Talking about Skyline Festival in Los Angeles. Sorry, I had been sitting on this video for a while. Been busy with work and other projects, which I hope to share with y’all as soon as it’s published. Ray and Anthony join me to talk about our Skyline Festival 2023 experience. It was super awesome.
Also, the song “Age of Love” (1990) is a self-titled track by Italian-Belgian duo Age of Love. I guess you can say the track is in 90s era trance style. Paul van Dyk and Cosmic Gate remixed this track in the mid to late 2010s. I just wanted to clarify that comment near the end of the video.
Just messing around and making a music video about Dreamstate SoCal 2022 and Lane 8. Obviously, I don’t own any of the songs, nor am I monetizing this project; I wanted to piece together fragments of videos and memories to celebrate my friends and the music we shared.
Songs Cher “Believe” Lane 8 “Sunday Song” Elysian “Moonchild”
As Xmas ends and Mariah Carey sealed away til next December, I finally got the time to coerce my friends into doing a podcast thingy! In this Festies with Besties episode, Lance and Ray join me alongside new faces Lucy and Layal to recap our Tranceventures at Dreamstate SoCal last November. The event was hella sick as we saw the likes of Bryan Kearney, ATB, and Trance Jesus Armin Van Buuren!
You might want to skip around if you’re looking for a comprehensive discourse about Insomniac’s trance festival. But if you want to hear some friends share some laughs, please come along for the ride. If you were at Dreamstate this year, comment below about your experience and why you loved/hated the event.
Last weekend, Insomniac took over the Port of Los Angeles with its newest addition to the Dreamstate series: Dreamstate Harbor. With only two stages, this rave by the bay is smaller when compared to the massive DS SoCal coming in November. But, this intimate group therapy was more than enough to barge into my heart with all the big festival feelz.
The first stage I went to was The Hydra because it was the closest to the entrance and the only set of GA bathrooms. Its layout reminded me of kineticFIELD with its monstrous LED screens and speaker towers spread across the dance floor. Like the serpent in Greek mythology, this stage showed the versatility of styles steaming from the body of trance.
On the first day, The Hydra took me on a trip filled with psychedelic riffs and energetic tempos from Alchimyst, Astrix, and Infected Mushroom. All the psytrance made Saturday a battle because everyone in their mamas was trying to get to the front. The next day went just as hard with aggressive percussion and driving basslines from the likes of David Forbes, Will Atkinson, Mark Sherry, and Bryan (Bryan, Bryan effin’) Kearney. It’s been over two years since Bryan played in the USA, but his set was utter Kearnage.
Across the harbor was The Aquaria, where the DJs still wrecked my legs but in a loving take-you-out-for-breakfast-after kinda way. A silver cage of naked Truss Segments encompassed the stage, forcing everyone to huddle together for an intimate dance floor. Even when it was packed like sardines because the cold wind was blasting everyone from a state of trance, it was still easier to move around than in The Hydra.
Christina Novelli, Craig Connelly, Estiva, and Giuseppe Ottaviani were some of the DJs who opened The Aquaria, easing us into the night. But when it got dark, so did the music because it was banger after banger from Sean Tyas, Paul van Dyk, John O’Callaghan, and Sander van Doorn (presents Purple Haze). So many fantastic DJs played at this stage, but my favorite act from this pool was Markus Schulz.
Why? Well, I suppose it’s because I feel like a man possessed every time I see the Unicorn Slayer. The way he balances the vigorous snares and kicks from techno with the euphoric melodies of trance is a work of art that makes me want to hug friends and strangers while also punching the air like it owes me money. chef’s kiss
Honestly, there’s not much for me to complain about besides wishing there were more bathrooms, but space in the venue is limited, so I understand. But the free and quick in-and-out parking was fantastic! There were moments when I encountered some not-so-PLUR people who would elbow their way through the crowd or to the front, but that’s not Insomniac’s problem. People were generally friendly, spreading the good vibes from the Book of PLUR. There weren’t all the bells and whistles you would typically see at a festival, but I don’t think DSH needed the extra production or stages because the sound management was perfect.
Rewatching my “Sun & Moon” recording during Ilan Bluestone’s set made me realize something. I realized how much I suck at singing and that I dance like I’m losing a game of DDR. But none of my horrible singing and terrible dance moves matter because, in these small moments of imperfection shared amongst my friends and strangers, I am happy. Thank you, Insomniac, for creating a culture celebrating the magic of trance.
All-in-all, the first Dreamstate Harbor was pretty cool. I have no regrets, not even when I spent 17 dollars on dry chicken tenders and fries. (No lie, I saw a basket of fries on the floor and thought how someone wasted nine dollars.) The star-packed lineup and breathtaking sights of laser-colored fog with giant ships in the background made it all worth my while. TL;DR: New location, same feelz, 100 out of 10, highly recommended.
