way down and fake money was required
  • It was a lower budget festival, and so what? People complain other festivals are too expensive, Unkonscious is definitely cheaper and we had heaps of fun with the DJs who came, even if a fair amount of them palyed multiple days (which honeslty I had no problem with). I loved the way it was, no need to change anything.
  • Should you go? Would I go Back?

  • very simply: yes, you should try to go if you can, it's definitely a unique festival and quite enjoyable in its current format. I'll admit that for people in the US, it's a long ass trip, but if you don't like winter, it's a good excuse to go visit Thailand which is a lovely country to visit anyway
  • organizers were super nice, do care, and it shows
  • security was more than reasonable at all venues, it was actually minimal and that was refreshing, it sucks to have to deal with airport or worse than airport security (that's you, lumi) when you're travelled across the world and paid quite a bit to have fun, have a good time, and honestly the risk level doesn't warrant over the top security
  • the festival being smaller in size (not in length) allowed for meeting the DJs more easily, which is always lovely
  • the attendees had a great vibe which of course made sense for a trance festival, but always feels great wherever you are around the world.
  • Thanks to the organizers, DJS and everyone who made the 6 days happen!

    More Photos/Videos

  • Day 2: https://photos.app.goo.gl/aaLEkR75EQW45u3P7
  • Day 3: https://photos.app.goo.gl/xNWSLEDa9ub8K6xTA
  • Day 4: https://photos.app.goo.gl/4ytVboJXa7MmRPgQ8
  • Day 5: https://photos.app.goo.gl/J5wB2dWtn9EsDwZv5
  • Day 6: https://photos.app.goo.gl/J2m8S38SYDAjQs869
  • IG stories if you're on a computer: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18074843200415712
  • IG stories if you're on a phone: https://www.instagram.com/s/aGlnaGxpZ2h0OjE4MDc0ODQzMjAwNDE1NzEy?igsh=MzRlODBiNWFlZA=
  • 2023/11/17 A New Dreamstate Socal in Long Beach by Queen Mary
    π 2023-11-17 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    New year, new dreamstate, new venue!

    beautiful
    beautiful

    Ok, so for the first time readers who haven't been to previous dreamstate socals, please go read this Dreamstate Socal 2022 in another tab to compare and contrast. Then what's below will make a lot more sense.

    Giving feedback/your own opinion/thoughts: please answer on:

  • this thread (facebook)
  • this thread on IG
  • So, the new Venue. Why the move from NOS to QM? Better or Not?

    I didn't expect that this topic would be so divisive, so it was very interesting to read everyone's feedback over multiple forums. While I know some people at Insomniac and they've also been super nice to me, for which I am ever thankful, I do not work there or have any inside knowledge on what drove the move, the decision for this year, and the apparent decision to stay there next year that was made before people were able to send their feedback for this year.

    So, I'm left to speculate and guess, like everyone, which I guess makes this a bit more fun :)

    Let's start with the obvious reason:

    "I'm on a boat, I'm on a boat, everyone look at me, I'm on an motherf'ing boat :)", SNL for the win :)

    Haha, so now that we have this out of the way :)

  • (+3) LA people prefer going to Long Beach than San Bernardino traffic-wise. For people flying in, it didn't matter unless you're flying in to LAX internationally in which case the drive from LAX is shorter to LB/QM. I just changed this from +1 to +3 to account for the fact that traffic from LAX to SB did really suck on fridays, even if it did not affect non locals that flew in directly to Ontario or SB (see below)
  • (+2) Some people said they were getting tired of NOS and liked the new location just because it was new. I personally liked stages and decors they did at NOS so much, and those did change yearly, that I honestly didn't mind going back to NOS, it felt like a very happy home despite the ghetto-ish looking area outside, but I'l try and be fair and still give it a +2 in favor of QM as well as credit the insomniac folks for trying something new.
  • ( 0) For people flying in, flying to Ontario or even a few direct flights to San Bernardino were about as good as flying to Long Beach
  • (+1) Overall people said SB was kind of a ghetto and felt unsafe. I feel that was over harsh, it doesn't look great, but I've walked back to hotels at night and never felt unsafe, never heard any gunshots, and honestly it felt safer than South Central LA that surrounds Banc of California. But most people disagreed with me, so LB wins this one
  • (-1): 02:00 curfew at NOS, 01:00 soft curfew at QM (it was really around 01:15 or so). People who pay attention will have noted that things started 1H earlier, and it was still dark enough to be fun for people like me, so we got the same amount of music at the main party, but especially on friday not everyone could get there as early at 15:00 to park, long walk or shuttle and get to the venue at 16:00 when it opened.
  • (-1) Hotels around the venue were not Cheaper in LB, probably more expensive overall. SB is not at nice and and more cheaper hotel options. LB has nicer hotels nearby, but they wre in the $300+/night range, which really adds up for people who aren't full of money.
  • (-1) People said it was far to parking lots/shuttles, SB was not much better. NOS has very closeby nearby premium parking, QM has none because the event took over the entire parking lot.
  • (+1): LB/QM has 2 good hotels that were walking distance in addition to the boat itself. SB/NOS had 3 hotels walking distance too, but they were very poor motels that are pretty ghetto, so LB/QM wins.
  • (-1) Staying on the boat is cool for those who were able to get room, but you couldn't park any closer than 2 miles away and had to take a shuttle to get to/from your car
  • (-1) Some people staying on the boat complained of non stop noise depending on their room location, since indeed the boat had 24 hours of music
  • (+2) for people on the boat, they were right onsite and could get in and out to their room during the event and after parties. I mean this is really a +100, but only for the few who could benefit from it, and iwth the caveats that in return they got noise when trying to sleep, had to park far away, and their luggage was subject to search before they could go to their room (long list of prohibited items, including not allowed to have certain foods or any alcohol in your room, which many cared about).
  • (-3) NOS in SB is just much bigger and has plenty of room for 7 stages or more as has been done during Beyond Wonderland. 4 Stages at QM really didn't fit well, the bridge to get to void was inconvenient and hard for people who can't do stairs easily, and the mandatory walk all the way around from void to dream was close to 15 minutes.
  • (-1): Due to the bridge to void, or the long long way around, LB/QM was less ADA friendly, unless there was some special ADA bypass in and out the event to get the short way across, but I didn't see one (actually I was told there was one, getting in and out of the event somehow, crossing the street in the middle, so I guess that's better than nothing, but the rest of us could not use that).
  • (+1) Having the real water in the background of the venue and the boat, even if it's ultimately an old tired boat, was still a better view than SB/NOS. At the same time I'm only putting +1 because the Insomniac crew can and does turn any venue into a magical place, so NOS really looks spectacular when they were done with it.
  • ( 0): Safety inside the event was similar at both venues. It felt safe in both places, except for the unfortunate phone thefts at both venues. Everyone really should use phone tethers now. I hope insomniac finds way to put traps for those assholes that ruin the nights of people who get pick pocketed.
  • ( 0): Temperature and Rain. Sure NOS was colder last year, but I looked up average temps for november in both venues, and they were mostly equal. I was also convinced that QM was more at risk of rain than SB, but I was wrong, for that time of the year, they are also mostly equal. The rain this year did suck though, especially in sequence that got deep puddles that swallowed my entire LED shoes, shorted them, and got my socks wet :-( It wasn't raining at SB when it was raining hard at QM this year, but apparently that was just luck or lack thereof and the tables could have been turned
  • (-1): Cell phone service: yes, different with different providers, but my own experience and anecdotal experience was that it was worse at QM. I do remember using group chats to sync and find people at NOS without issue several years back. Insomniac did offer wifi at some locations for VIP and Passport, but that coverage was limited.
  • (-2): NOS has at least 2 big indoor rooms (one was vision and another one I only saw used during beyond wonderland for a techno stage) that can be used for after parties. Those rooms are much bigger and better than the smallish rooms on the boat that were also quite hot and uncomfortable in m opinion.
  • (-1): Ghost stories about Queen Mary. It's not an issue for me, but some expressed concern about it, some think it's actually cool, and one person told me they had a not great experience in the boat related to that. That's all I'm going to say on the topic, but I guess I have to mention it for completeness
  • (-2): I'm sorry to have to say this, and I also know not everyone shares that opinion, so feel free to discard this point if you disagree: I really really liked the megastructure feel of dream and sequence at NOS. I don't have clear words to describe it, but that semi enclosed space with the lasers flying on to pf your head, and the sea of lights, pepole, dreamstate balllons and whatnot is such a magical feeling that I really missed this year. It could be brought back to QM in some way, but it won't fit as well as it did at NOS in my opinion, although I'll be delighted to be proven wrong. I'll also add that those exact words were given to me by multiple people, including DJs I asked, without my feeding them that answer.
  • (-1) I also missed the LED guys jumping on trampolines, it's an awesome show each time that we loved having at the end of the Dream megastructure
  • ( 0): Not venue related, but yes there was a lot more techno and hardstyle this year. I'm not going to say I'm a huge fan of either, but if they are weaved in and out of trance that I do like, I can be ok with them. And according to ASOT and Armin, techno is apparently the new trance, right? :)
  • Is it ok to say that I missed this?



