It’s been a busy summer in Toronto for EDM festivals; it seems as if the EDM scene has grown overnight, with the first ever Digital Dreams Festival on Canada Day weekend, Full Flex Express, and IDentity Festival this past weekend, July 21st, at Echo Beach in Ontario Place. This is the first time that the 2nd Annual IDentity Festival took place in Toronto, featuring headliner Eric Prydz who had yet to make an appearance in North America since 2007, due to his fear of flying.
With three stages, (iHome Stage, Rockstar Energy Drink Stage and The Earmilk Stage) IDentity was built like a theme park for young adults; balloons scattered the park, vendors sold EDM merchandise and, of course, various beer and sponsor tents scattered the area, such as: Bacardi, Jägermeister and Rockstar Energy Drink. EDM fans quickly filled the 5,000 capacity park, creating a maze of people in their summer clothes, bathing suits, costumes and neon. “The turnout was higher than I expected, and the energy level was off the hook! I’m really glad IDentity came to Toronto.” says EDM fan, Aleshia Pinto.
The doors opened at 2:30pm with Midknight kicking off the festival on The Earmilk Stage located conveniently just meters from the front gate. The day continued with plenty of loud electronic and dubstep from Audrey Napolean, The Eye, Static Revenger, and Le Castle Vania, to name a few. The most popular songs of the day being Knife Party’s “Internet Friends” and Swanky Tunes new banger “Here We Go” being heard several times, throughout the park. Despite audio issues at the Rockstar Energy Drink Stage during Excision, he still gave a great show playing hard electro-dubstep bangers that had the crowd jumping and dancing non-stop. The crazy light show with Excision DJing in the center of the large overarching X stage set up could be seen from almost everywhere within the park.
Eva Simmons took over the iHome Stage mid-day showcasing her remarkable vocal and dance talents, singing Afrojack’s “Take Over Control”, “I Don’t Like You” and driving the crowd wild with her new single “Renegade”. Next Arty, Bingo Players and Madeon took over, all throwing out harsh electro sounds. Arty played mostly electro, with his remix of Ferry Corsten’s “Punk”, as one of the only trance tracks played. The beach was packed when Madeon hit the stage; he put on an amazing show playing Basto’s “I Rave You” with the highlight of his set being his new remix of Martin Solveig’s “The Night Out”.
There was plenty of debate prior to IDentity about seeing Nero’s DJ Set versus Eric Prydz, as their set times were on at the same time from 9:45 until 11:00pm. Many, including myself, were eager to see Eric Prydz as North America had waited five years to see him live. Many people would debate that Eric Prydz’s set was the best Toronto has seen. Prydz created an experience, each track flowing perfectly from one to the next. He played a variety of his music with “Eric Prydz” and his alias “Pryda” rotating between various blue and purple graphics behind the stage. His set was the perfect end to the night almost the whole crowd was swaying arm in arm with their friends and during 2Night, Pjanoo, and Allein. Almost everyone was singing around me with their hands high in the air. Even after the music stopped the crowd lingered, waiting to see if they would hear more. An hour and a half was definitely not enough.
Walking out the front gates the crowd was no longer anxious and crazy with energy, everyone seemed content, happy, and all you could hear were whispers of what was next to come. Fortunately for EDM fans there are several festivals to come this summer including; the free Mad Decent Block Party in Dundas Square on July 28th featuring Zeds Dead and Claude Vonstroke, VELD in Downsview Park on August 4th-5th headlining Deadmau5 and Avicii, WEMF in South Algonquin from August 17th-August 19th featuring Wolfgang Gartner, Thomas Gold and Moby, and The Guvernment’s annual Labor of Love, Labor Day Weekend, Line up to be announced.
Leanne Feeney – EDM TOR
IDentity Festival, Toronto, Echo Beach, Set Times, July 21st
iHome Main Stage
Eric Prydz 9:45PM-11:00PM
Bingo Players 7:30PM-8:30PM
Eva Simons 6:10PM-6:30PM
Le Castle Vania 5:00PM-6:10PM
Static Revenger 4:00PM-5:00PM
DJ D3FF + AKTEC 3:00PM-4:00PM
Rockstar Energy Drink Festival Stage
The Eye 6:00PM-7:00PM
Audrey Napoleon 5:00PM-6:00PM
The Earmilk Stage
Tre Mission 4:15PM-4:45PM
A Tribe Called Red 6:45PM-7:30PM