This past weekend, A State of Trance made a stop in Oakland, California for the very first time. Back in February, it was announced that the USA would receive another chance to celebrate 900 episodes of ASOT with the king of trance, Armin van Buuren. In a brand new location, Insomniac and ALDA Events went all out to make a memorable night for thousands of attendees. From the venue to the stage production, ASOT Bay Area went above and beyond my expectations.
The Venue – Oakland Coliseum
Rather than holding the party indoors like previous ASOT events, Insomniac and ALDA took advantage of the massive Oakland Coliseum. Home of the Oakland Athletics and Raiders, the Coliseum was specifically designed for crowds. The outdoor setting was comfortable with our summer weather and offered great sound quality. While some may view the Coliseum as old or out of date, it had more than enough to handle an event of this size.
First, two huge jumbotrons offered a view of the artist playing on stage, great for those wanting to sit in the stands. Speaking of seating, hundreds of seats were available if you didn’t feel like standing all 7 hours. The stage was situated in the outfield of the stadium, offering a great view, all around. If you watched previous ASOT 900 livestreams like myself, you likely recognized the stage design from Spain and Ukraine. I was ecstatic when I found out it made it all the way to sunny California!
Furthermore, the stadium offered more than enough restrooms, parking, and food. Parking wasn’t cheap at $40 but many attendees took BART, the local train transportation. Additionally, the same vendors who walk around selling refreshments at baseball games, were out selling water on the dance floor! Snack bars were also open around the stadium, preventing long, frustrating lines. When everything came to a close, it was a painless experience exiting the grounds.
Trance On Top of Trance
Once the gates were open at 5pm, Fatum, our first act of the night, was already in full swing. Ruben De Ronde & RODG, MaRLo, Aly & Fila, and NWYR further energized the crowd before Armin’s appearance. Each artist had their own touch to spark up the crowd as the sun slowly set. From MaRLo’s beautiful ‘Lighter Than Air’ to Fatum’s ‘Outlaw’, we were hearing the best trance had to offer.
By 9pm, the darkness had engulfed the Coliseum and NYWR took to the stage. From the get-go, they immersed the crowd with fire and stunning visuals of dragons. In no time, the lasers were shooting over our heads as our anticipation for Armin intensified. NWYR threw in our favorites like ‘Wormhole’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence’, along with a handful of IDs.
When the clock struck 10, the lights dimmed and red lasers filled the air. Armin began his set with the iconic ‘La Résistance De L’Amour’, he and Shapov released earlier this year. Would it be an ASOT party without special guests? Luke Bond and Karra joined Armin on stage for the newly released track ‘Revolution’. By now the crowd was fully warmed up and ready for some newly released Gaia.
From here, it was time to play ‘Lifting You Higher’, the theme of this year’s ASOT 900 festival. Now halfway through his set, Armin took it down a notch with Markus Schulz & HALIENE’s, dramatic ‘Ave Maria’. To end the night, Armin closed with the beloved track ‘Blah Blah Blah’. To our surprise, fireworks erupted above the stadium, creating the perfect end to ASOT 900 Bay Area.
All in all, Insomnia and ALDA put together a memorable event, showcasing the trance we all know and love. Even while this was the first ever ASOT Bay Area, everything felt organized and thought out. There weren’t any technical difficulties and the stage production was spot on. If anything, fans left that night praying ASOT would return next year with the same energy.
Watch the recorded livestream here if you missed out or want to relive ASOT Bay Area. Have a great festival season!