    Winner? If you add my made up points, SB/NOS wins by 5 points. Yes, it's a biased and joke comparison, but I guess I was trying to show and pros and cons I found and heard. I understand that not everyone will agree depending on what they value.
    I personally really preferred NOS because it's much larger, I loved the megastructures, the shorter walk between stages, and it has 2 much better indoor rooms that can be used for afterparties. This seems irrelevant to write though since DS has already been confirmed to be in Long Beach next year, and there may very well be other reasons that made NOS unsuitable that we're not aware of. The new venue can work better for next year and be improved, especially if it's taken down to 3 stages for 3 days as I explain in the conclusion at the bottom of this report.

    I also need to be fair and point out that the Insomniac crew knows how to turn any space into something pretty. If it hadn't been for those leftover chargepoint chargers, it was hard to tell that you were in a big parking lot:


    Even the bridge to void which kind of sucked and was only one way, they made it pretty and really cool. Actually I really want to make a point here, many of you know me as my IG tranceledguy, so yes I know about LEDs, I know how those things are programmed since I built in my own from scratch, and I know that some engineer or engineers spent a significant amount of time decking out that bridge and making custom videos and patterns to scroll on it. This is where the insonniac crews really go above and beyond, they really f'ing care and have a bunch of overachievers :)


    For comparison, NOS may not be as pretty by default, but after the insomniac crew was done decking it out, it still looked stellar to me:





    New Grounds: Long Beach by Queen Mary

    Anyway, let's go back to the actual report.

    Main Festival Feedback

    New location, new backgrounds:




    It's pretty:



    While the venue was well decorated from an otherwise boring parking lot, and it was nice to have some pieces of burning man art:



    Burning Man people will recognize this awesome piece of art, great to have it
    Burning Man people will recognize this awesome piece of art, great to have it


    let's note that those vendors were on the void side which felt so far that they didn't feel worth walking back to unless you really wanted to go to void
    let's note that those vendors were on the void side which felt so far that they didn't feel worth walking back to unless you really wanted to go to void

    And yeah, the walk back from void to dream really sucked, including this tunnel that was crowded at times, and where people go their phones stolen :(

    First Time With Passport At Dreamstate!

    This year had passport at Dreamstate for the first time, and it was awesome, with its own DJ sets even. This is a big deal! For those who didn't know, Passport is an invite only club for people who buy a certain amount of tickets to insomniac events.








    VIP was nice too, and had some of the sparse seating people said was missing elsewhere:




    Security


    It was a bit weird due to the venue, you could enter two different ways, towards the main venue, or towards the void. Once you were in, you couldn't take the short away across due to no in and outs. This really felt unfortunate.
    Another point to note is that anyone staying on the boat did not have to go through security to enter the event. It was great for them, but that meant it relied on the boat to enforce festival level security, which was a bit weird (people staying there were rightfully upset they were not allowed to have alcohol or some other festival prohibited items in their rooms). I'm not sure what the right answer is on this front.

    Queen Mary and After Parties Feedback

    Queen Mary is realistically an old retired cruiseship, but it makes for nice pictures:


    Insomniac did their best to help people figure the place out, it was not very obvious:


    the map was needed, getting from Grand to/from Britannia was a long walk with many stairs
    the map was needed, getting from Grand to/from Britannia was a long walk with many stairs

    Nice views outside:



    There were limited food options on the boat, no alcohol at night due to lack of liquor license after hours, but insomniac made sure that people at least got water, which was nice:


    Bathrooms were more of a problem, in the worst case scenario (britanica), you had to go 1 floor up, across the entire boat, and then 2 floors down, and all the way back. That's over 10 minutes and a lot of stairs for tired people and some who had issues with so many stairs but didn't have an ADA wristband that would have allowed them to take an elevator. Something to improve for sure.

    But yes, it did look cool at night from Dream:


    Rain

    Yes it rain, drizzle on day 1, then it poured in the middle of the night during after party, so much the the place was still wet and muddy, especially in sequence on day 2.
    Day 2 was ok-ish until the last hour when it rained fairly hard, not really fun for most, but at least my outfit didn't short or catch fire :)


    I'll just state here for the people who didn't like NOS and SB, that it did not rain there while it was raining in Long Beach


    People

    Of course, a big part of what makes Us insomniac events so much fun is the people who are part of the party.

    It's also a good excuse to take Trancefamily pictures:






    Dreamstate Balloon
    Dreamstate Balloon










    Great to see my usual 4 dreamstate GFs :)



    So many DJs, thanks for taking pictures with me






    very cool chat with Boris from Electric Universe about his laser harp show
    very cool chat with Boris from Electric Universe about his laser harp show

    The truth is that Dreamstate is about the people, all of you! We would probably still have lots of fun in a safeway parking lot :)

    Day 1

    Anyway, this brings us to the Festival. Day 1 started bright and early with Miyuki at 16:00 and many of her fans made it to represent. It was impressive.

    Miyuki had lots of fans
    Miyuki had lots of fans
















    Day 1 Summary Video:

    Day 1: Queen Mary Afterparty




    it was awesome to see Blastoyz again, but sad that he had to play as 'secret guest'
    it was awesome to see Blastoyz again, but sad that he had to play as 'secret guest'


    Day 1 Afterparty Summary Video:

    Day 2

    After getting to bed after sunrise and having hotel breakfast as late dinner, plus repairs on my LED outfit that broke on day 1, arriving on time for day2 was more challengings and I totally missed the day parties. So, I started Day #2 with Somna, lovely set:












    Richard Durand at Vision was loads of fun even it meant I missed Craig vs FactorB:






    More psytrance at Sequence with Reality Test:



    Then the laser harp show from Electric Universe was very cool, especially for those who knew the origins from Jean-Michel Jarre:




    For comparison, that was Jean-Michel Jarre in 2017 at Berkeley with is laser harp dating from the 1980's:


    Fun fact about the Laser Harp, Jean-Michel Jarre's version is different and older technology he has used since the 1980's, and the internet says "t was patented in 1982 by the French composer Bernard Szajner, but the Australian Geoffrey Rose claims it was his invention and that he had taken out a provisional patent in 1975-1976".

    After that, it was time to see the end of Armin's set at Dream:



    By 01:00 and change, the actual dreamstate was over, and for the lucky ones who were able to secure after party tickets, it continued on the boat until 08:00:

    Day 2 Summary Video:

    Day 2: Queen Mary Afterparty







    it was starting to get late in the night, but great to see more from FactorB
    it was starting to get late in the night, but great to see more from FactorB

    Day 2 Afterparty Summary Video:

    After almost 40 hours, it was nice to see the sun come up a 2nd time, and walk back to the room for some much needed sleep:



    Sunrise!

    Aftermath and Conclusion: Should this not be 3 days and with a bit more sleep?

    For all the diverging opinions on the new venue, I think everyone will agree this event was unique:

  • Points to Insomniac for trying something new, whether it was required or not, and honestly a lot more things went right than what went wrong given how different it was for them, so thumbs up on the end result!
  • The lineup for what was supposed to be a 2 day festival, was absolutely insane
  • The after parties lineup alone was bigger than many main festivals
  • If you want to be technical, this Dreamstate was not a 2 day festival, but literally 40 hours long, non stop. It started Saturday at 16:00, ran until 01:00, after parties until 08:00, saturday day party until 16:00, main festival day 2 until 01:00, and more after parties until 08:00. 40 hours total with 3 to 4 stages during 32 hours out of those 40 hours, woot!
  • So yeah, people got tired, multiple complained about the lack of seating at the main festival, although it was easier to rest on the boat:




    poor technicians got close to 0 sleep
    poor technicians got close to 0 sleep

  • I smiled shen I saw some FB posts and comment of people complaining they were already 30, so they were not that young anymore, and needed more places to sit/rest :) Let's not talk about the OG Trance Ravers who are closer to 50, including many of our favorite DJs :)
  • My personal opinion is that it was too much in too little time. I realize that extreme FOMO due to all the great sets you are missing every hour while being there and trying to see it all, is probably meant to be part of the event, but I'll also say that in my opinion it's too much and not necessary to that level. 3 days would make it better.
  • Sure, the after parties allowed me to see some of the DJs I missed main sets on, at the expense of even less sleep, and that only worked for those who were able to get the limited after party tickets, and let's be honest again that the after party rooms were not great (hot and stuffy, inconvenient to get to, and with limited facilities)
  • So I'm going to ask questions that are at the same time suggestions:

  • If Dreamstate is going to stay at Queen Mary where the 4th stage (Void) really didn't fit with the bridges and long way around, and just added more conflicts, why not have it 3 days and 3 stages only?
  • For anyone thinking I'm crazy for asking for only 3 stages if we're stuck at QM and its smaller footprint, I'd like to point out that Dreamstate Harbor only had 2 stages, they were 3mn walk apart and I loved it. I had so much less FOMO, felt I was able to see a lot more, and the main issue was the midnight curfew and lack of afterparties. Having only 2 stages that were both so good that I still had a hard time picking between them, was more than plenty. Tell me if I'm crazy, but hopefully in that context, my 3 stages 3 day proposal is not that crazy.
  • I know you guys are all overachievers and always trying to do better, we love you for that, but I don't think we need to many artists conflicts and so many hours with so little sleep. My friend Niko started the day party on saturday at 08:00. I'm told he had 5 people attend his set. It's both sad and understandable.
  • Can we bring back at least 2 megastructures (sequence and dream), and it's ok if we leave vision as is, or if it becomes the new void and vision gets dropped?
  • Bonus points with megastructures, you can put some mesh that will let some wind through but block at least part of the rain
  • More lasers please. Everything is always more better with more lasers :)
  • Find a way to nail the pickpockets, please.
  • Can the cruiseship terminal structure be used as an indoor stage for afterparties?

