This Thanksgiving weekend, trance fans flocked to Southern California to break bread and say thanks to Armin Van Buuren, Paul Van Dyk, and many more with 35,000 of their closest friends at Dreamstate SoCal 2017.
Entering the festival gates, I was a little overwhelmed at the sheer enormity of the festival. My only other experience as a festival goer was at EDCNY 2016 with a group of my closest friends from New Jersey, and here I found myself in a sea of trance fans that shared the common bond of EDM. As I am just getting my feet wet in California, I had no idea what to expect. Let’s just say it was a weekend I will never forget, as I met some amazing people from behind the decks and in the crowd and gained a much-needed reminder of why I love this genre of music wholeheartedly.
Not only was I celebrating my first West Coast trance festival, DreamState was filled with first for some of trance’s biggest names. The iconic Paul Van Dyk debuted his alias, AEON, to the delight of festivalgoers. The King of Trance, Armada’s own Armin Van Buuren, also commenced his alter ego GAIA to the California crowed for the first time, sending the crowd into a tizzy.
With the highly anticipated debut of GAIA, thousands of trance enthusiasts flock to The Dream stage to get totally immersed in dark and mind-bending psytrance experience. GAIA tore through the audiences hearts leaving everyone in chills and speechless from the very beginning. Opening their set with an into mix of “Crossfire” and transitioning into “Awakening” by Arkham Knights and ending their entire set with GAIA’s own “Tuvan” which is a track full of emotion and feels. With banger after banger “Dreamers” were taken on a journey through out this high energy set. GAIA set the tone and was a stand out performance from night one of Dreamstate Socal.
Night two of Dreamstate featured huge names of trance such as Vini Vici, Armin Van Buuren, and IIan Bluestone. While these world famous artist put on incredible set throughout the night, night two closed with a huge bang when Astrix and Ace Ventura took to The Sequence Stage to present Alpha Portal. Alpha Portal transformed the NOS into a psytrance fans paradise. Unleashing energy and vibrations in the crowd unlike anything that had been seen. The combination between a breathtaking light display and Alpha Portal’s very own track “Creatures” created a psychedelic journey for fans to end their Trancegiving on a memorable note.
However, it was the fans that were a truly beautiful sight. In the crowd for his set, a diverse mixture of fans from various backgrounds and countries danced their hearts out. I watched men and women old enough to be my grandparents dancing with their grandchildren, as well as a straight couple helping a gay couple hold up their massive pride flag in the middle of the crowd in what were two seminal harmonious moments that I truly will never forget. Black, Asian, Hispanic, Indian,-all together, all having fun. As tumultuous as the last few years have been for our country, it was a light of hope to see this diversity coming together peacefully in a judgement free festival under the spell of trance.
Until next year, Happy Trancegiving to one and all…and to all a good night.