Insomniac hosted their annual trance festival Dreamstate at the Nos Events Center in San Bernardino the weekend before Thanksgiving. This year was the festival’s 5th consecutive year. Dreamstate is truly a unique festival filled with rare sets from trance artists around the world.
Production/ Stage Highlights
This year, Dreamstate incorporated new additions to their stage production such as an intense amount of lasers, holographic graphics, and much more! It only took 3 stages to turn Dreamstate into a magical getaway. The Dream stage looked similar to a giant cathedral which had various artists such as Jason Ross, Above and Beyond, and more show off new and old tunes.
The Vision stage sounded unbelievable. Right when festival goers walked into the Vision stage, there was an increasingly amount of high energy and smiling faces. This stage featured Prydz-like lasers that were beyond anybody’s imagination. The indoor stage also incorporated giant LED screens for an immersive experience.
If you’re a fan of psytrance, the Sequence stage would be the perfect place to plant yourself the whole festival. This stage in particular had holographic graphics along with extreme lasers. Many artists such as Reality Test, Blastoyz, Vini Vici & Friends, Abraxis, and more performed to their fullest potential at this stage and created trance history. The stage had a lot of room for the ever-growing genre and lights that added to the stage aesthetic. Insomniac absolutely placed the correct artists at the right stage for their specific sound.
Abraxis (Seven Lions & Dimibo) made their debut for their new project. Seven Lions, for all of 2019 has been teasing his fans with his psytrance project and Dreamstate was the perfect platform to introduce it all in its entirety. Fables (Dan Stone & Ferry Tale) left many listening in tears and goosebumps. Next up, we had Irish producer/DJ Bryan Kearney. Bryan played an entire Karney tech-trance set. This alias is not to be confused with his more trance alias Kearney. He kept the tech-trance energy going after Gentech, which consists of Mark Sherry & Scot Project (these two were so fun to watch during their performance). Another notable mention was Cold Blue. Tobi had just released his latest album, Winter, a few days before the beginning of the fest. He beautifully proved why he is an meant to fit in this genre by showcasing first album.
John O’Callaghan (Joint Operations Centre)
Joint Operations Centre (Irish producer John O’Callaghan) performance at the Vision stage was out of this world. All anyone could fathom expressing during that one hour was their own bass face. About a couple of songs into the set, I took a look around and noticed how the audience was so focused on the music. Nothing else matted besides the music being played and how happy the audience was. This moment was so pure because there were nobody pulling out their phones as a distraction, it was just all about the audience, artist, and music. John O’Callaghan has many aliases but, this specific alias has never played in the United States. It was truly a special moment for all dreamers.
Lucky us, fans can listen to the fantastic set below; with over 15k plays already, it is bound to be a good one!
Above & Beyond (Classics)
We’ve all heard of them before. The trio have graced almost every festival lineup. Not only is their label, Anjunabeats, one of the most widely known labels in electronic music, but their shows almost always sell out no matter what city they are in. Numerous songs were played old and new during the special classics set. Some examples include “Solar Movement – Eclipse (Mat Zo Remix” and “Far From In Love (San Francisco Mix)”. To add to this dominating performance, the stage was dedicated to many other artists on their label. We’re thankful for Soundcloud user, John Ebrect, created the ‘set’ since we’re not sure if it will ever be released by the trio.
Legendary Kai Franz has not performed in the US in over 15 years. 15 years! Since beginning in 1996, he began making his mark by combining acid tunes from the underground with ethereal trance. His fame in his home country migrated to the US many years ago. He has taken a few breaks in this career to focus on himself and protect his unique image. He makes it a priority to make sure he stays true to who he is and that is why his performance is so special to Dreamstate:
Recently, I have been playing some 150 shows a year, and the majority of these are outside of Germany.” Furthermore, the thirty-two-year-old has sold more than one million records that carry his heavy-weight mix of acid trance (that’s why he calls himself tra-cid). Australia, England, USA, Japan, Italy, Russia, Argentina, Turkey, and Brasil – the world seems listen to this guy, even though he does not only play the big arenas (with 35,000 people) but also loves to deejay at small clubs.
In some unofficial Dreamstate Facebook groups, many have started the conversations of making the festival 3 days instead of 2. Two feels not enough because of how satisfying the festival is for trance fans. However, 3 may be too much. Personally, if Insomniac can add the Timeless stage back into the mix, the festival will still feel complete to attendees even if it remains at 2 days. (The Timeless stage is dedicated to artists who have been producing and playing for years that have not been around lately).
In Conclusion, why Dreamstate?
Dreamstate is an absolute blast. The people that attend are very considerate and welcoming (rivals the Electric Forest family). The sound quality, stages, and artists that are all showcased are some of the best I’ve ever experienced. Besides being chilly at night, the weather is amazing. It’s the perfect vacation before the holidays begin. I hope people give trance a chance. Genres hardly mean anything anymore. I mean, if hard trance is just classic techno and melodic techno is just trance, and people like techno, just go for it. It’s all music at the end of the day. It all helps us celebrate this thing called life together.
All in all, the event as a whole was amazing and we can’t wait for next year!