  • If we have to use the Queer Mary for afterparties again:

  • bathrooms on all floors
  • more ventilation/temperature controls in the rooms. We were dressed for cold weather outdoors and got into stuffy and sweaty rooms
  • more food options, they were very limited
  • all elevators for all, please.
  • I'm not an alcohol person, but people who were were disappointed to have none due to liquor license on the boat. There may not be a fix to that.
  • The lighting and general production quality inside the Queen Mary felt poor on multiple levels. I'm not sure how much it's fixable but also a point that this boat is not really a great party boat, it's really an old and tired cruiseship, sorry if I have to state that. I also remember lighting in those rooms that was basically flashing spotlights into the crowd and blinding people dancing. Not sure if that's the best way to do it :)
  • Should you go? Would I go Back?

  • Despite the challenges with the new venue, the event still went really well overall and was a lot of fun. There are so many great things about DS and all of you coming and making it what it is, that it's hard not to have a great time. So it's another "hell yes"
  • I'll repeat again and again that all the staff truly cares and goes all out. It wasn't perfect but it went quite well considering, and again stuff like the LED bridge was far out. The getting around to void was a mess, and they made the back path 2 way half way through the festival, which was still a real time improvement.
  • Security was definitely nice overall, hopefully the event is still secure enough.
  • It was an insane event like I wrote already, it may not need to be that insane, I think 3 stages over 3 days would be better if we have to keep using that venue, but either way it was awesome again.
  • I'll give the same answer to "Is it worth flying across the world for?" If you like trance and you want a better production value than many european shows (not counting Tomorrowland and arguably untold), yes, it is worth going to. Only 2 days, but it's really good and the night decors and costumes are much better than what you'll find in Europe.
  • Yes, night and lights and costumes make festivals way more fun, if you disagree, I'm sorry :)
  • So much fun, 'till next time:


    2023/10/21 Transmission in Bangkok
    π 2023-10-21 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals, Thailand2023
    Transmission Bangkok posts:
  • Space Plus Bangkok - Transmission Pre-Party - Cosmic Gate
  • Transmission Bangkok Afterparty at Amnesia
  • Transmission in Bangkok
  • Transmission Bangkok After-afterparty at Portal

  • I had only done one Transmission so far, and it was Transmission Prague 2019 in O2 Arena. I was beyond Epic!, so that set the bar high because it literally was the best indoor show I had ever seen.
    The location felt a bit weird, inside a convention center, and at first, I was going to go to the wrong room with another show:


    wrong place :)
    wrong place :)

    After walking around the building, got to the right place. The show started at 15:00, but since it was indoors, it was dark enough for me:


    swee lineup
    swee lineup

    Security was fairly thorough, and very intent on taking your unopened water so that you were forced to buy theirs inside, which is annoying to say the least. And not just that, but they also used some stpuid fake money rechargeable wristband system and they kept all the unused credits at the end. I honestly find that petty and insulting :(


    WTF, guys, please stop this fake money BS
    WTF, guys, please stop this fake money BS

    Thankfully they were not worried about my outfit, and I was able to secure a special wristband, just in case :)


    Another local thing I saw in Thailand was VIP is for peasants. They have Very VIP, and Super Very VIP :)



    Glad to run into friends and make new ones as always:

    thanks Marie for getting me to come here
    thanks Marie for getting me to come here






    Anthony was surprised to hear my voice on this side of the world :)
    Anthony was surprised to hear my voice on this side of the world :)

    And the best for last, Blastoyz!
    And the best for last, Blastoyz!

    The show production value was very good for what was otherwise a big empty room. Not to the level of the O2 Arena hat was much better equipped for this, but still about as good as you can make a show within such a space.









    lots of phones were watching the show :)
    lots of phones were watching the show :)




    The show started with Jonny B, a local who played nice trance at all the events I went to:



    Daxon was next, I met him at Untold, and he did great for both shows:




    Next Xijaro and Pitch played another great set with lovely remixes:




    Stoneface & Terminal came next:



    Cosmic Gate also did a nice set, different from their usual one:



    After that, we got Ferry Corsten as SystemF, a great trip back in memory lane:




    Marlo Tech Energy was a fun set, zero fucks given, and nice back and forth journey between Trance and Techno:


    look at all the phones :)
    look at all the phones :)

    did we have enough lasers? :)
    did we have enough lasers? :)

    nice fan club :)
    nice fan club :)

    After that, was Will Atkinson:


    going to the front was challenging, but went from time to time
    going to the front was challenging, but went from time to time

    And saving the best for last, Blastoyz got to finish the show, just last transmission Prague, and we got to enjoy his high energy beats and triplets. So much fun as always:




    And that was it, 9 hours, 15:00 to 00:00, lots of fun again.

    Video Summary:

    Should you go? Would I go Back?

    Transmission is festival that is single day and single room, so in that respect it doesn't compare with bigger festivals. Single room can actually be a plus in my book if it's packed with the best artists you can get, and that you like them. I sure loved their selection, so I didn't need more rooms full of conflicts and something ridiculous like ASOT Utrecht with 5 or 6 rooms where you are missing great stuff every hour.
    As for single day, if you could the pre and after parties, you could almost say it's 3 days, so that makes the trip more worth it. That said, is it really worth flying across the world, for (over 24H of flying for me)? I'd say probably not unless you have another reason to travel here, and that's easy to fix, I'm going diving nearby afterwards :)

    Back to transmission:

  • the room setup, lighting, and lasers were top notch
  • the story and transition between artists, was very enjoyable this time again
  • Security was "thorough", both because they worry about muslim terrorists apparently (over 6000 people killed by them in Thailand :( ), and are intent on making sure you don't bring water :( (tap water is not drinkable in Thailand)
  • I realize that too many countries in Asia do not have drinkable tap water and the culture is to use an endless amount of non recyclable plastic bottles that aren't recyclable and mostly end up in the great ocean plastic garbage pile, but offering water to refill from big water containers, would be super nice
  • I'm really annoyed by the fake money wristband BS, it's a waste of time, it's petty and just vexing, especially when they make it clear that they will keep left over money you didn't use. Charge what you need to charge at the entrance, and stop playing games, please.
  • All is all, it was a good show and worth going to if you can fly there reasonably easily, but Transmission Prague was a much nicer arena (vs a room in a connention center)
  • Conclusion

    This was my first festival in Asia, so that made it special. It was interesting to see different kinds of crowds, but at the end of the day, we're all trance lovers, and this unites us. Even though I was far from home, I felt right at home. Thank you.
    See more images for Transmission in Bangkok
    2023/10/14 Another How Weird Festival in SF
    π 2023-10-14 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    This is actually a fun festival, I'm not really sure how I managed not to know about it all these years, but that got fixed last year, and glad to have been able to go back a few hours this year. I even liked almost half of the music, including some nice psytrance :)















    haha, nice boots :)
    haha, nice boots :)












    It was nice to run into a few friends:





    Then, night came, which is my time to shine :)






    Unfortunately, likely due to sound restrictions, the festival has to end at 20:00, so it was only one hour of darkness, but still better than none :)

    Quick video:

    Good time was had, looking forward to a future one.

    See more images for Another How Weird Festival in SF
    2023/08/03 Another Untold in Romania's Cluj
    π 2023-08-03 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    While Cluj is a bit far for me, I liked the festival so much in 2021 and 2022 the festival atmosphere, and the trance lineup were so good these last 2 years, that I was happy to go back one more year.


    This year it was easier to go there since I lined up sightseeing on Poland just before flying to Cluj and benefited from the direct flight. Arrived just in time to check in and enjoy the first day. Always cool to see Untold cars right at the airport:


    Grounds


    glad to be back
    glad to be back

    and they were too :)
    and they were too :)

    The fact that it's in a park, you can ride the paddle boats (although it stupidly requires wristband only money):




    And amusement stuff for kids:


    also, this :)
    also, this :)

    And more:




    One thing that Untold does well is having a lot of performers to help with the atmosphere:






    People

    Great to see happy trance people this year again, and people who have 3 years have now become friends:



    As well as many of my favorite DJs:





    So many nice decors to get pictures with:


    Day1

    Cool to see Galaxy the first day, before it opened. Didn't go back much since it was hard techno, not my favorite


    mainstage
    mainstage


    Of course, I spent most my time at fortune, the Trance stage







    I have a portion of Aname's set here:





    A bit of mainstage:



    Back to fortune with Ben Gold:



    Day2

    I came back bright and early on Day 2 to see Exolight and Suncatcher for a wonderful sunset set:



    Glad to see kids dancing, new customers for Trance:


    Their full set is here:

    Went to check other stages too:



    Back for Ilan Bluestone:




    Full Ilan Bluestone set recorded here:

    Key 4050 next:


    And another wonderful FactorB vs Craig Connelly B2B:







    Entire FactorB vs Craig Connelly B2B set recorded here:

    Finishing with Allen Watts:





    Full Allen Watts set recorded here:

    all the way to sunrise, with all the birds waking up :)


    Day3

    So, the previous year and the first 2 days of this year, I was able to record entire DJ set by installing my camera on a light pole that was just the right distance from the stage. It all worked well until it was stolen on the 3rd day, including some sets that were on it:

    setting up to record Exolight and Suncatcher
    setting up to record Exolight and Suncatcher

    switching recordings between DJs
    switching recordings between DJs

    Yes, I was being over optimistic in my camera being safe enough there, some asshole managed to climb there in front of everyone and detach it behind my back without getting caught. Sad, but oh well, it's life. Unfortunately this also means the sets I recorded that day, are gone.