Okay, I’m finally over the festival flu, and I’m ready to share my 14th Electric Daisy Carnival experience with y’all! With over 166k Headliners attending each night, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, this was probably my biggest EDC. I had a fantastic time, but there were a few bumps down the rabbit hole for Insomniac’s 26th Windy-C (sorry-not-sorry for the pun).
Quick SparkNotes about Electric Daisy Carnival 2022
Insomniac added a ninth stage called bionicJUNGLE for house lovers. The new addition featured Lee Foss and Felix Da Housecat.
NFTs were everywhere. Canadian star Grimes, who played a DJ set at cosmicMEADOW, and Jauz’s surprise guest Snoop Dogg were some of the few who debuted their new crypto projects this weekend. A Bored Ape even appeared during one of the midnight drone shows.
LV police diverted traffic around the speedway, so leaving the anti-PLUR parking lot wasn’t too bad. It took us about an hour to get back to our hotel each night.
The rave drip was on-point this year. Saw a lot of vibrant tanks and fishnets, furry boots, anime-themed costumes, and a whole mess of glitter! Oh, and let’s not forget about the sea of Rezz, Seven Lions, and Illenium jerseys throughout the weekend.
Frolicking Between circuitGROUNDS, quantumVALLEY, and neonGARDEN.
The talent at circuitGROUNDS this year was unreal: Tinlicker, Nora en Pure, Jason Ross, KX5, the list goes on! My favorite set, though, was no other than Eric Prydz!
For 75 minutes, Prydz created an experience so immersive that I forgot about the ginormous festival happening behind me. Illuminating visuals of stars zipping around lush planets, lightning storms, and androids whose glossy shells reflected the radiant colors of space teleported me into a Prydaverse of electrifying synths. It was a breathtaking journey across a dazzling universe as he played “Allein,” “Every Day,” and “Juletider.”
To the right of CG was quantumVALLEY. I missed Ilan Bluestone’s set, but I did catch Mat Zo, Craig Connelly, and freakin’ MaRLo. It was an emotional end for the Australian’s set as Triode and Linney (who sang live) appeared on stage for their rendition of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.” (RIP)
Just outside of QV was neonGARDEN. NG stayed true to its underground roots with a minimalistic design compared to the other eight stages. Between the dusky neon lights sweeping the crowd and the onslaught of techno reverberating off the stacks of steel containers encasing the dance floor, I felt like I was at a rave within a festival. Joseph Capriati, Charlotte de Witte, Anfisa Letyago, Deborah De Luca, and I Hate Models were some artists I saw over the weekend. Though, Adam Beyer’s three-hour set was my choice of the best act at NG.
A Negative And A Positive.
My biggest complaint about this year’s EDC is about the bathrooms by BP and NG. There was only one opening used as an exit and an entrance, so people would get stuck trying to leave or enter. There were times when I feared a trampling situation would happen. Of course, the frustration caused a few fights, and a few people got their phones stolen while crammed in the herd of ravers. The situation got better on the second and third day of EDC.
Stepping away from the negatives, one cool thing about this year’s EDC was seeing people my age or older Under the Electric Sky. Josh, 35, a travel nurse from Texas, was one of the many who brought his parents.
“My whole life, my dad has shown me different cultures, places he loved as a child, and things he didn’t have growing up,” he said. Josh knew his father would enjoy the festival because they share an interest in art, and his stepmother loves to dance. “Now my dad has a crew for next year and already has his VIP tickets secured, lol.”
“They wanted to stop everywhere and take pictures; it felt kinda like I was parenting small children because if we got separated, I couldn’t just text them to find them,” he said. Despite having the parental roles reversed, Josh could not think of any way to better celebrate his 7th EDC than by sharing it with his parents. “I think the most fun part for me was at Tiesto since it’s one of the few artists they knew; watching them dance and really enjoying the set was priceless.”
My Take Away
Reading everyone’s posts online about how they wish they were still with other Headliners Under the Electric Sky made me realize the most significant thing EDC offers is a connection with other people. I felt more PLUR this year compared to the last five years. I believe the Electric Daisy Carnival can create these magical moments of love and joy through music and adventure. Of course, I don’t want to discredit other people’s negative experiences because some things are out of your hands. But if you take the risk, I believe you’ll find a community willing to help elevate your experience (if it’s within their power, of course).
Not sure when I’ll stop going to EDC, but it won’t be soon. I hope to see y’all next year Under the Electric Sky.