[Event Review] ILLENIUM Delivers an Unforgettable Weekend at Ember Shores

ILLENIUM’s Ember Shores Festival just wrapped up this past weekend after 3 days of eating, drinking, and partying with Illenials from all around the world. This was the second edition of the destination festival and took place in Cancun, Mexico on December 2 – 4.

For those unaware about this festival, Ember Shores is ILLENIUM’s specially curated festival which took place at the all inclusive resort Paradisus. Those attending the festival have to purchase rooms at either the Paradisus or the all inclusive Fiesta Americana. Purchasing a room package guarantees entry into the festival, along with airport pickup, and the benefits of an all inclusive resort meaning food and drinks are included.

Resort Amenities and Layout

After arriving at Cancun’s airport on Friday afternoon, Ember Shore shuttles were available to take attendees either to the Paradisus or Fiesta. On arrival to Paradisus, first thing I noticed was that the resort is extremely new and grand as the building structures are shaped like pyramids. The interior design was also very well done and intricate. While the resort was big, the overall layout made it very easy to navigate unlike other resorts that I have stayed at. The hotel staff were also friendly and helpful which made it a pleasant experience. I did not get a chance to check out the Fiesta but from hearing about it from other attendees, it is also a great resort to stay at. Amenities for both resorts feature various swimming pools, many bars with top shelf alcohol, a gym with a variety of equipment, restaurants, and buffets. Upon checking in, there were a lot of staff members available so it was a fairly quick process for most attendees. Some rooms were not yet available for some attendees on arrival but the Ember Shores staff did their best to accommodate as soon as possible. There are almost always hiccups for these destination resort festivals but are usually resolved by day 2.

Activities and Excursions

Ember Shores had a number of activities to do on site during each day from Friday – Sunday. Activities such as kandi making, beach zumba, volleyball, pinatas by the pool, and dodgeball made it easy for festival attendees to mingle amongst each other and make new friends. Additionally, there were off site excursions that Ember Shores offered for guests. Exclusive artist excursions included cenotes with Nurko and SoDown, and also a cataran boat cruise with Bass Physics.


photo credits: Tyler Church Photography

The Ignite Pool stage is beautifully designed with a dj booth in front of a massive pool that is surrounded by cabanas, beach chairs, and an elevated grass seating area. The backdrop looks magical as guests can look on into a scenic beach with silky sand and deep blue waters. Small huts that functioned as bars and food vendors were also scattered across the stage. Attendees were allowed to bring their own inflatables into the pool.

photo credits: Tyler Church Photography

There were some complications on day one over at the Ember beach stage due to mother nature causing high tides which were affecting the structure integrity of the stage. As a result, they had to have all the sets performed at the Ignite stage on day one. On day two, the Ember Shores team made an announcement that they would rebuild the stage in a different spot so that the tides would not affect the stage. Suprisingly, they were able to pull it off as it was functional for ILLENIUM’s closing set at night. Big shout out to Nick and his team for being able to pull something like this off with such a short notice!

The Ember stage was surprisingly wide and a good size for a crowd of about 3000+. Production at the stage also featured vivid visuals and the sound system was also great. There was also a wow factor to the stage as pyros and lasers shot off throughout the night.

photo credits: Tyler Church Photography

The Atrium stage was located inside the hotel lobby which is much smaller than the other two stages but is still impressive. The DJ booth is located in the middle and attendees can stand in a 360 degree fashion around the stage. It very much feels like a club as it could get quite crowded and sweaty once people filled in. This was where the afterparties were thrown, and there were surprise performances from ILLENIUM, William Black, Decadon, and more.

Lineup and Experience

This year’s Ember Shores lineup featured a star studded lineup with artists such as Said the Sky, Dabin, Ilan Bluestone, Dillon Francis, CloZee, Subtronics, and many more. There were also other artists that have collaborated with ILLENIUM before such as William Black, Trivecta, Blanke, Nurko, and SoDown. In our five artists to catch article, we had CloudNone and INZO on the list. We hope some of our readers were able to catch these sets as they were very unique and aren’t as known as some of the other artists. The festival was truly a magical experience for melodic dubstep enthusiasts and there aren’t many festivals in the world that caters to this specific genre. There were also plenty of surprise guests that attendees were left guessing up until a few hours which riled up the excitement. On day one, we had the heavy hitter LEVEL UP play a hard smashing set at the Pheonix Stage. On day three, we had William Black and Blanke perform a ritual to merge into William Blanke to perform the third to closing set at the Ember Stage.

Sunsets are always a special time at festivals, and the sunsets at Ember Shores were unforgettable. There is always something special about spending this magical hour of the day with both old friends and new festival friends. At Ember Shores, the sunsets are beautiful as the sun goes down on the picturesque beach backdrop of Cancun. The crowd vibes were also very PLUR, as most partygoers were friendly and polite even under the influence of unlimited alcohol. Additionally, another great part of the festival is that you will see artists casually enjoying the resort amenities throughout the day so guests could interact or get a picture with them. The artists were also fully enjoying themselves during their performances as many of them were very experimental on their decks and playing some of their favorite tracks or mashups. Each night also closed off with a bang as partygoers enjoyed an ending firework show.

This was my first ever Ember Shores and I can say it won’t be my last. If you are looking for an unique festival experience that combines all the audiovisual production elements of a festival and all the amenities of an all inclusive resort, Ember Shores is a must go.

For more information about Ember Shores, check out their official website here.

photo credits: Tyler Church Photography