    It was great to see Ruben the Ronde again, with a set similar to what he played at ASOT London a month prior. I enjoyed it just as much the 2nd time :)





    And then, my pal Faid from Aly and Fila:




    I've also become a big fan of Xijaro and Pitch, some really great trance with some pretty epic remixes:


    The end of the night as a bit less fun once I realized my camera had been stolen and all my video recordings were gone. Oh well...


    Quick Video Summary from Day 3 from bits taken on my cell phone:

    Day4

    Untold is not for the weak, 4 days, and those days are up to 16 hours :)


    unfortunately a bit of rain came by, but it didn't last too long
    unfortunately a bit of rain came by, but it didn't last too long

    well, more than just a bit :)
    well, more than just a bit :)

    After the rain stop, Daxson came, my first time seeing him, and it was great trance:



    Andrew Rayel next:




    The WLT, We Love Trance:



    From there, it was time to head up to mainstage for David Guetta and Armin:






    Unfortunately Armin started very late, and after a 30mn commercial break which was agonizing knowing how little time left I had before having to leave the venue to run to the airport for my 06:00 flight out I so regretted having but couldn't change anymore:







    And while Armin was nowhere close to being done, but started way too late, had to run to the airport to barely make the luggage checkin deadline:


    it was bittersweet to watch the rest online, but oh well
    it was bittersweet to watch the rest online, but oh well

    Quick Video Summary from Day 4 from bits taken on my cell phone:

    Should you go? Would I go Back?

    Untold is in my opinion one of the better/best festivals in Europe, and even on the world stage, it is worth going to, I have done so 3 years in a row ;) Given the distance from California, I may not go every year due to distance and cost, not even counting time conflicts with some other festivals, but definitely recommend you go check it out.

  • They put a lot of effort turning this public park in Cluj into festival grounds, and do a very good job with it.
  • The security staff does a good job with searches being targetted well and plenty of security staff within the event (looked like the entire town's police and gendarmerie)
  • I'm obviously biased towards trance, which was at the fortune stage like all years. It is run by Bodgan and other trance lovers for trance lovers
  • Festival has the longest hours I've seen anywhere, from around 16:00 to maybe 08:00 for the last stage. 16H per day for 4 days!
  • Only a couple of carnival rides, and you need to pay for them, sadly using their fake unreliable wristband money
  • Yeah, sadly, they do not accept contactless credit cards and still require you to load up money on wristbands, which is a waste of time, long lines in some places, and totally unncessary. Please stop.
  • Lots of stages, I think it was at least 8 depending on how many of the smaller ones, you count
  • Mainstage is massive, but unfortunately has a weird layout with things massively blocking the view in the pit if you're not in the front, but if you watch from the back elevated seats, it's a good view, albeit distant
  • Mainstage fireworks are nice, but nowhere close to what you'd see at something like EDC
  • Mainstage also had up to 30nn breaks between main DJs, where you would just sit there and they would play commercials. That was honestly lame and they should stop. It was even worse when Armin started almost 30mn later than he could have when he was already scheduled so late in the night.
  • VIP is mostly worthless unless you're happy to have a side view which isn't as good in my opinion, and it's only useful for mainstage. Unless you like to have your private area with bar, or private tables that cost even more, VIP does not make sense in my opinion
  • Is it worth flying across the world for? Yes, absolutely. Do it!
  • Conclusion

    Thoughts about this year:
  • One natural thing when you go back to the same festival every year, is that the Wow factor goes away a little bit compared to the first year, but still, it felt like a magical place and magical moment for those 4 days
  • The trance lineup was more sparse this year, unfortunately it seems that Untold is deciding whether to still fund Trance as a major genre for Untold, and I've heard unofficial that Untold Dubai may not have any trance stage at all. If so, that would be a pity, especially as many trance fans travel to Untold just because of the stellar trance lineup they've had.
  • I originally heard about Untold due to a massive 8H set Armin had done before Covid, but by the time I was able to go in 2021 and 2022, Armin didn't come because he was supposed to play in Bucharest instead and that show then got cancelled ;( I was excited this year that he was finally coming back, but became sad when I finally learned that he was going to play the very last timeslot. Flying out of Cluj is not easy, and most flights are between 06:00 and 07:00 on monday morning. Sure enough I had a 06:00 flight that was impossible to change by the time Armin was announced that late, and only got to see about 1H of his set, with a huge rush to the airport afterwards to make it out, what a bummer :(
  • Still, despite the challenges, less trance this year, and terrible timeslot for Armin, still had a great time. Thanks to all who made the magic happen.
  • Pictures of all 4 days: https://photos.app.goo.gl/8HHZHo6CT1jbzH1v8
  • See more images for Another Untold in Romania's Cluj
    2023/07/20 Portugal's Biennial Boom Festival
    π 2023-07-20 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals, Portugal2023

    About Boom

    Boom is a special festival I had heard about several times, and is not easy to get to since it's only once every other year. I found out about boom because of the number of psytrance sets I saw on youtube, and also heard about it as a unique festival that is somewhat burning man like. There is definitely a hippy component to it (and I'm not saying that as in it's a bad thing) and I'm guessing it is based in Portugal as Portugal has decriminalized all drugs from what I understand. I found out later that some good amount of those was probably required to enjoy some of the music ;)

    Boom has costumes and outfits, but not so much the LED ones for night, so I didn't find many people lit but, but people did love my outfit, which made bringing it all the way there and dealing with difficult recharging, worth it (yes, sometimes people ask: it was a lot of work to build, maintain, fix, carry, and in this case, also recharge, but obviously this is all to help spread smiles, happiness, and add to the festivals, like everyone else who does the same):


    getting to boom if you're not driving yourself is easiest from Lisbon or Madrid. They have busses from airports at both locations, and that's how I got there. At the time, I was not aware that there were 2 other ways to get there, and local busses going to/from Idanha-a-Nova and Castelo Branco, the latter has train service to the rest of portugal. Anyway, took the last train from Lisbon (leaving at 16:00 on the 2nd day). It was a longish and not very comfortable bus ride, but it got us there after 5h-ish hours:


    filled busses
    filled busses

    alternate options I didn't know about
    alternate options I didn't know about

    Arrived by 21:00, still some sunlight
    Arrived by 21:00, still some sunlight

    The place is actually pretty large when you're on foot. cardboard village was a good 20mn very uphill walk from the biggest dancing area, and without big wheeled luggage, the rough terrain made dragging luggage up not fun at all:




    Most people online said to arrive as early as possible to get a better camping spot, or "not miss any minute', but honestly it's already a 7-8 day festival, even arriving on the 2nd day it was plenty early enough and the main stages had not even opened/started yet, so I personally felt it would have been fine to arrive even one day later, but by then it would have to have been through alternate transportation means like the local bus.

    So, now is a good time to mention that Boom is not for the faint hearted. The camping conditions are on the harsh side, I guess not getting rained on is good, but a lot of the terrain, including where I stayed, is slanted, full of very pricky leaves (by that I mean they made holes in my flip flops and would sting my feet), the biggest ants that earth has, and some pretty scary looking spiders that will come in your tent if it's not fully sealed (thankfully I'm pretty sure they aren't poisonous, but waking up next to one is still unnerving somewhat).

    very long and painful walk up when you are carrying your camping equipment and luggage
    very long and painful walk up when you are carrying your camping equipment and luggage

    the path to cardboard village is steep, even without luggage
    the path to cardboard village is steep, even without luggage

    Because this was part of a long EU trip, I elected not to carry around camping gear across Europe just because of boom, and went with the cardboard village which provided recyclable cardboard tents. I'll be honest that they are not big, basically backpacking size, and they fall apart easily (held up by some staples). You could buy or rent camping gear, including tents, but that's a big gamble to come with nothing if they can run out before you arrive:


    the door broke instantly, very little room for luggage, and it's not secure, thefts are a problem :(
    the door broke instantly, very little room for luggage, and it's not secure, thefts are a problem :(


    Each camp had a few bathrooms (not enough), and showers that were only open during limited hours. That created pretty long lines, which in turn discouraged people from using them and I guess encouraged people to take quicker showers maybe? The main point was to save water as the entire area was in a drought:


    they were lacking urinals, it would have helped with bathroom lines
    they were lacking urinals, it would have helped with bathroom lines

    Just like burning man, you are encouraged to disconnect during the event, and obviously FB or Instagram usage are heavily discouraged. There is however reasonably good cell signal throughout the event, which is good for syncing up and meeting friends. To recharge though, you have to rely on a few sparse charging points, which is questionable if you have to leave your sole phone there for multiple hours. I recommend bringing a lot of USB battery packs, using them to recharge your devices inside the tent and leaving your battery pack unattended to recharge it. I had bigger issues with my very power hungry LED outfit that needed a lot more power than a phone or battery pack, and was thankfully able to make special arrangements for access to power to recharge those.


    The Grounds

    The organization of Boom overall, given that it's definitely cheap for what it offers, and staffed by little paid staff and volunteers, was quite impressive and exceeded what I've seen at Burning Man, which in itself is not bad actually. The level of care and love at boom was outstanding.


    Also in burning man fashion, people at Boom were respectful of the environment and super clean. That was quite refreshing compared to too many festivals where people are just pigs and throw trash everywhere :(

    a nice lady picking up the little trash on the ground, people were very clean
    a nice lady picking up the little trash on the ground, people were very clean

    Just like project Zendo at Burning Man, they had knowledgeable volunteers to help people use drugs safely, including even a way to test them, although demand far exceeded supply for that:



    While many things were burning man-like, it was not a gift/barter economy, which honestly was helpful for me or I would have had to bring even more things, including a week's worth of food. There were lots of food options and lines were a bit long but not terrible:


    ok, that was both unexpected and very welcome. Just like burning man, Boom is super transparent about their costs
    ok, that was both unexpected and very welcome. Just like burning man, Boom is super transparent about their costs

    lots of food options
    lots of food options


    the general store was also useful
    the general store was also useful


    very large and shaded dining areas, with a few places to charge phones :)
    very large and shaded dining areas, with a few places to charge phones :)

    Nice displays and decors:










    They also have a market manned by attendees:



    Also some art, not Burning Man levels of art, but still a fair amount:








    You can also bathe in the lake:


    the pipe is to allow trucks to pump water out and fix the roads
    the pipe is to allow trucks to pump water out and fix the roads



    Along with the lake, comes some nature of course:



    Like everywhere, watching sunsets was nice:


    everyone celebrated in different ways :)
    everyone celebrated in different ways :)


    And then, it gets very cool at night:







    The People

    The place is of course not your average festival, and neither is the clothing. I tried my best to come prepared :)



    if you didn't bring your half eaten pickle, you missed out :)
    if you didn't bring your half eaten pickle, you missed out :)



    you don't need an outfit if you have a big tatoo ;)
    you don't need an outfit if you have a big tatoo ;)

    That said, people brought fun things to the dancefloor:

    that's one way to get to the stage
    that's one way to get to the stage

    and another way :)
    and another way :)

    people brought an operating table in the crowd ;)
    people brought an operating table in the crowd ;)

    you can also bring your couch ;)
    you can also bring your couch ;)




    supplies ran low by the end of the week :)
    supplies ran low by the end of the week :)

    Someone brought a lit up Diabolo, and I mostly remembered how to play it, that was fun :)

    The Music

    Ok, so, this is where it gets complicated. Unfortunately I have to state right now that I simply couldn't enjoy most of the music that was played. There are effectively 2 big stages plus a 3rd slightly smaller one. The 3rd one played some experimental music I simply couldn't get into each time I stopped by:

    experimental stage indeed
    experimental stage indeed


    The other 2 stages played a bit of music I liked, but was honestly also a lot of deep dark psytrance that sounded like the same thing and sometimes the same few bars stuck in a CDJ eloop for an hour+. I realize it's not an entirely accurate or fair description, but hopefully makes my point that I had a hard time enjoying most of the music. This was a big disappointment for me when I had only heard a few stellar sets on youtube from some DJs I quite liked, but in the end that was only a quite small portion of the music I heard.
    Dance Temple was stellar:







    When it got too hot, they had you covered:




    Of course, it gets a lot prettier at night

    I tried to help with lighting :)
    I tried to help with lighting :)








    Alchemy Circle, the 2nd big stage was not bad at all either:





    It was also pretty at night, nice LED work:





    Finally by the last day, my 2 favorite DJs closed the festival, starting with Astrix:



    Full set:

    And then Liquid Soul finished the night:






    Summary Video:

    Full set:

    Farewell/Conclusion

    First, I'll start with my Video Summary of the week:

    Definitely had some good times and music I did enjoy across everything there :) (and yes, that 1H mostly has music that I liked, but there was plenty of other music that was harder to listen to for more than few minutes). Pointers:

  • 05:00: you'll hear how repetitive it can get.
  • 10:00: is a set from Okapi, no idea who those people were, absolutely hillarious and unique. That was worth it!
  • 16:00: gets freaking hillarious
  • 20:00: spinning lit dress
  • 36:00: Astrix
  • 53:00: Liquid Soul
  • The line for the busses on the way out was the least fun part of the event

    Unsurprisingly, a bit like burning man, getting into the event isn't so bad because it's spread out over time. Getting out was a huge mess of a line that was easily 4 to 6H. I think their main limitation was lack of busses and bus drivers willing/able to work certain times. They had busses leaving the previous evening, but they were running during the best music sets (Astrix and Liquid Soul), and ended too early (23:00 I think). Even if we tried to leave so as to be at the busline at 22:45, that would not have worked because they did not guarantee you'd get on a bus, just that the last bus would leave at 23:00 and anyone who didn't fit would have to find a way to sleep until the next morning, even though they already broke down camp.
    My guess is that obviously everyone trying to leave on the same day does not help, but also that it's probably not easy or possible to get bus drivers to drive in the middle of the night and start driving people out at 06:00 and at much higher pace than I saw. So I Guess this is a 'plan for it", or consider taking the city bus out to the nearest train station. Looks like people get in line as early as 05:00 and that the wait is at least 2-3H best case scenario unless you leave quite late, but hard to know and by the last day there is not much going on anymore, so just waiting isn't great either.

    Other thoughts

    If you think the above is bad, well yes and no. I also mentioned the music being an issue for me, but clearly that doesn't mean the music was bad, just that I couldn't enjoy it, and clearly plenty of other people did so just fine. Like I mentioned earlier, camping was rough, but everything else was between quite nice and very nice.
    The love from the organizers is hard to ignore, it definitely made the event that much more special.

    Should you go? Would I go Back?

  • Saying that Boom is unique doesn't begin to describe it. It's also special because it's only one year out of two, so you have to plan for that. I'll also use the opportunity here to say that the organizers really do care, to a level I've not really seen anywhere else: the website is full of messages of love, the several Emails they send to prepare you, also are. They also did a very good job answering Emails and helping, which is no small feat when you receive lots of Emails.
  • I liked the burning man feel while being open to money and commerce, which made things easier when you travel from far and can't carry everything like you have to for burning man
  • Speaking of money though, they unfortunately heavily encouraged the used of wristband money. It was at least required for most drinks and very few places accepted contactless credit cards, which if of course the correct way to do this. Those who know me well know that I hate the wristband money BS because this turns the festival into a bank, and unsurprisingly, most fail at doing a proper job at it, because being a bank that holds people's money, is hard. In my case, it's the 3rd festival that messed it up, in their case I once put 100 euros on my wristband, got confirmation, money was taken from my account, and the money never appeared on the wristband. I wasted countless time trying to get this fixed, was given repeated promises it would get fixed, and it never did. In the end I had to dispute the credit card charge with my bank to get my money back. What a waste of time, just take contactless credit cards!
  • Security, well there was none. That was refreshing. You could of course bring anything to your campsite, and there is no perimeter around the dancefloors area, you can just walk in and out. I felt safe though, thankfully it's remote enough that they can do this. Awesome.
  • The Music was the problem for me. I was really looking forward to many days of fantastic psytrance. Unfortunately for the most part it was some very experimental music I sure couldn't get into (yes, I understand Boom is also about drugs and altered states, but honestly I don't think I can get altered enough to enjoy what was being played most of the time). The rest of the time sounded like deep dark psytrance, almost the same few bars of music on a CDJ eloop. Sorry if that sounds unfair, I realize a lot of people there seemed to like it, all I can say is I love a lot of psytrance, and wasn't able to enjoy the music most days, with a few exceptions like astral projection, okapi, Astrix, and Liquid Soul.
  • the wait for the busses back was bad, as in way-too-many-hours-burning-man, bad. See comments above.
  • "Is it worth flying across the world for?". Well, this one is tricky. Honestly flying from far just to go to Boom is quite a trip, especially if you have to bring some camping equipment if you can't rely on rentals not running out. It's still easier than for a European to fly to the US and go to burning man, but not by a whole lot, it's still quite a journey ;) If you're coming from outside of Europe, I'd say it's debatable, but within Europe I cannot think of another festival like Boom. The biggest thing to keep in mind is make sure you actually like the music that is played there. I will quote (but not name :) ) a DJ I know and who played there as saying he also thought the music there was quite experimental and niche.
  • See more images for Portugal's Biennial Boom Festival
    2023/07/02 A State Of Trance London
    π 2023-07-02 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    This was the first ASOT in London, at a new location I hadn't been before (ABGT was at the drumsheds, this time was at the dockyards dockyards, just renamed silverton island a few weeks before the event). It was an interesting venue just outside London. However, despite this being an island away from everything, and literally at the end of a local airport runway, they still had a curfew of 22:30, which was slightly unexpected and disappointing. As a result, the event started at noon, and thankfully it wasn't too warm.

    Got up in Paris, took a Eurostar, got in London in barely over 2H and got the event just as it opened.



    interestingly the event was only accessible via a floating bridge
    interestingly the event was only accessible via a floating bridge

    plenty of planes taking off over the event, but that wasn't much of a problem
    plenty of planes taking off over the event, but that wasn't much of a problem

    Even if we only got about 1H of darkness, that didn't stop me, I waited patiently for it :)


    thankfully the rest of the day wasn't too warm, weather was pleasant.

    I got lucky with security, which was kind of a worry with some of my prior negative experiences in England (Creamfields being the worst by a lot). Reading the security rules and list of forbidden items (camelbacks and hydration pouches were on the disallowed list. Worringly the entrance list also listed small personal cameras as not allowed, WTF?? Thankfully this was not enforced for me, not sure bout others)



    They offered VIP as an option, but from what I saw it was mostly for a couple of viewing stages that were not super well situated, so I'm not sure if it was worth it. That said, it was merely an option, so no big deal either way.

    The venue was good enough: 3 stages without sound bleed issues, actually a good selection of food options (better than many festivals), plenty of bar lines to limit lines (well done), and the drinks were reasonably priced. Of course free tap water available like any reasonable festival.

    diverse enough food options that were reasonably priced
    diverse enough food options that were reasonably priced

    Interesting buildings and sights around:



    Here are the DJs I got to see from the 3 stages:







    Great to see Ruben again, as always. His new visuals were funny and dope:



    haha, good one
    haha, good one

    and more funny ones
    and more funny ones

    even better, Ruben in space
    even better, Ruben in space

    After Ruben, time for more DJs, including a wonderful B2B from Craig Connelly and FactorB


    they definitely went for it!
    they definitely went for it!



    this was a wonderful set ana handoff to Solarstone
    this was a wonderful set ana handoff to Solarstone


    Craig and FactorB nicely came to meet the crowds
    Craig and FactorB nicely came to meet the crowds

    FactorB still havin the best time of his life
    FactorB still havin the best time of his life


    Back for more sets, and mainstage for Gareth Emery:






    Then Vini Vici:




    Followed by Cosmic Gate:



    Back around other stages:




    And finished the day and short night (just 1.5H of darkness for my led outfit) at mainstage



    Part of a festival is of course the crowd atmosphere. A few people came dressed or at least with appropriate T-shirts:





    I actually have that shirt :)
    I actually have that shirt :)




    And Armin played the last 1.5H as darkness set:






    After that, we ran out just as the show was over to catch a train back to London before things ot too crowded (not too many ways to get out)


    Conclusion

    For a first time ASOT in London/UK, it went well. The venue wasn't perfect, the 22:30 curfew was suboptimal, but the stages, sound, and visuals were decent enough. Had a good time, thanks to the organizers and the DJs.
    See more images for A State Of Trance London
    2023/06/22 Luminosity Beach Festival 2023, Did Not Go Well :(
    π 2023-06-22 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    So, this was my 3rd Luminosity, I was excited, brought a friend to enjoy it together. It went well the first 2 days, until things went very badly unfortunately. This time things went badly enough that I'm going to start with that.

    I've never been as late doing a festival report, partially because I had back to back trips, but also because I really wanted to give luminosity a chance to make things right, which not only they didn't but basically the owners/organizers actively ignored me, despite me spending several hours sending them detailed information on the thefts and loss that happened due to their gross negligence (mine was over 500 euros in loss, others I talked to also got their stuff stolen). I also tried to make peace with them for the bomb alert their own security goons triggered due to poor skills, terrible communication, and failure to keep our belongings safe (lockers theft), but no answer there either. At this point I have every reason to expect that I am not welcome to come back, especially if wearing LEDs, so I don't need to fly across the world and spend several thousand dollars to go there anymore.

    It really pains me to write this because the rest of the lumi staff doing the work, has been awesome and friendly, most of them loved me and the good vibes I do my best to bring, and most of them were also appalled at what happened this year, including the thefts due to negligence, and my being banned from re-entering the event with my LED outfit. Several literally told me, without my asking them, that the security people were "not the best of the crop", or even "idiots" (direct quote). To make things more complicated even, I was nicely invited as press this year to make it easier to take the many pictures I take for these reports that take many many hours to write, so it's difficult for me to write this report that is not positive, and I really really wanted them to make it right, at least partially, so that I wouldn't have to write this, but unfortunately they did not.


    Before I go into details, I'll start by saying that I've dealt with security teams around the world in festivals around the world. Luminosity's security team has been unskilled and untrained in prior years, and basically look and behave like bar bouncers. They don't seem to care if the festival goers have a good time or not, kind of forgetting that this is how they get paid. I literally remember that head of 'security' telling me in 2019 that he didn't really care that he was making my lumi hard to enjoy when he said the LED strips on my legs could be used to strangle attendees (yes, it sounds like a joke, but it's not).
    Festival security is not actually an easy job. These guys however are probably used to throwing drunk people out of bars, but that's not really what's needed at a Trance festival. Creamfields was the only festival on the world I've been to, that was worse than lumi in that regard.

    Lumi security: making attendees' life worse and not keeping the event secure from multiple locker thefts

    First problems from previous years:
  • First, they re-started the completely ridiculous policy of taking people's sunscreen. Seriously? Why? Are terrorist using sunscreen looking paste to attack festival goers now? Are there even terrorists in Dutch festivals? Thankfully no other Dutch event I've been to, had such policies, only Lumi. If you think I'm being over dramatic about this, I had multiple skin cancers already, and I very much care to use my top tier sunscreen to stay safe
  • Similarly, they started the water BS again: can't bring water in, even un-opened (i.e. completely safe), and they refused to provide tap water inside, except the last day when they finally reversed the policy for reasons unknown, and some water was available if you stood in line for a while. Forcing the use of countless non recyclable plastic bottles (they pretended to recycle them, but upstream that plastic is not recycled and too much of it ends up in the ocean to kill sea life, you can look it up if you don't believe me). If this was an attempt to make up enough money, it's terrible, just charge the appropriate amount on the tickets.
  • Every Lumi attendee should Email info@luminosity-events.nl and tell them they should absolutely provide free drinkable tap water for the festival, like any other festival in a first world country and stop taking sunscreen away. You are customers, don't put up with the plastic bottle waste and needless water bottle lines, never mind the extra cost of course (although if it's essential festival cost, be ready to pay for it in the ticket price instead, that's only fair).

    this is not the happy part of lumi
    this is not the happy part of lumi

    and it's worse than an airport, taking all sprays, liquids, sunscreen, even the ones small enough to be allowed on planes!
    and it's worse than an airport, taking all sprays, liquids, sunscreen, even the ones small enough to be allowed on planes!

    And this is where it got really bad this year:

    the locker malfunctions and gross negligence, causing big wasted time, and locker theft

  • The locker company they used this year had one job: provide secure lockers and sell them to one person only. On day #1, it was clear that they had a terrible failure there, and many people were sold the same lockers, causing hour+ lines of people wasting their time waiting for new locker codes. The poor guys who were left there with the broken computer system did their best, but each night, some 4 day lockers seemed to get reset, re-sold, and potentially opened up and emptied overnight.
  • By day2, one of my 2 lockers had been reset and I had to get manually changed to another one, because they were still being sold more than once. You would think by then the company would go into some "holy shit" mode and really fix this. But no, they did not. I was an idiot to trust them and on day3, my locker was impossible to open again and by the time they opened it with a key, it was empty. All my stuff was gone, over 500E worth, including prescription medication and non replaceable items.
    If you are going to tell me I'm an idiot for leaving valuable things in a locker, you might be partially right but at the same time, it's the point of a locker, is it not? Also because of the security people I absolutely did not trust, it felt safer to leave stuff in a locker than take my chance with them again and have them try to steal medication, prescription sunscreen I had to sneak in, or other such shenanigans.
    I talked to other other people who got their stuff stolen too, although a lesser dollar value than mine.
    And I should add that I got there early enough on Day 3, that it's not super likely that someone else was able to get my locker before I got to it, which also means the staff that reset the lockers overnight and emptied the lockers, likely took my stuff, but I can't prove that.

    people were in line for 1H or more on the first day, trying to get their pre-paid lockers
    people were in line for 1H or more on the first day, trying to get their pre-paid lockers

    ironically they were sold out, even after being sold multiple times. I'll also note 'eventsafe', which they sure failed at
    ironically they were sold out, even after being sold multiple times. I'll also note 'eventsafe', which they sure failed at

    The actual staff running the locker support and Lumi was super sorry about what happened, asked me to make a full list of everything that was lost, so that I could be compensated in some way, but the people at the top did absolutely nothing despite being asked 4 different times over a period of 6 weeks. Way to go!

    Security Called a Bomb Alert on Themselves & LED Outfit Banned Again

    So, the locker situation was bad, but for me it got worse. As a result of one of my 2 lockers being entirely stolen, I was very nervous about keeping my LED outfit in the 2nd locker which thankfully hadn't been broken into and emptied yet. It's over a thousand dollars worth of equipment, and many weeks of work to rebuild everything if it got stolen.
    So after day 3 was over, I went to talk to the lumi staff and asked them for help keeping my outfit safe. which given that they knew about all my stuff having been stolen, they nicely agreed to. They recommended to put it in the security office, where it would be safe overnight. That all sounded good.

    The next day, I come for lumi, and I'm told a huge clusterf... happened overnight. Their security staff called a bomb threat in the middle of the night and evacuated the place because one of them saw my outfit sitting in their office. Just to be clear, that was the same staff that clearly saw me wearing my LED outfit at night, gave me thumbs up for it, also the same staff I gave said outfit to for safekeeping overnight since the lockers could not be trusted. Great job guys!
    Now, instead of maybe realizing that they were worrying a little bit too much, I got blamed big time last and 4th day, had part of my credentials (extra access wristband) revoked (the actual wristband story is actually much longer, and it does include an honest mistake on my part, but I'm choosing to skip it for multiple reasons). I was then told not only I could not go in with the LED outfit, I was not allowed to keep it in my locker, and they would not keep it for me during the day, and I Was forced to turn around and bring it back to my hotel. That's after fully agreeing it paused no danger and it was not a bomb, but I guess they had to treat it as such or lose face even more.
    After I entered, I had some security people follow me anyway, and soon after stop me and tell me I had been seeing entering and leaving the event multiple times during the last 2 days, that it was forbidden, and that I had to stop. I was like WTF? Wait, you allegedly saw me leave and re-enter multiple times over multiple days, didn't stop me, and now 2 days later you're coming to tell me about it? For the record I never left or re-entered the event since I was there to enjoy the music, or at least try to. By then, I think they realized it was getting really silly and they finally left me alone, but I'll be honest that the whole ordeal made it so that the 4th day was ruined (and honestly day 3 didn't go well either after I realized that all my stuff had been stolen and I would likely not get it back, which I indeed didn't).

    Lumi Seems to prioritize pointless security restrictions over attendee enjoyment

  • 2019: I was allowed entry on day 1 with my then LED outfit, but denied on day 2, 3, 4 because it was a security risk, and the LED strips could be used to strangle someone (no, I'm not joking, this is really what they said)
  • 2020/2021: cancelled for covid
  • 2022: I carefully avoided any interactions with security, LED outfit was no issues
  • 2023: I also carefully avoided interactions with security, LED outfit was fine until they failed to keep the lockers secure, my stuff got stolen, out of fear for my outfit, I gave it to them for safekeeping on day 3, and after 3 days that it was totally fine, they decided it was a bomb threat.
  • Oh, I almost forgot, they even hassled Artists at the entrance. I saw them thoroughly search several artists that were trying to get in, but the worst I saw was them thoroughly search Anthony from Xirajo and Pitch, even though he was a DJ entering with his artist credentials, and he is totally blind. He was still stuck for a while while they searched him...


    Security got to use their big muscles to evict a friend that was almost half their weight

    I'm not going to go into details, but I saw them use two huge guys evict a peaceful person I knew that was barely 60kg, apparently because they got confused, got the wrong guy. Instead of simply discussing with him and make sure things were ok, they just threw him out, because why not?
    Yes, I know this is lacking details, I'm not at liberty to share them all since it impacted someone else, all I can say is they were very quick to treat him like a big drunk dangerous guy getting in fights when he was none of that. I was mortified when I saw them throw him out the event.
    All I can say is "way to go, guys, you'd doing a great job. sorry that we don't have more people for you to rough up and drag outside, which you seem very good at"

    So, what now?

    Well, obviously this sucks, lumi had its problems and things I didn't love about it, but it's also a unique event for trance lovers where you get to see lesser known artists and older artists from potentially 20 years ago and who don't get to perform much anymore. That said, given what's happened this year (which was a repeat of 2019, but much worse), and the event organizers that clearly ignored everything that happened, refused to reply, or even be accountable for their gross negligence with the lockers, unless something drastic changes and they make things right somehow, I can't see myself going back.
    Also, some people who know me were appalled at hearing what happened and even said Lumi should be paying me instead of actively trying to prevent me from attending and adding to the show with my LED outfit. I personally wouldn't go that far, expecting compensation, I'm simply happy to spread good vibes and smiles, but not at an event that has made it clear that I am not welcome there unless I come with boring clothes since LEDs are apparently scary technology for their primitive security team.
    Sadly enough, I also remember Bo telling me the first year he was sorry about what they had done, but there was nothing he could do. I simply couldn't understand that and replied: "Bo, this is your event, and they should be working for you".
    And by now, I'm going to assume Bo and Kasia now clearly dislike me and don't want me to come back. Given the job of their security team, stripping of credentials, even having them wrongfully accuse me of random BS (see above), and of course refusing to do anything about the locker theft, I think they've done enough to drive the point. So indeed, unless something drastic changes, I can't go back to Lumi, and I'm actually sad about it, what a waste..
    And I want to be clear that this is not a happy outcome, I would much rather have been able to work with them, and help the event slowly improve in places where it honestly can.

    Still I wanted to give thanks to everyone who gave me thumbs up and kind words these last 3 lumis, including a lot of lumi staff, and hopefully I'll get to see at least some of you at other festivals.

    some of the many people who made things happen, thank you for your work, we love you guys
    some of the many people who made things happen, thank you for your work, we love you guys

    And well, despite what happened, I still gave my word that I would do a report, so here it is:

    took a few thousand pictures, deleted the bad ones and put the better ones here
    took a few thousand pictures, deleted the bad ones and put the better ones here

    The People

    As always, my wish is for more people to dress up and make the event more fun for all, even if it is not the "custom" in Europe. Thanks to all who did:

    Amen brother, that burning star, sucks :)
    Amen brother, that burning star, sucks :)



    haha :)
    haha :)


    going with a low tech LED vest was obviously safer given the security team
    going with a low tech LED vest was obviously safer given the security team


    Good to run into friends and favorite DJs again:










    Alessandra was happy :)
    Alessandra was happy :)




    by day 4, it was really hard to go anywhere (see above), but still got to hug my friend Fadi
    by day 4, it was really hard to go anywhere (see above), but still got to hug my friend Fadi

    Day #1

    Things started well:


    you could watch from the beach for free :)
    you could watch from the beach for free :)

    An addition for this year, the VIP wristbands you could buy
    An addition for this year, the VIP wristbands you could buy

    VIP/Artist area
    VIP/Artist area


    Anthony did another awesome set
    Anthony did another awesome set





    FactorB went all out again :)
    FactorB went all out again :)







    lovely to see Richard Durand again
    lovely to see Richard Durand again






    As a special treat Nu NRG got back together to play Dreamland for us:





    Anthony got a 2nd set, which was also lovely
    Anthony got a 2nd set, which was also lovely

    I have no idea how he can operate regular decks, simply amazing
    I have no idea how he can operate regular decks, simply amazing


    And I ended the evening (not quite night) with Ferry Tayle
    And I ended the evening (not quite night) with Ferry Tayle




    Lumi happens during the longest day of the year, so very little darkness (only 45mn), but day #1 was overcast enough that I was able to wear some LEDs and a shirt without overheating:


    after a long day, the sun started setting eventually
    after a long day, the sun started setting eventually

    beautiful sky
    beautiful sky

    party!
    party!

    Summary Video for Day #1:

    Day #2




















    having a good time
    having a good time




    Summary Video for Day #2:

    Day #3
















    Summary Video for Day #3:

    Day #4











    I'm obviously not a fan of the sun, but the sunsets were great:



    great to finish with Fadi
    great to finish with Fadi



    show ending
    show ending



    Summary of Day #4:

    Changes for this year

  • The previous year, I suggested that they should sell VIP wristbands with access to the pool and artist area, and sure enough they did. I felt that they were quite expensive, but it was probably by design and they didn't force anyone to buy those, so I guess that was a good change overall.
  • They tried to improve handicap access, but let's be honest the venue makes that very difficult. They did make a handicap ramp but before long it was burried and covered in sand. Thanks for trying to make it more navigable for wheelchairs:
  • day1
    day1

    by day4, it was sadly covered with sand
    by day4, it was sadly covered with sand

    thankfully the steep route worked when people helped to push a bit
    thankfully the steep route worked when people helped to push a bit

  • There was some water refill on the last day. Note that I said "refill", the waterboy did refuse to refill containers that weren't from the venue. Bernie's was definitely allowed to be very greedy, which is quite unfortunate given that their venue is not even that great for a festival and has many challenges.
  • The price of water, not that there should be a price on it, is literally the worst I've seen anywhere. You might as well get apple juice or pepsi that are cheaper... And I don't want to hear excuses that it was the venue, Bernie's fault, because Lumi can negotiate this with them and they chose not to.

    6.55 euros for water, seriously?
    6.55 euros for water, seriously?

    stash of all the forbidden bottle water caps. People asked me to pick them up and give some to them
    stash of all the forbidden bottle water caps. People asked me to pick them up and give some to them

    that was a nice touch on the 4th day only, but why only on day4? and really, refusing to refill regular containers?
    that was a nice touch on the 4th day only, but why only on day4? and really, refusing to refill regular containers?

    Conclusions

    Right, so this is probably the hardest one of any festival I've had to write.

    This is where I should have been able to write "this was the end of another great lumi, the best one yet", but unfortunately it was massively ruined in many different ways, the worst one is probably making me feel very unwelcome and sending the security goons after me to watch me whether I'd somehow escape from the event and try and come back (which again, never happened), or having one of my friends thrown out, or having my credentials stripped. I was still hoping that maybe my locker got emptied by the staff overnight and my stuff would re-appear, or that at least they'd compensate us for the loss, but none of that happened either. That was one reason for me delaying writing this report so much, I really really wanted them to get back to me and try to make things right, so that I wouldn't have to write all this, but it didn't happen.

    I could just yield, accept that hired muscles aka security goons run lumi, ashow up with a boring Tshirt, and accept the over 500 euros of loss I've incurred due to their gross negligence with the lockers, with 0 apology or any compensation whatsoever. And I could try to pretend everything is ok and continue to do my reports and advertising which I'm happy to do for free. But honestly I think you won't be surprised to read that as much as I love trance and seeing the artists there, the cost and ways they are treating their customers, are just not acceptable to me.

    Should you still go?

    I'm not going to tell you to boycott Lumi on my account, that would be self centered and petty,

    However if the points I made concern you, especially if you were impacted, or are generally worried about the security staff, you can Email the organizers (info@luminosity-events.nl) about what they need to fix before you'll go again, even if it's just access to free drinkable water and not taking liquids/sunscreen that would be allowed on planes. And if they don't reply or do not give you an answer you're happy with, then please don't go. Sadly it seems some things will only change if people otherwise vote with their feet.

    If you however decide that they do not deserve your business, you can also go to one of the many other trance festivals in the world (if you can afford to fly to LAX, Dreamstate Socal is now my #1 trance festival in the world, bar none). That said, I'll say right now that I haven't found another festival that is equal to lumi in filling the niche of having so many DJs that you do not usually see on stage anywhere, so honestly I think it would be better or the Trance scene if Lumi became a welcoming and safe place again.
    In the meantime, if you have other events you can recommend to me instead of lumi, please send me a chat on IG: https://www.instagram.com/ledtranceguy
    If you are able to work with Bo and Kasia to help make lumi better for those who can still go, please do. It's a unique event and I would much rather see it fix its issues than for it to go away: bo@luminosity-events.nl + kasia@luminosity-events.nl. Thank you for anyone who can help.

    2023/05/19 Another Big EDC
    π 2023-05-19 01:01 in Clubbing, Edc, Festivals
    It's hard to get numbers, I'm not sure if it was as many people as last year, or even more, but the shuttles sold out in pre-sale and the event looked quite packed.

    Glad to be back, as always:




    30 years!
    30 years!


    The Grounds:

    Great to have a look around to see all the art installations:










    Random things:

    if you party way too hard, you can actually get an IV :)
    if you party way too hard, you can actually get an IV :)






    Loved pixel forest again:



    loved the pixel forest tunnel again, so good
    loved the pixel forest tunnel again, so good


    Lots of run rides:


    The rave hangar was also fun althought it filled fast, and there were other dancing rooms:







    VIP even had a sky dome that was pretty sweet:



    For downtown EDC, the most fun place was by far the Kandi Casino:







    plus several other small dance floors and attractions:





    and you could get EDC married or real married:


    And the artist village was also beautiful:











    Skydeck was also super nice:




    not cheap, though :)
    not cheap, though :)

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








    Great to see the LED Acrobats again, great show as always:




    Fireworks

    No drones this year, oh well. The fireworks were still super pretty:










    Fireworks of all last 3 days:

    The People

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

    TFSF + TFLA meetup
    TFSF + TFLA meetup







    The Insomniac entertainers were fantastic as always:












    Still happy to see other people bringing LEDs :)



    who are you guys? didn't get your info
    who are you guys? didn't get your info






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



    fantastic to see my friend Chris perform at EDC
    fantastic to see my friend Chris perform at EDC


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

    Day #1

    Took an uber on the first day to get there early since the shuttles get stuck in commuter traffic on fridays, and went to enjoy the grounds. The first day was the only time opening at 17:00 this year (why?) and given the shuttle mess this year (midstrip shuttles cancelled due to road closures and other roadwork), taking an uber was easier. As part of that, got a tour of the camping grounds for those staying there.


    and finally arrived to see the welcome sights:

    everyone was coralled in Cosmic Maedows until 19:00
    everyone was coralled in Cosmic Maedows until 19:00

    rest was empty
    rest was empty

    I spent most of the day at Quantum Valley for trance:















    above and beyond unfortunately conflicted with Blastoyz :(
    above and beyond unfortunately conflicted with Blastoyz :(



    back to QV for Blastoyz
    back to QV for Blastoyz









    Video Summary:

    Day #2

    Day #2 was more trance at Quantum Valley, finishing with our friend Triode:








    dope visuals
    dope visuals






    Video Summary:

    Day #3

    Day #3 was the wildcard day, no trance at QV anymore, so that was an excuse to go around and check out the grounds and other stages:














    Armin played a good set
    Armin played a good set






    While it was a bit disappointing not ot have trance at QV on day #3, the blow was softened by the Dreamstate pre-party at Area15 before EDC.

    After Armin, there was some time left to enjoy the grounds, and catch a shuttle that wasn't too late, so as to arrive at the airport in time for the return flight. jag Video Summary:

    Should you go? Would I go Back?

    EDC Vegas is probably the most impressive EDC Night Festival in the world. Tomorrowland is a rival but it's not a night festival as much.

  • Decors are just fantastic, along with so many performers. That's the best part about EDC
  • Like other insomniac festivals, all the staff truly cares and goes all out. MAny small details that get sometimes missed elsewhere, are usually flawless
  • Security is more than reasonable as usual, thank you
  • 19:00 to 05:30 is 10:30h of partying for 3 days, lots of fun!
  • So many free carnival rides, lots of fun.
  • So many stages also, more than 10 if you could the art cars.
  • Is it worth flying across the world for? Yes, absolutely. Do it!
  • Conclusion

    Another year. This one was quite busy, maybe the most people at EDC ever? Some complained of over crowding, and it's unfortunate that the shuttles sold out so quickly.

    Thoughts about this year:

  • People complained it was a bit cheaper than usual, a few things missing (minor in my opinion), no drone show, people complained about the lineup being weaker (the trance lineup sure was and was only 2 days)
  • Some new installations like the Kandi Casino were absolutely awesome
  • All the insomniac staff and entertainers were top notch as always
  • Kinetic field was beautiful again, the face with eyes and hands moving was really well done
  • The original pixel forest tunnel from 2019 was back, it was my favorite
  • The added multiple signs with directions, which was good for people who get lost
  • People complained about bigger crowds and less Plur, that might be true, but at the same time it's hard to avoid and happens with everything. Burning Man has the same problem.
  • The visuals on all stages were top notch again. Nothing beats EDC there.
  • 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..

  • Pictures of all 3 days: https://photos.app.goo.gl/4psjq4Kgzu7FnN966
  • Pictures of the grounds, people, fireworks and all: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ji7ZNVYpF3Ez22ox5
  • See more images for Another Big EDC
    2023/03/24 Another Beyond Wonderland Socal
    π 2023-03-24 01:01 in Clubbing, Festivals
    Woohoo, another festival!


    representing Trancefamly SF as always :)
    representing Trancefamly SF as always :)

    After having good fun at beyond wonderland socal last year, I went back this year and it was definitely fun again. This time, we stayed in Ontario since it was a lot cheaper and taking the shuttle wasn't so bad (even if friday LA traffic sucks). All in all, staying in Ontario was not a bad choice given the limited ok hotels in San Bernardino.

    shuttles were well organized overall
    shuttles were well organized overall

    Show starts early-ish at 17:00, due to 02:00 curfew, lots of sun :)
    Show starts early-ish at 17:00, due to 02:00 curfew, lots of sun :)

    Festival Grounds

    Beyond wonderland is known for its beautiful decors. This year did not disappoint either:






    Great to see sunset:




    and of course, looks great at night, and fun to play with the decors:






    People

    One thing Insomniac really does well is the amount of costumed perfomers. Fun to take pictures with them:







    And other fun things :)





    People still did a great job bringing their own costumes:


    it was cold, not sure how people came wearing almost nothing :)
    it was cold, not sure how people came wearing almost nothing :)





    some tried harder than others :)
    some tried harder than others :)


    Fun pictures with friends:






    Day #1

    Day 1 was random "not trance" day, so went to see random DJs at random stages ;)


    Actually we did have Audien on the first day, nice set with tight mixes:


    Also Tiesto happened, it was actually an ok set.





    Then left a few minutes early to make it to the shuttle line back before it got too long:


    Video of Day #1:

    Day #2

    Day #2 was the trance day at Cheshire Woods:



    Checking out mainstage before the crowds got there:


    And on Dreamstate Day, we of course had a Trancefamily Meetup:


    Waiting for the night, as always :)

    kids, don't forget :)
    kids, don't forget :)



    Great to get a few more pictures with favorite DJs :)




    even Ulrich :)
    even Ulrich :)








    And just like that, it was 02:00 again, and time to go home (or back to the shuttle):


    Thanks to insomniac for organizing all of this and all the people who participated with costumes and good vibes.

    Video of Day #2:

    Should you go? Would I go Back?

    If you can, yes. For me? yes, probably (except for the conflict with Miami Music Festival)

  • Decors are just fantastic, along with the many theme appropriate performers. That's the best part about Beyond Wonderland
  • Like other insomniac festivals, like EDC and Dreamstate, all the staff truly cares and goes all out. MAny small details that get sometimes missed elsewhere, are usually flawless
  • Security is more than reasonable as usual, thank you
  • San Bernardino is not the best city ever, but there are only so many places such festivals can be held, especially with a 02:00 curfew. It works for me, and having shuttles to other cities, was a good idea.
  • 17:00 to 02:00 is 2x 9H with as much nighttime as sound restrictions will allow. Plus, if you really wanted, there was an afterparty.
  • 6 stages is more than I would normally want, but totally different music, so conflicts were not really an issue
  • Trance was a bit on the light side this year, actually for me the lineup was weaker than last year's but givne all the above, still had a fantastic time.
  • Is it worth flying across the world for? I would go to EDC first, and then Dreamstate for the music (despite lesser decors and costumes compared to BW), but if you are able to fly there, it's definitely a fun festival to attend.
  • See more images for Another Beyond Wonderland Socal

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